Top commentator Simon Holt has three selections for Saturday's racing including Captain Redbeard in the Peter Marsh Chase.
HAYDOCK regular CAPTAIN REDBEARD finished second in last year's Peter Marsh Handicap Chase and is fancied to go one better in Saturday's renewal.
While snow could threaten racing, ground conditions may not be so arduous than 12 months ago when the selection chased home easy winner The Dutchman, and this will help Stuart Coltherd's mount to hit the line a bit more strongly.
Captain Redbeard's stamina on a better surface is not really in dispute after a possibly unlucky effort behind Vintage Clouds here in November when he was beaten less than two lengths into third having been twice hampered on the way round.
A subsequent lacklustre effort at Aintree can be forgiven as, in three runs over the Grand National course, the 10-year-old has looked half the horse he is at Haydock where he boasts a really consistent record.
At Ascot, ECU DE LA NOVERIE looks the most promising runner in the Matchbook Amateur Riders Handicap Chase.
David Maxwell's French import, a winner at Pau last January, made a bright start to his career in this country when holding off subsequent winner Mister Fisher in a novices hurdle at Newbury in November and was then giving plenty of weight to the winner when beaten by Rough Night at Lingfield.
Switched to fences at Haydock last time, the five-year-old was possibly in front soon enough in the home straight and looked a bit green on his first attempt over British obstacles when finishing third to the Venetia Williams-trained Didero Vallis who has now won his last two races. This could be an easier opportunity.
Later, in the Matchbook Holloway's Handicap Hurdle, it could be worth taking a chance on COLONIAL DREAMS over a slightly shorter trip compared to his reappearance effort behind Erick Le Rouge at Kempton.
Nicky Henderson's gelding travelled well until approaching the second last that day over a trip of two miles and five furlongs and now drops two furlongs over a course and distance at which he was successful last season.
Dropped two pounds for that seasonal debut, Nico De Boinville's mount is reasonably handicapped on his effort at Sandown last February when he was in contention when falling at the final flight and looks open to improvement.
Posted at 1530 GMT on 18/01/19.
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