With a packed Sunday of racing, Alan Dudman looks ahead to three of the meetings at Carlisle, Ascot and Doncaster for his latest Bets Of The Day instalment...
"The daughter of Azamour enjoyed a busy and fruitful campaign in 2015; racing eight times and winning three - including a pair of handicaps. She was very progressive, had a bit of mettle, and had a thoroughly likeable attitude."
15:55 Carlisle - Vayland's mark too good to turn down
You cannot back Vayland on recent form. In fact, his efforts for trainer Micky Hammond in five outings over fences since joining from David Pipe have been awful.
Poor form means a dropping mark, and this seven-year-old is too well-handicapped to ignore from a chase rating of 102. Considering he was a 124 novice hurdler, he should finally be able to do himself justice over the larger obstacles - and this is the weakest race he has been in for some time.
16:20 Ascot - Batsman can pick veterans off
I'm a fan of the these veterans' races, and this 16:20 looks a cracking handicap.
And looking at the make up of the field, it could really suit Opening Batsman. This chase handicap over three miles will be run at a good pace - as front-running pair Pete The Feat and last year's winner Creevytennant only know one way of going.
My selection was ridden in rear last time out in a hot Grade 3 handicap at Kempton, beaten 10 lengths behind Theatre Guide. He may have been flattered and held up for a place, but a repeat here with those tactics could see him come late if the pace fails to last.
Harry Fry's horse hasn't quite lived up to early expectations, but his latest outing is decent form coming into this sort of contest.
He might be the type for an in-running back of around 18.017/1.
17:15 Doncaster - More success for Mischief?
The ground at Doncaster on Saturday looked fairly atrocious, and for the large part, it seemed a day to sit handy and be up with the pace. That certainly was the case for yesterday's two closing contests over 1m2f.
With the testing conditions, trip and a prominent racer in mind, then More Mischief should go well in this.
The daughter of Azamour enjoyed a busy and fruitful campaign in 2015; racing eight times and winning three - including a pair of handicaps. She was very progressive, had a bit of mettle, and had a thoroughly likeable attitude.
She flew home at Hamilton last June, but one of her best efforts came at the end of the season - when finishing second to Moonrise Landing. Her conqueror that day has since landed a big pot on the All-Weather Championship card at Lingfield, and she's now rated 103 with an entry in the Yorkshire Cup.
More Mischief has been ridden from the front and stays two furlongs extra than today's distance. Plus her trainer Jedd O'Keefe had three horses that all ran well yesterday at Donny, including two placed ones at 33/1.
She could still be progressive from a mark of 85.
Sunday's Recommended Bets (all half point)
Back Vayland @ 10/1 Sportsbook price in the 15:55 at Carlisle
Back Opening Batsman @ 9.08/1 in the 16:20 at Ascot
Back More Mischief @ 8.07/1 in the 17:15 at Doncaster
Alan Dudman's profit and loss
This Week: -3.50
Previous Week: +12.50
2016 P/L: +18.96
2015 P/L: +20.14