With the volume of rain that is around at present, it’s hard to believe that the going won’t have at least some ‘soft’ in it for most meetings this weekend.
He ran a really good race at the same track on his most recent start, when only beaten a couple of lengths, and the handicapper has dropped him another 1lb in the weights since. That was his second run of the year, so he should be absolutely spot-on now, and he loves a bit of juice in the ground, so he should have everything in his favour to put in a big run.
Another one I’d be looking out for is Billy No Mates as he comes back down in trip from a mile and three-quarters to a mile and a quarter in the Racing TV Straight Mile Series Handicap (and yes, despite the name of the race, it is run over a mile and a quarter!).
Having shaped really nicely in the big ladies’ race at York in June, he went up in trip at Haydock afterwards but looked as if he just didn’t quite get home. He was bang there two out and coming back in distance looks a sensible move. I hope he’s got a big chance.
I’m delighted to be getting on Burning Topic for David Lanigan in the Celebrate the Life of Ann Allport Maiden Stakes.
She ran a really nice race at Yarmouth last month and there isn’t a great deal of depth to this race so you would be hoping she will be going very close to breaking her duck here.
Nearly There is my final ride of the day for Wilf Storey in the first division of the Happy Wedding Anniversary Mr & Mrs Brown Handicap. He is a course-and-distance winner just two starts ago. Hopefully he can give another good account of himself.
It was good to ride a winner for Dr Koukash when Humble Gratitude scored for Ian Williams at Chester on Sunday and then I was on board the following day when Phil Makin had his biggest winner as a trainer with Lahore in a nice sprint handicap at Ripon.
Phil has done a good job with this horse, having not had him long in the yard, and hopefully there will be a nice race up at Ayr’s Western Meeting for him now, especially if this autumn weather hangs around for more than a couple of days.
Away from the racing, the thing I am looking forward to most this weekend is the new Barclays Premier League season and on Sunday I’ll be heading over to Old Trafford with my daughter to watch Chelsea take on Manchester United.
I don’t get to go to as many games as I would like - for obvious reasons - but I’m cautiously optimistic for Chelsea at the start of the new campaign, especially now that Frank Lampard is in the hotseat. A top-four finish would be just fine this season. I’m more of a realist than some!
Select any odd to add a bet