It's good to be back for the next three days in the Racing News hotseat as Daryl Carter probably needs to lie down after the thrills of Shishkin and Energumene at Ascot on Saturday. If ever there was a race that lived up its billing.
However, while Monday certainly has a feel to it as being "after the Lord Mayor's show", a 4/5 winner at Southwell is just as good as a 4/5 winner in the Clarence House. Just don't run up the inside rail at Suvvell.
Punters of the Flat are spoilt for choice to kick off the week as the day plays host to three all-weather meetings at Southwell, Kempton and the later-starting Wolverhampton, and at least we have a 0-100 and 0-90 for the afternoon. So, it's not all doom and gloom!
Money Talk continues to highlight the Betfair Sportsbook big-money moves to keep you in the loop. This section highlights market moves between 1:00 am and 9:00 am.
13:15 Kempton - Silks Dream - 7.06/1 into 5.04/1
15:00 Southwell - Jewel Maker - 8.515/2 into 6.511/2
19:00 Wolverhampton - Brown Mouse - 11.010/1 onto 7.06/1
Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?
The market says LAY!
15:45 Southwell - Shadow Angel - 2/1 OUT to 5/2
Mark your card
The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!
There is one Extra Place Special at Southwell in the 14:30, so with 12 runners we can boost to four places for an each-way punt. Allowed 4.03/1 for trainer Ralph Beckett should improve again following her third at the track recently.
She looks ready for a step up to 1m3f and doesn't look a bad bet at around 3/1. The trainer isn't usually busy over the winter and has sent out just five runners in 2022, with none winning.
Beckett also sent out my favourite tweet of the year recently, by simply sending out the letter 'R'.
Jockey Connor Beasley has sussed out the new surface quickly, and he is 4-15 at 27% this year at Southwell and rides Aria Rose 19.018/1 for trainer Mike Murphy. Jack Garritty however is on the cold list with Charlie Bennett, and the former is booked on Richard Fahey's Let Her Loose - but he's winless from his last 42 mounts. Bennett hasn't scored in 91 rides so he won't need reminding.
Trainer David Barron is one of the hottest around at the moment with four wins from his last 12 at 34%, and some have been decent prices. He has three runners at Southwell with Homer Stokes 4.03/1 in the 15:00, Western Music 6.05/1 in the 15:30 and Henery Hawk 11.010/1 in the 16:00. A Sportsbook multiple on those three pays 220.0219/1.
Three Extra Place Specials at Kempton in the 13:45, 14:15 and 15:45.
Comeback kid Robert Winston is showing age is no barrier, and the 41-year-old who recently returned to riding after a brief retirement has five wins from his last 13 mounts at 39%. He only has one ride on the card in handicap debutant Here At Night 19.018/1 in the 15:45.
The warmest trainer by far at the moment is Charlie Hills, and he's ticking along at 55% with six success from his last 11 horses sent out. He has Marsh Benham 7.513/2 in the Kempton 13:15. He's got a 4lb pull for finishing second behind Exceling last time and could improve again and is shortlist material for a bet. A possible each-way bit of thievery too.
Horses for courses
This section highlights horses that have won twice or more at today's tracks and could be in with a chance today.
13:15 Kempton - Exceling 4.03/1 has won here twice (50%).
13:45 Kempton - Magicinthemaking 7.06/1 has won here twice (14%).
14:15 Kempton - Los Camachos 7.513/2 has won here three times (50%), Fennaan 23.022/1 has won here twice (50%), and Calin's Lad 9.08/1 has won here twice (67%).
14:45 Kempton - Rogue Force 10.09/1 has won here twice (67%).
16:20 Kempton - Liva 8.07/1 has won here twice (25%).
19:30 Wolverhampton - Plansina 5.59/2 has won here three times (27%), Lincoln Gamble has won here twice (67%) and Pope Gregory has won here twice (25%).
20:00 Wolverhampton - Scarborough Castle 3.814/5 has won here twice (67%).
Weighted to go well
"Weighted to go well" highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
13:45 Kempton - Griggy 5.04/1 has won off 65 and runs from 55.
14:15 Kempton - Spring Romance 6.05/1 has won off 76 and runs from 63.
13:00 Southwell - Aleef 26.025/1 has won off 81 and runs from 57.
This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.
If you are looking for an in-form trainer at the moment, look no further than George Boughey, who is 9-40 and five winners in the last 14 days at 24%. He has two horses in at Southwell and the best of his duo could well be Judy's Park 6.511/2. She is exposed and has been missing the break of late, but the booking of Harry Davies and his 7lb claim is one to note. Judy's Park had been backed on the Sportsbook last night from 13/2.
Davies is only 17 years of age and is attached to Andrew Balding, and he's in the right place after glowing reports when he rode Coolagh Magic at Lingfield to get up on the line to defy his tender years. That was his first success and he has since rode his second for Boughey. I'd say a name to watch out for in the future, but that would be like marking down Shishkin as "one to follow".
Having flagged up the 'R' man Ralph Beckett, his Allowed is the furthest traveller on the Southwell card at 188 miles from his Kimpton base in Hampshire. Her handicap debut last time at Wolverhampton was over slightly shorter and she will enjoy the extra yardage on Monday in the 14:30.
