The deluge that hit York on Thursday night had punters scrambling for their formbooks and a re-think yesterday morning. It certainly didn't do my selections any favours.
And, with more rain apparently forecast for Friday evening onwards, it makes sense for us to look towards soft ground lovers, or at least those horses who can act on any ground.
15:50 York - Opinion and Genzy
I can see Tiger Cliff getting hammered further in the Ebor if more rain does arrive with any venom - in fact, it has already shortened the best part of two points today thanks to that pesky Hugh Taylor of ATR fame - but the two I am focusing on in big 1m6f handicap are Opinion and Genzy. I also liked Number Theory at 38.037/1-plus but I can't get too greedy.
Tipping favourites isn't normally our style but Opinion is a horse I keep on coming back to here and he isn't a bad price at 7.26/1.
He is really progressive, and things clearly didn't go his way at Haydock last time. But the way he stayed on after meeting trouble in running augured very well for his chances over an extra 2f here.
His recent improvement has come on fast ground, but if the rain does come that shouldn't inconvenience him too much, though that would obviously test his unproven stamina more.
At one stage, he was rated a mud lover by some after two soft ground wins. I am surprised to see Genzy trading as big as 17.016/1, and he is my second bet in the race. As seemingly with all ex-French horses, he had soft ground form over there, and he can lay claim to being the best handicapped horse here on the evidence of his seemingly improved fourth in the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury last time. He would be one of my market leaders.
14:05 York - Sirius Prospect
I would have liked to see Sirius Prospect run a little better than he did at Goodwood last time but I may be being a touch harsh there as he did very a very stiff task off a mark of 105. Whatever the merits of that last run though, he looks the best play in the 14:05.
He won a handicap over course and distance off a mark of 102 on his previous start. That came on fast ground but he is equally at home in the soft; indeed, probably, his best effort came in testing conditions when third behind Maarek in a Group 2 at Ascot last October.
He looks a bet at 7.06/1 or bigger.
14:55 Goodwood - Loving Spirit
Over at Goodwood, I like Midnite Angel in the opener but one favourite in a day is more than enough for me - I can't stress enough how difficult it is to make it pay if you continually play at the top of the market.
I will certainly make Loving Spirit one of our bets in the 14:55 though - look for 12.011/1 or better.
He has yet to run a bad race this season, and has paid the price with a cumulative 9lb rise in the weights. But he excels in these strongly-run 7f races and I think a recent 4lb rise is justified after an excellent third at Ascot last time, where today's rival and subsequent winner Glen Moss was nearly two lengths away in 5th.
At around the 3.02/1 mark, I think the market may have slightly over-reacted to Afsare's Salisbury win last time as there are at least three horses you could line up against him here. But, again, if in doubt, opt out. The next betting opportunity will come round soon enough.
Back Sirius Prospect in the 14:05 at York at 7.06/1 or better
Back Loving Spirit in the 14:55 at Goodwood at 12.011/1 or better
Back Opinion in the 15:50 at York at 7.26/1
Back Genzy in the 15:50 at York at 17.016/1 or better