Four White Socks
It’s already soft at Haydock, and there is more rain forecast, so it may not be ideal ground for her debut. But she goes nicely enough at home, and is a Lope de Vega half-sister to a winner over this trip.
Man Of Verve
I haven’t ridden him before but he comes here fit and in some form, having won at Newcastle and ran well enough off a 3lb higher mark at Wolverhampton last time. Stall 10 could make life tricky, but he has won on soft before, and the return to turf looks fine for him.
He needs to bounce back from two modest runs this season, and the handicapper has been a bit slow to give him a helping hand, only dropping him 1lb for those efforts. That said, I thought he shaped a little better than the beaten distance suggests at Newmarket last time, as he could never get into the race from his draw in one – high numbers dominated the finish – and I expect an improved show here. He is two from three at the track and clearly handles soft ground well, but I just wonder whether testing conditions will be a factor if there is an issue with his breathing. This will tell us more on that front as the tongue-tie he wore for the first time at Newmarket is left off here.
I dart over to Doncaster after Fire Brigade to ride Recollect, and I would like to think he has a leading chance in the 7f maiden. He ran two promising races for me last season, most recently when second at Kempton in a race that has worked out well, and he is a half-brother to some decent winners. But I am worried about the soft ground for him.
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