It's Halloween, but hopefully there won't be too many frights in store for Placepot hunters at Haydock.
"Normally, we’d be reluctant to take short-priced favourite Ma Filleule on her British debut... but with a complete lack of anything solid against her we’re going to bank on her."
13:40 - Both hurdling debutants among the quintet have form on the Flat that would afford them plenty of respect, but Right To Rule's Flat form wasn't bad either and, with experience on his side, he's assured of a spot. We're going to throw in one of the debutants alluded to above, namely Deepsand from the Tim Easterby yard. He has plenty of form on testing ground already and probably has more speed than Suraj, which would be a help if this race turns messy.
14:15 - Plenty of interest among the runners for this handicap chase, for all there are only seven of them. Pairing Harris Hawk and Newton Tonic should be enough to see us through, though. Both are open to improvement over fences, while Newton Tonic's fitness is likely to be assured after a recent blow-out at Ffos Las.
14:50 - Normally, we'd be reluctant to take short-priced favourite Ma Filleule on her British debut following a near six-month absence, but with a complete lack of anything solid against her we're going to bank on her. There is plenty to recommend her, fitness doubts aside, as she's got plenty of experience over jumps up to a borderline-useful level, while she's also a half-sister to very smart chaser Mon Parrain.
15:20 - This looks far from the best race of its type, especially in terms of those looking for solid Placepot options. Our two best bets are represented by Ballybough Gorta and Allanard; the former might have had enough for the time being and the latter is rendered somewhat inconsistent by his slap-dash jumping, but both have looked in form of late and are well worth chancing.
15:55 - Again, few of these look sufficiently reliable to command a place in our perm, especially with the normally reliable Parc des Princes out, so we're going to have to take the best fit. San Telm is arguably still improve, has fitness guaranteed and will surely stay the trip, so he's in. Second selection Yesyoucan looks to have been handed a pretty severe mark, but he's potentially open to plenty of further improvement for Brian Ellison and the step up to two and a half miles.
16:25 - Another race in which a would-be selection, in this case Prosecco, has been taken out. Tahiti Pearl would have been in alongside Prosecco anyway, while Bhaltair is preferred as our backup option with cheekpieces looking to spark a return to form in him last time.
13:40 - 2, 4
14:15 - 2, 6
14:50 - 6
15:20 - 5, 6
15:55 - 4, 5
16:25 - 1, 6
= 32 lines