Saturday at Haydock Park is going to be all about survival of the fittest with very deep ground guaranteed and one horse that will absolutely relish the conditions is LAKE VIEW LAD in the feature Tommy Whittle Chase at 2.45.
This young chaser has long been indelibly inked in my little black form book for a while and for a son of Oscar to be winning at a fair level over two and a half miles last year was merely a bonus.
Now that he has finally been stepped up to a real staying trip, I expect him to make further giant steps.
That progression started at Newcastle last time out when he eased clear of Solomn Grundy and company.
This 4lbs higher mark shouldn’t prove a problem and I think the further he goes the better he will become and in time he looks a natural for one of the big Nationals.
There is a pretty moderate turn out for the £20,000-added Jack Berry Handicap Hurdle at 2.10 and despite his welter burden LIMITED RESERVE can follow up his eight length success here last time out by defying an 8lbs higher mark.
With his exaggerated round action he handles these deep conditions with aplomb and can give the weight away to Zalvados and Bazooka.
Pistol Park is the epitome of the national hunt mud lark and is surely going to be involved in the finish of the Betfred TV Handicap Chase at 1.35.
However, he may just find UBALTIQUE too hot to handle in receipt of 15lbs in this ground.
Don McCain has his team in outstanding form at the moment and this nine-year-old has finally been given some slack by the handicapped.
Placed off a mark of 128, he now finds himself down to 120 and his assured jumping could be the deciding factor in what looks a fascinating contest.
The opening staying handicap hurdle at 11.50 is arguably the most difficult race on the card to decipher.
Isaacstown Lad ran his best race for some time at Ayr last time out, but off a rating of 132 he could still be in the grip of the handicapper and with likely market rival, Away The Slates, looking a bit soft last time out this could go to lightweight TOMKEVI.
I can’t fathom why Tony Kelly doesn’t get more rides as he is without doubt a top class horseman and he can guide this still unexposed six-year-old to victory over his higher weighted rivals on ground he will absolutely relish.
Now that he is very harshly treated in the handicap hurdle arena and not good enough to beat the best of his timber topping rivals in conditions races, CLYNE is embarking on a new career over fences at 12.25.
The Lancashire track has always been his cup of tea with form figures of 1123 and he can make a winning debut at this new discipline.
Finally, the extra three furlongs of the mares event at 1.00 should see CAP SOLEIL return to winning form while the finale at 3.20 can go to SLEEPY HAVEN from the in form Jenny Candlish yard.
*All prices correct at the time of publication