MUD-LOVERS will be in their element at Thirsk this evening and Beat The Shower could well prove an appropriately-named winner of the opening race.

Trainer Peter Niven, who is currently preparing his stable star Clever Cookie for the Betfred Ebor at York, is running Beat The Shower in the Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Handicap over two miles.

The mount of the promising Philip Dennis, Beat The Shower is a course and distance winner. Furthermore, he is also proven on soft ground, which will stand him in very good stead this evening.

The eight-year-old is closely matched on form with Malcolm Jefferson's Anne's Valentino, but over this trip and slightly better off at the weights after finishing fourth to that rival over one and three-quarter miles at Redcar in May, the positions may be reversed.

Sheriff Of Nawton is another horse with winning form on soft ground and David O'Meara's charge consequently deserves respect in the Calverts Carpets Handicap.

The three-year-old won at Redcar in early-May on soft ground and was subsequently a beaten favourite on good-to-firm on the same course. Sheriff Of Nawton has not been seen for nearly three months, but lack of fitness is seldom an issue with O'Meara runners and he is napped to resume his season on a winning note.

Nawton-based O'Meara could have a good night on his local track. The speedy Innocently should take some catching in the Market Cross Jewellers Handicap, provided he can handle the conditions, while the promising ex-French recruit Cagoule is fancied to have the edge over Royal Connoisseur in the Bet On The Move - Racing UK's App Maiden Stakes.

Up at Ayr this afternoon, the main focus of attention will be on former North Yorkshire-based jockey Fergal Lynch, who is returning to a British racecourse for the first time after an absence of almost six years.

Lynch had a ban that prevented him riding in Britain lifted last week by the BHA, subject to an ongoing review and the imposition of several conditions.

Lynch, 36, will ride Mr Bounty for Co Kildare-based trainer Michael O'Callaghan in the Danny Tyson Handicap (division two). The four-year-old was an all-weather winner the last time he came to Britain earlier this year and merits plenty of respect.

Richard Fahey, who hit the heights in France yesterday when Garswood won the Group I Prix Maurrice de Gheest at Deauville, can score with Ingleby Symphony in the Salt House Handicap.

The four-year-old ran out an eight lengths winner on this course on Saturday night and is taken to complete a rapid double, despite a 6lb penalty. George Chaloner again has the mount. Fahey and Chaloner can also strike with the in-form Her Red Devil in the Conference And Events At Ayr Racecourse Handicap.

The promising Looking Good may prove the answer to the opening British Stallion Studs Maiden Stakes.

David Brown's filly ran two decent races in the spring and has since had a ten-week break, which may have allowed her to strengthen a little more. She is well-regarded and remains a filly to keep on the right side. Graham Lee has the mount.

Clumber Place (3.00), another course winner on Saturday night, and Go Go Green (4.30), who will appreciate the give in the ground, are two others to consider.


Ayr today

2.30 Looking Good, 3.00 Clumber Place, 3.30 Mr Bounty, 4.00 Ingleby Symphony, 4.30 Go Go Green, 5.00 Saxonette, 5.30 Flippant, 6.05 Her Red Devil.

Thirsk today

5.25 Beat The Shower, 6.00 Bright Flash, 6.30 Auusie Ruler, 7.00 Innocently, 7.30 Skinny Latte, 8.00 Sheriff Of Nawton (NAP), 8.30 Cagoule.

Today's other meetings

Wolverhampton and Windsor.

Tomorrow's meetings

Carlisle, Ffos Las, Lingfield and Nottingham.