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There are six races live on ITV today, starting with the 13:50 at York, which looks like a cracking two-year-old event. Trainer David Loughnane is operating at a 29% strike rate with his two-year-olds this season and saddles Carmela 6.05/1.
Miami Girl 4.03/1 looked right out of the top draw for Richard Hannon at Newmarket, as did Pillow Talk 7.06/1 for Karl Burke at Nottingham, and Burke has booked jockey Daniel Tudhope who has a 24% strike rate on his two-year-olds.
Trainer Richard Spencer is profitable at £50 to a £1 level stake at Newbury. Today he saddles Bernardo O'Reilly 7.06/1 in the 14:05 a race where he is the only horse running over the correct trip and could prove hard to beat.
In the 14:25 at York, only two favourites have won this contest in the last ten years, and all winners have recorded an RPR between 102 and 113. Grande Dame 3.02/1 will need a huge performance to record an RPR in this region on the back of an 89 on debut. Perfect News 4.57/2, Girl On Film 7.06/1 and Fonteyn 7.513/2 look the three to focus on in this regard.
The 15:00 is our race of the day!
In the 15:35 at York, Stradivarius 2.01/1 will look for a sixth-course win to maintain his 100% record and has won first time up here three times. He looked as good as ever when unfortunate at Ascot on his final start last term, so he is hard to knock.
In the 16:10 at York, Speycaster 5.59/2 has been well supported 10/1 into 9/2 overnight and should relish the step up to 1m4f after catching the eye at Nottingham. His form suggests this mark of 82 is well within reach. Still, James Doyle and Charlie Appleby are a force to be reckoned with when partnering at York. They have a 26% strike rate here and team up with Wild Crusade 2.47/5.
Horses for courses
This section highlights the best bets from horses that have won twice or more at today's tracks.
15:00 York - The Flying Ginger - Has won here twice (50%)
16:45 York - Challet - Has won here twice (67%)
19:20 Hamilton - Sir Chauvelin - Has won here three times (100%)
Weighted to go well
"Weighted to go well" highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
16:35 Newmarket - Shamshon - Has won off 71 runs off 58
19:00 Aintree - Theatre Legend - Has won off 128 runs off 118
20:55 Hamilton - Quanah - Has won off 65 runs off 53
Today's furthest travellers are trainers George Boughey and William Knight. Both have made the 361-mile journey to Hamilton, and both have one runner on the card.
Boughey saddles Malrescia 1/3 in the 17:40, and Knight saddles Percy's Pride 10.09/1 in the 19:20.
Race of the day
York's competitive 15:00 Handicap is a race where some sort of case can be made for most, yet the majority of the field is vulnerable to an improver.
This could be a good opportunity for Rogue Bear, who has been knocking on the door in better handicaps than this one in his last two starts and should relish the step up in distance today.
He looks like the potential improver in the field, and he is two for two when racing around a bend. There's certainly a win in him off of this handicap mark and today looks the ideal set-up.
Cockalorum goes well fresh and is handicapped to have a say back down to the handicap mark that saw him finish a close second in last term's John Smiths Cup over course and distance. This is not the deepest assignment he has tackled in the last 12 months, and although he would probably prefer a bit more dig in the ground, he is not one to totally write off.
Parachute will need the blinkers to kick start some sort of improvement. The bare form of his three-year-old and the two-year-old season looks good, but he has failed to progress since then while many others have improved.
It would be folly to judge him on those runs these days, but it may just be that the drop back in trip and the fitting of the headgear sees him finally take a step forward.
Big race verdict
This is a good race, but Rogue Bear is the potential improver in the field with rock-solid recent form, which suggests he is clearly ahead of the handicapper if things can drop right for him. The draw, the bend, the pace and the class of race are all in his favour, so the excuses will be wearing thin should he disappoint today.
Thanks for your question @Carlkform.
Yes, this is an issue. There seems to be no fixed time schedule for when races are priced up across the board. Outside of the big meetings at Betfair, the traders consistently have them priced up between 17:00 and 18:00 daily.
We usually see the fishing rods out from the clueless William Hill, who are wild with their prices and cut them to match bet365 as soon as they display theirs. Sometimes it seems as though some firms are waiting to see what moves in the William Hill or bet365 markets before pricing. It seems a mess.
Farhan is Hamilton's best bet
Away from the main action today at York, Farhan 2.56/4 makes plenty of appeal in the 19:20 at Hamilton.
This looks like an excellent opportunity for last year's Old Rowley Cup runner-up, who is entitled to take a good step forward for his seasonal return on the all-weather.
He was highly progressive last season in stronger races than today's, and it was encouraging to see him run so well on the all-weather when he has a 0-4 record.
The switch back to turf and particularly soft ground for which his record is 100% (2-2) and under a useful seven pounds claimer means he is very hard to ignore. This is far less competitive than his latest outing on soft ground at Doncaster when a runaway winner, and he looks primed for a career-best effort - not that it would take one to win.
Carter's Saturday fancies
At Newmarket on Saturday in the 14:25, I am keeping faith with Pocket The Profit 10.09/1, who has had excuses for his last two outings and remains on a very workable handicap mark. In the hope that jockey Hector Crouch can make more use of him early doors, he remains a winner in waiting - see you at the bottom of the cliff.
At Thirsk there are two bets. In the 16:05, Tinto gave the firm impression he was ready to strike when unlucky over course and distance last time out, and he can capitalise on this much-reduced mark. In the 16:40 at Thirsk, Northern Express left the impression there was more to come when matching his career-best figures on seasonal return when unfortunate at Musselburgh and given many of Michael Dods' horses have needed the run this term, he could prove well ahead of the handicapper.
All the Derby trials are now run, and Desert Crown was surely the most impressive winner of the lot. He looked brilliant, especially considering his trainer expressed that he was only just ready to start back. I loved the way he moved into contention and then showed greenness in the closing stages when hitting the front, suggesting there is plenty more to come. On the face of it, I am sure we will look back at this Dante and say it wasn't the strongest of renewals, but he could do no more than he did. Would I take 3.02/1, no.
I still like the chances of Walk Of Stars 17.016/1, who has been pushed out to 16/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook in the Derby market. He is learning all the time and is a slow burner, but there's certainly more to come.
It's shaping up to be a right race this season!
Until Monday, be lucky.
Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7