Five horses who could prosper in wet conditions at York
Rain has been a rare sight across large parts of Britain in recent weeks but racegoers on Wednesday will be lucky to dodge it entirely, especially those planning a day out at York.
That news will be most unwelcome for those who had been hoping to get dressed up and enjoy the first meeting on the Knavesmire of 2017 in glorious weather, but there will be plenty of owners and trainers praying for the wet stuff throughout the day for horses who have shown a liking for it in the past.
Here we take a look at some runners heading to York who could appreciate a bit of the anticipated ease in the going.
Race: Infinity Tyres Handicap, 6f, Wednesday
The Mick Channon-trained six-year-old has won five times in his career, with four of those victories coming on either soft or good to soft ground, most recently when scoring at Pontefract last September.
A caveat would be that all five of those wins have come in the month of September, so it could be that the end of the season is the time to catch him, but Lincoln has put in some respectable placed efforts in the spring on softer ground and it would be foolish to think he is unable to strike in May.
Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (Group 2), 6f, Wednesday
It may have been good to firm at Newmarket when Brando landed the Abernant Stakes on his seasonal reappearance but rain should not be a problem for this emerging sprint star.
The five-year-old was most impressive when winning the Ayr Gold Cup on good to soft last September and Brando also has a Group 3 win in the soft at Sandown on his CV. He looks like one punters will be able to bank on no matter what the weather.
Betfred TV Hambleton Handicap (Listed), 1m, Thursday
It would be wrong to suggest Thikriyaat is a mud-lover but there is cause for optimism based on his second to subsequent Group 1 winner Ribchester on soft ground in last year's Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
His dam, Malaspina, had a decent second on good to soft ground at Deauville on her racing record, while Thikriyaat has a Newmarket win in the same conditions to his name. With stamina looking like an asset he could utilise this season, softer conditions could play to that strength.
Betway Yorkshire Cup (Group 2), 1m6f, Friday
Friday is a long way away and things could be very different by then, but if the ground gets really testing this is one of the races that has the most potential to become a slog. Trainer Jim Bolger may be quietly hoping that is the case, given what the outsider Twilight Payment has shown so far.
With bags of stamina in his locker, the four-year-old showed an aptitude for testing conditions when defeating Forgotten Rules in the Listed Loughbrown Stakes at the Curragh last September on heavy ground and was second behind Torcedor on his first outing this year, on ground described as soft.
Betway Jorvik Handicap, 1m4f, Friday
There is plenty about the unexposed Gibbs Hill that will make appeal to punters if he lines up on Friday and testing conditions may only add to the confidence of those who back him.
Roger Varian's four-year-old was a winner on soft ground at Sandown last year, when appearing to enjoy the going, while his half-sister Princess Charm was a Listed winner on very soft ground at Saint-Cloud in 2015.
Plenty of Mastercraftsman's progeny have shown a liking for cut, not least Kingston Hill, who represented the same owner and trainer combination when winning the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at a soft Doncaster.