5:20 Bath On The Gallops (15th April) RACS GROUP SPECIALISTS MAIDEN STAKES (CLASS 5) (3yo+)

With softening ground across the country it's not good news for most punters. Non runners, mud, mud not so glorious mud. I've ripped up the form book and searching for a horse wearing welling boots, poncho and born under the star sign Pisces. Where's the equine mystic come bon viveur Russel Grant when you need him? If this doesn't work I'm turning to tarot cards next week. 

Yesterday's two selections ran well enough although I thought Alan Swinbank's charge would prevail and a little unlucky to have his rather wayward ''friend'' intimidating him. Dods' horse ran ok, to a point, in fourth a huge odds. Not that does punters any good unless you love to bet four places on the exchanges. 

I have another three-year-old running at Bath, who may or may not be a good bet. Verne Castle was fancied to go well both starts last year and although far from disgraced didn't hit the frame (well, three places if you are fastidious). 

*Verne Castle is a gelding by Sahkee's Secret out of a talented mare, similarly owned and trained by Mr Balding (Ian, father, rather than Andrew, son). 

Lochangel was a gifted sprinter; an out-and-out Group 1 contender, who tasted victory at the highest level when winning the Nunthorpe Stakes Group 1 at York. 

Connections will be disappointed if Verne Castle can't find the winning thread this season and after an absence of almost 200 days, he should have each-way claims at odds of 13/2. 

NR - Verne Castle