Over to Wolverhampton, Born To Sire 2.68/5 could be the popular one for Charlie Wallis. He makes the 177 mile trek from Essex to take part in a lowly Classified contest for the Dunstall Park opener at 16:30. He may be 0-22 in his career, but a second at Chemlsford coming from off the pace last time gives him a huge chance. Hollie Doyle is booked too.
Race of the day
The 0-90 at Kempton over the 7f at 14:45 has 10 runners and a rock-solid favourite in Whittle Le Woods at 13/8.
He was snapped up by Chris and Martin Dixon for 20,000 Guineas in the Newmarket Sales during the summer, and arrives into Monday's race with a win at Chelmsford off a mark of 77. He's up 3lb and looks as though he will stay 1m, so I doubt we've seen the ceiling of his improvement. He's a brother to Credit Swap, who won a Cambridgeshire from 87 over a decade ago for Michael Wigham.
If he can improve 12 to 14lbs for new trainer Mick Appleby, I wonder if that could be a long term target? The Horsewatchers buy very well, and the layers certainly don't take too many chances with their horses and this could be even shorter than 2/1 as a progressive improver.
Kevin Philippart De Foy's Street Kid fits the improving bracket too as he's 2-4 from the all-weather and has David Probert on who leads the winner table at Kempton over the last five season by a country mile with 80 in the board from 812 rides.
Street Kid has taken well to the artificial, which is not a surprise given his US pedigree by Street Boss, and he landed a 0-95 last time at Wolverhampton, his second success at Dunstall Park. His head carriage doesn't look convincing, but there's nothing wrong with his attitude and he can travel well sitting handy off a fast pace, so I wonder whether Wolves will be his best venue further down the line where they go a bit quicker.
I'm going to back Shoot To Kill at 11/2, another who has been a revelation joining a new yard. He was out of form with George Scott previously, but Robyn Brisland is doing a fine job and he's produced him to win three on the spin from 77, 79, 82.
He'll need a personal best today, but he's been the sort of horse that only does enough in a finish and he clocked a reasonable time scoring at "Leafy" most recently. The other plus is the booking of Harry Davies - a potential star of the future.
Big race verdict
It might be dangerous to go against Whittle Le Words, but several are progressive and Brisland has had three winners recently from 11 runners at 27%, with Shoot To Kill a winter flagbearer. Davies and his 7lb claim offsets the penalty, and he'll get a nice tow into the race from Enduring in stall one - a perfect pitch for a front-runner.
If you like to back and lay with a trade, Enduring from 14.013/1 will give you a great chance to go in and out for a green book, but I'll take Shoot To Kill at 11/2 on the Sportsbook.
Timeform see Whittle Le Woods as the banker at Kempton
Click here for the latest tips from Timeform
Timeform's Andrew Asquith provides the NAP, NB and each-way picks for the Kempton card on Monday, and the Horsewatchers could have another success in the shape of a 2/1 favourite at Kempton.
Is Daryl in the Jonbon fan club?
My Betfair colleague Daryl isn't totally "off, off" as he has penned his latest piece reflecting on a superb weekend in terms of performances for Cheltenham. He has crunched the numbers with the clock, provided forensic analysis and has all the latest price moves. But he still hasn't been converted to Jonbon! It's well worth a read and five minutes of your time with so many impressive horses from the weekend.
I also have my Daily Racing Multiple column for Monday (a shameless plug I know), and while the weekend was a blank, I nearly hit an 80/1 double last week and landed a couple of each-way multiples. So we need to get on the scoresheet this week.
Read Daryl Carter's Cheltenham Festival Focus here
Several thoughts in fact. Shishkin's Clarence House win certainly got Twitter going on Saturday, and that's what racing's all about - big clashes with big horses. Timeform's provisional ratings were Shishkin 181p and Energumene 180, so for those that witnessed the race first hand, it certainly was great, an epic.
Whether it was the greatest, I would have to disagree as I was near the last fence for the 2011 Gold Cup at Cheltenham when Long Run beat Denman and Kauto Star, and that on ratings alone would take some beating.
But nothing will top the legendary Tidal Bay winning the 2012 Lexus in Ireland (click here to view). The field of eight had a 173 horse and the lowest was 153. But the old boy still done 'em on the line.
The weekend also provided a contrast of two owners. Rich Ricci's famous pink silks were in the winner's enclosure at Haydock following Royale Pagaille's success, while Shishkin and Energumene saw the yellow and black colours of Joe and Marie Donnelly beat the blue of Brighton chairman and poker genius Tony 'The Lizard' Bloom.
Ricci is rather flamboyant, as witnessed with his new hairdo under the trademark trilby on Saturday. But you barely hear anything from the Donnellys, with Joe a well-known art collector with some Matisse and Picassos housed in his swanky Vico Road gallery.
Topping the lot though is John Magnier - who reportedly sold an Amedeo Modigliani for $157 million. Personally it's not for me, I am more of a Gustav Klimt man. That $157 million could buy you a few Shishkins. And maybe two Hydrogens and a Green Monkey.
Good luck today!