Dave Nevison's top tips for Saturday: Sofia's can rock at Haydock

By Dave Nevison
Sat 11 May 2019

It is non-stop on the Channel this afternoon and I hope to be still standing for the 8.45 at Thirsk, hopefully having enough left for a nice Chicken Madras on the way home.

It would be easy to get in a spin and get sucked in, so I have decided to concentrate my efforts on an attractive Haydock card before taking on Thirsk this evening.

2.35 Haydock: Sharja Silk at a general 5-6

I might be more forgiving than some as I have only lost once on this gelding who has not yet repaid too much of his massive £850k purchase price and has not won a race at all.

However, he was backed to half the odds I got and ran a blinder in the Queens Prize at Kempton on his seasonal reappearance. He came up against a bang in form rival and just got outstayed in the end as his stamina reserves started to run out.

The drop down in trip looks set to suit and Haydock will suit his running style. He is short, but this doesn’t look massively competitive.

3.10 Haydock: Sofia’s Rock each-way at 7-1 with William Hill (who are paying five places)

We did a cracking feature on Dan Skelton on the channel this week and I can hear him saying that his main strength is planning in my sleep.

His claim is thoroughly backed up by the figures he returns - especially in expensive handicap hurdles - and the eye is drawn to this lightly raced and rapidly improving horse.

He was bordering on Listed class on the flat for Mark Johnston – plus is a winner at this course - and has already shown similar form over hurdles in just three runs.

He has had trouble settling in novice hurdles and I think the move into a better run handicap will be of huge benefit.

Despite a lack of experience, he is capable of beating some more exposed types.

3.45 Haydock: Laugh a Minute at 9-4 with bet365

I see this small field conditions event as a coin toss and while it is very possible Emblazoned will end up being the best of these, my selection has plenty going for him today.

Laugh a Minute is a very useful sprinter as he showed when winning at Doncaster, and when a respectable second in a Group Three at Deauville.

His trainer, Roger Varian, is in excellent form this spring and he has booked the man who rides Haydock best of all in Richard Kingscote.

The favourite Emblazoned has not been seen since Ascot last summer and is entitled to need this.

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