With Cheltenham hit by a deluge of rain Ben Linfoot highlights six mud-lovers ahead of the weekend of the November meeting that won't mind severe easing of the conditions.
After 37mm rainfall from Wednesday into Thursday, Friday's card has been abandoned as the course is flooded in areas as well as waterlogged in places.
The weather outlook for the next few days is showers on Friday with dry days currently forecast for Saturday and Sunday, so there is hope for the weekend although there will be a further inspection on Friday afternoon at 3pm.
If they do race it's going to be testing, so here are six mudlarks to look out for...
THE HOLLOW GINGE – 1.15 Cheltenham, Saturday
Wholestone looks the one to beat in the mallardjewellers.com Novices’ Chase but heavy conditions could be a great leveller and stablemate THE HOLLOW GINGE would be an interesting contender if allowed to take his chance. The son of Oscar has won on heavy ground a couple of times, including at Haydock, and has started his novice chasing career well with two good runs this campaign.
RAMSES DE TEILLEE – 1.50 Cheltenham, Saturday
It could be tough for RAMSES DE TEILLEE off a mark of 153 in the BetVictor Smartcards Handicap Chase but there’s no doubt worsening conditions are very much in his favour. He’s won on heavy ground on four occasions and simply loves it when the mud is flying, as he’s shown a couple of times in the gloom at Chepstow.
SPRINGTOWN LAKE – 2.25 Cheltenham, Saturday
SPRINGTOWN LAKE stays three miles and handles testing ground so his stamina reserves look a big plus in the BetVictor Gold Cup. He runs off a low weight, too, while he fared well a couple of times on heavy ground as a novice hurdler, including at Cheltenham. As a novice chaser he won on soft at Sandown and was a close second on Haydock heavy, so he should relish Saturday’s conditions.
EMINENT POET – 3.00 Cheltenham, Saturday
When you think of mud, you think of Venetia Williams, and her EMINENT POET would have to come into calculations for the Spinal Injuries Association Big Bucks Handicap Hurdle. The son of Montjeu has won seven times on heavy ground and is dropping back towards a tempting mark having run poorly a few times on better conditions in the spring.
QUEL DESTIN – 3.00 Cheltenham, Sunday
Monsieur Lecoq is the market leader for the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle and he won’t mind the mud, but QUEL DESTIN’s form on heavy is of a higher standard. A winner on heavy at Auteuil when he was trained in France, the most testing conditions he’s faced since joining Paul Nicholls were last time at the Showcase meeting and they helped him grind out a career-best performance.
MR GREY SKY – 3.30 Cheltenham, Sunday
Softer ground wouldn’t be sure to suit many of the potential runners in Sunday’s Sky Bet Supreme Trial, including Pacify, but Kim Bailey’s MR GREY SKY should have no problem in the mud. He looked a smart prospect to follow when winning a couple of soft and heavy ground bumpers at Haydock last December, and, while he’ll be going further in time, two miles on a stiff track in testing ground looks ideal first time up.