Zain Arion might be a big price for the Betway Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock today, but don’t let that put you off her chance.

She bolted up on soft ground at York last month, so this going should suit, especially with the forecast of more showers. I know this is a big step up from handicap to Group company, but John Butler thinks she is up to it and I wouldn’t disagree. She looks an improving filly

John Egan, who is injured at the moment, got me the ride and was also very positive about her.

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That Is The Spirit runs in the Betway John Of Gaunt Stakes, another Group race, and is a nice ride to pick up for David O’Meara.

He will love the ground too, having won on soft and good to soft a few times. David’s horses are on top form as he’s had plenty of winners recently.

I think you can expect an improved showing from Desperados Destiny in the Betway Sprint Handicap, given the juice in the ground.

He had his first run for us at Ayr in May and didn’t show much that day, but he’s been working OK and Michael Dods’s horses are absolutely flying at the moment – he had three winners on Thursday.

The step up in trip should suit Mister Belvedere in the Betway Middle Distance Handicap. He will also appreciate some dig in the going and, again, the form of Michael’s horses is another plus.

I rode Memories Galore in December, when he came third, and he seemed like a nice horse, who would have a chance on his day in the Betway Dash Handicap.

I was disappointed not to win on Naggers on Investec Derby day as I think he was the best horse in the closing handicap. They went far too quick for him early on and we just couldn’t keep up, whereas the winner had a lot more early speed.

He’s a horse who is still improving though and there will be more to come. I really like him.

Another horse who keeps on getting better is Archie’s Affair, who completed a quickfire double when winning at Carlisle on Thursday evening. Stamina is really his forte and I think he’ll be better over further than the one mile and one furlong. Connections have been very patient with him and I think he could make up into a nice middle distance horse.

I was very sad to hear about Dandy Nicholls’ death after a long battle with illness. He is someone who I rode for a fair bit. He was very generous and always willing to help people out.

My wife, Adele, was apprentice to him and he gave everyone a chance if he thought they deserved one. He had a great eye for buying an inexpensive horse, who might have lost its way or be injured, and then rejuvenating them. My thoughts are with all his family and friends.

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