Haydock 3.35 - Handicap Chase - Class 3 - 3 miles 4 furlongs - Soft (could be very cut up at this stage) 12 run
At the head of the market here we have Kings Monarch, Don Poli and Midnight Tune.
I fear Kerry Lee's progressive Chaser a lot, but this will be a real stamina test for a young horse and I'm not sure they would want to bottom it out at this stage. Don Poli is I think not the horse it once was and Midnight Tune comes off a long break with very inconsistent form, although from a Yard who are currently thriving.
Financial Outcome had excuses last time and may well return to form for another Yard who has confounded the critics who wrote them unfairly off and it's great to see. Alminar is another progressive horse I like who has to prove stamina but would be a huge danger if doing so. Fortified Bay and Sumkindofking will win races but may be the former needs shorter and the latter further and both may still need the race.
I think in these conditions you have to work on what you know...we know that POBBLES BAY gets the trip, is fit (we tipped when runner up just under 4 weeks ago) and will enjoy conditions to the full, I think his price is just about right. We also know that PERFECT CANDIDATE loves this Course and Conditions, probably at 13 now it needs a run or two to get fit and possibly interested, the Yard have become a "win machine" and if 95% of the hunger he showed in winning this last year remains, he has a great chance to follow up. Owes no one anything and at the price, I'll give him another chance.
Tip - Pobbles Bay / Tracker - Perfect Candidate