Mud lover Hainan looks set to go well at sodden Haydock

Haydock has been blasted with rain in recent days and with the going already described as heavy, there has to be a serious doubt about Saturday's meeting.

If it does go ahead, it will be as testing as it gets for the Peter Marsh Chase (3.15pm) and the one I think will go well is Sue Smith’s HAINAN.

He returns to the course where he bolted up by 12 lengths in November in similar conditions to those he’ll face on Saturday.

That was three furlongs further than this contest, meaning he’ll have no problems getting the trip, which is a must in such testing conditions.

Smith tends to do well with these long distance chasers and so the 7/1 generally available looks decent each-way value.

Venetia Williams’ horses normally excel when the going gets tough and Yala Enki is a proven mud lover.

However, as mentioned in my Ascot preview, with her stable going through a dry patch, I’m happy to look elsewhere.

Rock The Kasbah is the current favourite, but having been withdrawn from the Welsh National because of the testing ground, his participation must be doubtful.

Earlier on the card, the Nicky Henderson-trained Claimantakinforgan is currently heading the betting for the Supreme Novices’ Trial.

I’d be very surprised if he runs on ground as bad as this, so I’m interested in WATERLORD, trained by Donald McCain.

He has won his last two races by a total of 26 lengths, including over course and distance on heavy ground last time.

His trainer is having a great season and Waterlord certainly won’t go off at his current price of 15/8 if Claimantakinforgan doesn’t run.


Waterlord 1.30pm Haydock

Hainan e/w 3.15pm Haydock

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