A quiet enough day with just three meetings, but there is some highly competitive action over the sticks from Exeter and Doncaster. It's rather pleasing to see two-midweek cards with such depth in quality. I will be at Exeter today hosting guests, so if you're about give us a shout!
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.
12:50 Exeter: Tallow For Coal 6.05/1 into 5.04/1
15:05 Exeter: Flutiste 6.511/2 into 5.59/2
15:50 Doncaster: Nollyador 7.06/1 into 5.04/1
16:20 Southwell: Glamorous Charmer 11.010/1 into 9.5017/2
The morning market drifters !
Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?
13:05 Doncaster: City Cheif 8/11 out to 5/6
Mark your card
The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!
In the opening 12:05 Handicap Hurdle (Cond'/Amateur Jockeys'), trainer Mel Rowley has only sent two runners to Doncaster, and she will look to enhance her 100% record over hurdles with Banana Joe 9.08/1.
Trainer Nicky Henderson sends out four horses to Doncaster today, and three are favourites. City Chief 2.111/10 looks like a winner in waiting in the 13:05 despite drifting in the market, while Gallyhill 6.05/1 needs to bounce back after a poor effort at Exeter and returns after a wind operation in the 13:40.
In the 14:15, Russian Ruler 2.111/10 looks like another very useful Novice Hurdler for the yard, and Hurricane Le Dun 2.35/4 will attempt to boost the trainers four for 18 22% strike rate in the closing bumper at 15:50.
In the 13:40 Limited Handicap Chase, Erne River 9.08/1 makes his seasonal/chase/handicap debut at Doncaster off an opening handicap mark of 127. He beat the now 147 rated Minella Drama in a Point to Point and will indeed play a hand in today's proceedings.
Jockey Ellis Collier has a 38% strike rate when riding for trainer Christian Williams. They partner today with the well-handicapped Daydream Aulmes 6.05/1 at Exeter in the 12:20.
In the finale at Exeter, the 16:05 Open National Hunt Flat Race, trainer Fergal O'Brien has a 38% strike rate at this venue in bumpers. Feast 2.111/10.
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.
13:20 Exeter - Breffniboy - Has won here twice (40%)
13:40 Doncaster - The Golden Rebel - Has won here twice (100%)
14:30 Exeter - Run To Milan - Has won here twice (33%)
14:50 Doncaster - The Macon Lugnatic - 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.
19:50 Southwell - Steelriver - Has won off 76 runs off 63
19:50 Southwell - Storm Over - Has won off 83 runs off 65
This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.
Trainer Fergal O'Brien has been operating at a 24% strike rate in the last 14 days. He has a whole host of runners today, but his best chance looks to be his bumper horse at Exeter Feast 2.47/5 in the 16:05 Open National Hunt Flat Race.
Trainer Jane Williams is today's furthest traveller. She has made the 272-mile journey to Doncaster for one runner. She saddles After The Fox 5.04/1 in the 12:05.
Race of the day
Exeter's 14:30 Handicap Chase looks like a highly competitive renewal, and nearly all of the 11 runners can be given some chance. The testing conditions mean it could turn into a right slog, so those proven on heavy ground may be the way to go. I like the chances of one making his seasonal return and an improving Novice in a competitive heat.
The first horse is Musical Slave, who has contested races at the Punchestown Festival, Cheltenham Festival and twice in Listed company in his last four starts. Five outings ago, his run at Newbury was an encouraging three-length fifth in Class 2 company when bumping into a subsequent Grade 3 winner in Clondaw Castle. Since then, the handicapper has dropped him nine pounds in the weights.
He now sits on his last winning mark and takes a drop into Class 3 company for the first time since scoring here in a Novice Handicap over 2m3f.
He is proven on the ground and has a fair record fresh, so he should be making his presence felt at an each-way price.
Dangers are aplenty, headed by Morning Spirit, an improving Novice Chaser who ran a blinder here 26 days ago on just his second start over fences. He looks a winner in waiting off this three pounds higher handicap mark of 132 and has proven himself at this stiff Exeter track.
There are no concerns about him with the ground, and he looks to have an excellent chance, so he will also be in the betting slip.
Of those at bigger prices, Run To Milan may have been underestimated given his liking for Exeter, and he remains in good form despite the combined beaten distance of 78 lengths the last twice.
He did too much too soon at Newbury and was given too much to do at Chepstow, but it was only a last gasp error here three outings ago that saw him unable to recover and on that evidence, he remains fairly treated.
He will need things to drop right, but he is a player on his best form here.
Big race verdict
I am torn between two, MUSICAL SLAVE and Morning Spirit but at the prices the former looks the each-way play. There is scope in the prices to back both, but the Musical Slave is better than the company he is keeping today, and although the latter could yet make up into a smart chaser he is priced accordingly. This is competitive and a fascinating heat.
Timeform hoping for a wonderful day at Donny
Timeform's Adam Houghton highlights a Nap, Next Best and Each-Way selection at Doncaster on Tuesday.
Read Timeform tips here.
Known to finally put his good form to use
I am somewhat surprised at the price of Known in the 15:20 Handicap Hurdle at Doncaster, given the strength in depth to his form.
He can easily be forgiven his seasonal return at Aintree on the back of a 249-day break when shaping as though he needed the run, but he travelled strongly to a point.
That was his first start over 3m which looked to have stretched him, and today's drop back in trip looks a good move.
Outside of that Aintree run, he has some solid form for one being rated as lowly as 113. He was better than the bare result at Warwick on his penultimate start when runner-up to Java Point (120) in a Maiden Hurdle, and his two final runs for Nicky Henderson in handicaps both saw him finish third in deep contests.
The first of those handicap runs were behind Corri Lindo (a soft ground Leicester course specialist), and A Distant Place (a well-handicapped horse off 123) and previously seven lengths third to the 135 rated Fifty Ball and 131 rated Straw Fan Jack at Ascot after a 290-day break.
This is far easier on paper than even his latest assignment, and he looks like a sure-fire improver today that has been written off by the market. This is a Betfair extra place race.
I've seen more and more of the "Info" tipsters on Twitter pop up all over the place recently, and it's something that drives me insane, especially when they charge people for the nonsense. I haven't worked out if I am more annoyed at the people who pay for it or those who charge.
You know the old "DM if you want today's info, been told it's a cert" rubbish.
It's crazy what Joe public seem to believe about horse racing. I was recently at Wincanton when some guy asked me what wins today? As he passed me by in the corridor, I naturally stopped and conversed with him and explained I fancied this horse and gave him the reasoning why. It was his response that had me baffled.
He said, "Nar I have a mate that's mates with the stable staff and he reckons that will win, they fancy it."
I obviously got the hump, as it's pretty much insulting my entire career, the only reason I am on the course, and it seemed like a complete waste of my time to stop and chat if that was his opinion. It was almost like he wanted to brag that somehow he new something I didn't - he has seen me before and knows I am the course tipster. However, I kept a cool lid on it and asked, "How many other yards fancy their horse in the same race? He looked slightly confused and replied, "I don't know".
That was the end of our conversation, and that stayed with me right up until race time. I watched thinking, I hope that horse doesn't win. It didn't and neither did mine, but I did finish second while his was eighth or ninth, and I walked away from that race feeling as though I had just backed the winner.
The point is, the "info" is all well and good, providing you know everything about every runner in that race. That is never, ever usually the case with these informants, so play safe.
Until tomorrow, be lucky.
Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7