As Saturdays go, this weekend is another blockbuster in terms of quantity with eight meetings spread across the day and night and no less than nine televised on ITV - mainly from Beverley and Haydock.
The weather forecast is a bit mixed to say the least with both northern tracks due for rain in midweek, but a brighter and drier weekend. Not easy huh? No races either over 1m4f, and not a single two-miler, so it's speed most of the way.
Add into the mix the top two-year-old races on the Westwood calendar including the Hilary Needler makes for an interesting afternoon, plus one from Chester - although I had zero luck at the May meeting. A track that haunts me much like the ghostly viaduct down by the 7f start.
The Betfair Sportsbook were priced up nice and early with the Haydock races, and we'll gallop through some of the races there to chisel out a winner or two by taking in the 13:45 Achilles' Stakes and I am anticipating the move on the William Haggas-trained Hurricane Ivor considering how hot that yard is at the moment.
Quite frankly the stats are ridiculous, and as Haggas said on the 17-41 at 41%, they are not in rubbish races. He even plundered the prizes at the weekend in Germany and Ireland.
Hurricane Ivor was in at 10.09/1 and that's about right judged on his two below-par runs this term and he's been nowhere near his 2021 campaign.
A bit of dig in the ground suits him, and he wouldn't be as naturally nippy and sharp as some of his rivals as he takes a bit of stoking.
Indeed, last season with his three wins, he was matched higher in-running at nearly three times his BSP at Newbury and Doncaster, but he also joined the 999/1 club by hitting the top price in-play with a victory at Sandown.
However, I was impressed with rookie sprinter Clarendon House, and he landed four races in a very progressive season for Robert Cowell; being a favourite in all but one of his races last term. He clearly liked Bath, with some wide margin wins posted there, but away from the quick ground, and fast ground, he has shown he can handle a bit of cut.
His form with Raasel at Goodwood earlier in the season was a personal best and he was rated 99 then, up to 105 now, he needs to be taking in these sort of races.
Richard Kingscote was booked up on Tuesday and he's masterful from the front around Haydock. Clarendon House has made the running before, and as he's pretty consistent and uncomplicated, he is just about an each-way price at 8.07/1.
Another trainer impressing on the numbers front recently is Godolphin's other branch with Saeed bin Suroor, and he had two entered up in the Haydock 1m4f Handicap at 14:40 in Volcanic Sky 15.014/1 and Brilliant Light 9.08/1.
Both have similar profiles from Meydan; blowing hot and cold out there, but Volcanic Sky looks more of a stayer and doesn't look amazingly well treated from 107 as the top weight.
Brilliant Light was a winner at Ripon last time, and he received a good tactical ride on the pace, which is a must at that Yorkshire venue, and the front two dominated with the 91-rated Fishable back in second. A horse I backed that day. Win only may I add.
He looks more a 1m4f performer than his stablemate and he has a bit of pace for a stayer as he is capable of running near 11.60 sectionals. Indeed, some of his quickest were at the end from Ripon.
The 5yo looked a good prospect winning at Sandown in 2020, and he saw out the 1m4f very strongly on that occasion. Good ground is exactly what he wants and not quicker, so if the watering cans are out at Haydock we should be fine.
Mahrajaan is unlikely to be at 5.59/2 come Saturday for Haggas, and he dipped his toes in 1m6f waters last term on his final start having won the Lanark Silver Bell up at Hamilton.
He is certainly another who is progressive but is likely to be half the price of the Godolphin pick. Seventeen were in on Tuesday morning and this certainly has the potential to be one of the bigger fields for Saturday.
The Pinnacle will present a good chance for ralph Beckett's Albaflora to get her head in front having banged her head in Group 1 and 2 company last term - including against Snowfall when finishing a 4L second in the Yorkshire Oaks.
Saturday's Pinnacle is a drop in class to Group 3 company and she did win first time out last season at Ascot, so it was disappointing how she finished well beaten in the Ormonde at Chester earlier in the month. She was keen, but she had her ground, so she has a question mark ever so slightly, a Riddler-sized one.
Plus, she is 2.01/1, which is not a bet.
Sea La Rosa for Haggas is the most interesting at 4.3100/30, a typical Sea The Stars improver who excelled as a 3yo with four victories in 2021 - including her bolting up by nearly 5L at Lingfield on the all-weather in Listed company.
She turned the race into a procession, those were the words of the commentator that day and she couldn't have been more impressive with the way she made a big move going into the straight. She was about six-wide too so is worth upgrading.
Indeed, on the speed figures and clock, the early pace was quite hot, but her final three sectionals for a stayer were superb, with all three under 12.0 seconds. Indeed, making her move she posted an 11.42 - which at the end of a race highlights how strong these Sea The Stars are in terms of seeing out a trip.
She could be even better this season and stays strongly, and with her winning first-time out last term, I'd rather back her as an up-and-comer at 4.3100/30.
Haggas also has Haydock Spring Trophy winner Aldaary in the following John O Gaunt - but he was odds-on when the prices went up on Tuesday morning, and if there is any soft in the description or it lashes down, he could go even shorter as he smashed a field in heavy going at Ascot. He also won by 9L as a youngster at Leicester on heavy, so he's a weather-watcher horse for the weekend.
Beverley the place for the juveniles on Saturday
The two big races on the Beverley calendar are the Hilary Needler and the 2yo Trophy, and perhaps there could be a quick turnaround for a Royal Ascot speedster to stake a late claim - although I know from reading TC's columns down the years, juvenile 5f races are from from Tony's idea of punting nirvana!
Both could have big fields with 18 and 14 in on Tuesday morning, so it will be interesting to see how many stand their ground, and the quick ground at the time of writing adds into a hornets' nest of a day.
For the 14:05 Hilary Needler Trophy, I wouldn't give up on David O'Meara's Star Of Lady M 13.012/1. Perhaps she needs softer ground, that's a possible, but she is certainly better than what she showed at the Roodeye. She wouldn't be the first either to run no race there.
She ran absolutely no race at all in the Lily Agnes last time at Chester despite plenty of market support at a very short price, while Richard Hannon's Miami Girl is another quickie, and slammed a field on debut at Newmarket by 5L yet was well beaten in the Marygate.
Beverley locals could be in for a treat if Aidan O'Brien's Deneuve 11.010/1 makes the trip. She was a winner at Naas on debut over 6f and was pitched into the Marble Hill behind Blackbeard on her second run.
She needed every yard of the Curragh 6f on debut, but she has a sprinting pedigree and still looked a little green (which was understandable for that first run).
Dropping down to 5f at a stiff track could be interesting, and I've got no idea if O'Brien has ever had a runner at Beverley (I suspect not), but at 9/1 she might make my punting list ahead of the might of the Amo Racing team and Kia Joorabchian - who seems to specialise in quick horses. But the fact she ran recently might cast doubt nn whether she comes over to Yorkshire.
In football parlance it would be a Beverley top-of-the-table clash, although Kia might fancy his chances. Will she make the trip from Ballydoyle?
Good luck for Saturday.