Alan hoping the rain will stay away at least until Thursday

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February 20

We are promised plenty of rain for the second half of this week, but Alan hopes not until after Wednesday as he is looking to have several solid chances tomorrow, particularly with Paradias and Betterforeveryone at Doncaster and with Royal Deesside at Ludlow.

The more the ground dries out the better Paradias’s chance on Town Moor, and significantly, Alan has opted to send this useful Flat-racer north, where he has to shoulder a penalty, rather than take on hotter opposition in the Dovecote Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.

Alan, who has always rated Paradias highly, said:”If he is going to one of the spring Festivals it will be Aintree not Cheltenham. Paradias is a juvenile hurdler with plenty of speed, and, having won with plenty in hand at Lingfield on his jumps debut he then lost nothing in defeat when beaten by Supreme Hurdle hope Jeriko du Reponet at Newbury. He seems in very good form and this race should sharpen him up for Liverpool.

“As for Royal Deesside, it looks like he bumped into a good horse in Givemefive at Warwick, so off bottom weight he ought to be competitive here.”

Betterforeveryone has shown a liking for Doncaster and, having finished runner-up there last time, he was denied the chance to go one better when their meeting two weeks ago was a victim of the weather.

However, Betterforeveryone will be heading back up the A1 for the three-mile chase. A visor last time seemed to help, so Alan keeps the headgear on again here.

We should not dismiss Mount Olympus lightly in the maiden hurdle at Ludlow either. He won three on the Flat for us last year and has had his wind done since he disappointed on his debut at Hereford. As with all our Wednesday runners, he would definitely benefit from any improvement in the going.

There are no such worries about Two Past Eight at Kempton as he will be racing on polytrack. He was a respectable fifth at Lingfield last time, but Alan hopes switching to a visor from cheekpieces might help make the necessary improvement.