Richard Hoiles has four tips across Tuesday's cards and likes the look of one at 11-1 from the in-form Rebecca Bastiman yard. Get the commentator's best tips every Tuesday here on Racinguk.com
On the way back from Salisbury yesterday evening it could well have been October.
There was driving rain and near darkness at 6pm, which was another reminder that accurately predicting the weather, and hence the ground, has been a major headache over the last week or so.
The forecast for racing today features rain to varying degrees at all meetings and so ground conditions and betting markets are likely to under several transformations to reflect the weather and likely non-runners.
Rebecca Bastiman has her string in really good form but with the ground potentially going against See Vermont earlier on in the afternoon it could be Hitman who represents her best chance of another winner in the Royal Dragoon Guards Handicap.
Hitman was placed on soft ground on his first start for the stable at Wetherby four runs ago and got too far back at Ripon last time to land any meaningful blow.
Another 3lb drop in the weights means Hitman is now 6lb below that Wetherby effort and could prove competitive at 10-1, given a good pace to run at.
Despite a busy campaign Childesplay sluiced through the mud last time at Newbury and with the prospect of similar conditions in the Illston-On-The-Hill Handicap towards the end of the Leicester card the six-year-old can follow up.
Having been rated as high as 87 in her younger days, today’s mark of 79 is reduced by 5lb due to David Egan’s claim (he also rode the mare at Newbury).
It should not, therefore, prove an issue in a race where it may be all about handling ground conditions and less about weights and measures.
Michael Dods is having a good time with his juveniles with the twelve successes on turf to date, only two shy of his best juvenile total of fourteen with plenty of the season still to go.
Grimeford Lane has shown steady progress on all three of his runs to date and shaped as if the mile would be within his compass when staying on in to second at Ayr last time.
Of my four selections he is the one with the biggest question mark on the likely good to soft ground, having never encountered such conditions but the record of his sire, Zoffany, on the soft ground lends hope.
Although his dam, Bean Uasal, is by Oasis Dream she broke her maiden on soft ground at Naas so there is another dose of optimism for the Red.com Nursery Handicap.
Mr C’s Pontefract win in June last time came on fast ground but such is the record of his sire, Fast Company, on rain-softened ground that he may well improve further under tonight’s conditions.
What was particularly likeable was the good attitude he displayed that day to win by a head from Akkadian Empire, which should stand him in good stead if it turns into a battle.
He will stay 1m 4f in time but the likely testing conditions will help ensure that this 1m 2f takes some getting.
Richard Hoiles's tips: (Times correct at 9.30am):
4.30 Leicester:: Childesplay at 7-2 generally available
5.35 Nottingham: Grimeford Lane at 9-4 generally available
8.05 Nottingham: Mr C at 7-4 generally available