Haydock 15:50

This is a very nice looking fillies' handicap for those rated 0-100, and it has attracted a useful looking field.

Southern Belle is at the top of the handicap and she has been running reasonably consistently of late. I do wonder if she will be tried over seven furlongs in time, as she is usually finishing her races strongly. She has tackled good to soft going once in the past when finishing mid division in a Group race. Her action makes me think that she may adapt to today's softer conditions with a degree of comfort, however, she is eight pounds higher than for her last victory so will need to be right at the top of her game to be involved in this.

The William Haggas trained Sainted was a little disappointing last time out at Goodwood, where she was fancied to run better than she did. That was in a Group 3 race though and the drop down in class today looks sure to benefit her. She has won in heavy going before so the softer underfoot conditions today will play to her strengths, and it's interesting to see her revert back to six furlongs, a distance that she has shown the speed for in the past. As long as she can go with the early pace here (which I think may be quite frenetic), then she will definitely be finishing off very strongly and I think she has an excellent chance. Haggas also has an excellent long-term record here at Haydock, winning nearly one in three races over the past five years.

Courier, with Barry McHugh on board, appears likely to be taking them along during the first part of the race as she is a confirmed front runner. This is quite a step up in class for her and I would be surprised if she was good enough to lead from pillar to post. She does have course form on soft conditions, however, and if they did give her a 'soft' lead, she may catch them by surprise. There are one or two that appear to be a class above though.

Futoon has been running creditably in Listed or Group races for much of this year and was a fine sixth place in the Skybet dash at York last time out. That race was run in similar conditions to today and the drop down to handicap level should see her be very competitive. She has bundles of speed having won over five furlongs twice before, and she looks one of the class acts in the race.

Today's selection

Futoon - 1 point each way @ 12/1

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