The end of the flat season is drawing ever closer but we still have some high-profile racing days on the horizon, including the excellent Cambridgeshire meeting starting Thursday. Our man Tony Calvin takes an ante-post look...
"And the break since his last run at Goodwood in July doesn't bother me at all, as he clearly goes well when fresh. He won after a similar break at Chester last year, won on his debut and after an eight-month absence at Meydan in February."
The three-day Cambridgeshire meeting starts at Newmarket on Thursday, and as well as the 35-runner 1m1f handicap there is obviously no shortage of class on show.
So let's start with Saturday's 2yo races, where we can deal with the Group 2 Royal Lodge pretty quickly, namely because Aidan O'Brien has nine of the 24 entries and a lot will hinge upon what he decides to run.
As a result, understandably, at the time of writing the race hasn't been priced up, and the exchange market is still in its formative stages.
O'Brien's Capri would appear to be the best of his nonet - is that the right word? - on form, but is clearly a race to revisit once we know the runners just after 10am on Thursday morning.
There is Group 1 action in the shape of the Middle Park and the Cheveley Park, in which we have short-priced favourites in Blue Point and Lady Aurelia respectively.
Blue Point is a top-priced 6-4 in the marketplace but I wouldn't be in a mad rush to take that price.
Yes, he probably sets the form standard on his 3-length defeat of Mokarris in the Gimcrack at York last time, but not by much. And Mehmas, back to 6f, and the O'Brien pair of Intelligence Cross and Prix Morny third Peace Envoy are certainly no mugs.
Lady Aurelia won the afore-mentioned Morny and she is the odds-on favourite in the Cheveley Park.
However, she wasn't remotely as impressive in victory over 6f in France than she had been over 5f on soft ground when a jaw-dropping 7-length winner of the Queen Mary - I am working on the basis of good ground at Newmarket this week, given the forecast (famous last words) - and I think trainers of the opposition will fancy their chances of picking up this speedball late on.
The Lowther one-two of Queen Kindly and Roly Poly are the most likely beneficiaries if the jolly does tie up sufficiently but, once again, it makes little appeal as a betting medium at this juncture.
We will come to the Cambridgeshire last, so let's go forward 24 hours and namecheck the two ante-post races on the Friday.
There were some glum faces when Fair Eva could only finish third in the Lowther and she bids to get back on the winning trail in the Rockfel Stakes.
She is the 2.1211/10 favourite for a race that has attracted 20 entries at the five-day stage, including two once-raced maiden winners in Exmouth and Wuheida, and that isn't the most tempting price I have ever seen.
If a fair few stand their ground then she is likely to be that price on Friday morning, and that is if she gets there. Ante-post backers of Mokarris didn't get a run for their money in the Mill Reef last week courtesy of the weather.
The Joel Stakes has only attracted 10 entries but it looks a fair turn-out in terms of quality - well, that may be pushing it - with game Haydock scorer Hathal, from the William Haggas stable enjoying a golden September, the market-leader at around the 4.57/2 mark.
Anyway, back to the big betting race of the week and it is no surprise to see Sacred Act top most betting lists and trade at 11.521/2 on the exchange.
He was friendless in the betting on his first start for 17 months at Sandown a fortnight ago but quickened up in the style of a classy animal, after having to wait for a run, to win there.
Under a 4lb penalty, he is very much the sexy, unexposed, lightly-raced improver in here. But he has had just five runs for a 5yo, so must have had plenty of problems, and this 35-runner cavalry charge will present a much different test than Sandown.
We know that this test holds no fear from last year's scorer Third Time Lucky or dual-winner Bronze Angel - and I've just clocked 2013 victor Educate is in here too - and the other horses at the top of the market all hold predictable, and fair chances.
Saeed bin Suroor has had a season to forget but his fortunes have been picking up of late - he virtually shut down for the summer with the virus - and he has three in here, with Carry On Deryck the one that interests me most at 30.029/1 on the exchange, and 25-1 each-way ¼ the odds 1,2,3,4,5 with the Betfair Sportsbook.
That five places is a good concession in an ante-post book.
I'll be honest. I don't know if the selection is an intended runner but he doesn't have any other entries, so I have to assume he is.
And the break since his last run at Goodwood in July doesn't bother me at all, as he clearly goes well when fresh. He won after a similar break at Chester last year, won on his debut and after an eight-month absence at Meydan in February.
Since returning to the country after winning on that stable debut in Dubai in February he has run three very solid races, without getting the breaks, to varying degrees, in all of those contests.
He was beaten only 4 lengths in the Hunt Cup despite being drawn badly in 25, and then he probably didn't have the required stamina over an extended 1m2f in the John Smith's Cup. He never really got into the race, though, so that is inconclusive.
We last saw him when he again ran well when sixth from a bad draw in 21 at Goodwood - the first five home were housed in 1,5,10,8 and 9 - where James Doyle gunned him out of the stalls into the lead from his outside draw, and he unsurprisingly paid for those exertions close home.
He has been dropped 1lb for Goodwood - every little helps - and he has big-field handicap form, having finished fourth in the Britannia when trained by David Evans, and that Dubai win came in a 16-runner, handicap.
Both of those starts suggested an extra furlong should be within his compass - indeed David Probert said he thought he would be better over 1m2f after getting off him after winning in Dubai - and I think he rates a very fair bet, both on the exchange and the Sportsbook with those five places.
Back Carry On Deryck at 30.029/1, and/or 25-1 each-way ¼ the odds 1,2,3,4,5 in Cambridgeshire on Saturday