Tony Calvin was in scintillating form on the first day of York's Dante meeting with winners at 15.014/1 and 9.08/1. Here are his three picks for day two in north Yorkshire...
"Robert Cowell's horses are in red-hot form and this horse has also run screamers on both his visits to this track. He handles both good and soft ground, so no worries on that score, and he looks set to run his race from a midfield draw."
James Given could find himself, perhaps unexpectedly, in the winners' enclosure at York tomorrow afternoon, so let's hope that no Betfair or Timeform representative at the track goes and says well done afterwards.
Unless, of course, they are wearing a red costume, with horns, mask, and holding a trident, and go by the name of Lucifer.
After Dandino won a handicap at Epsom on Derby day in 2010, Geoffrey Riddle, then doing a live blog for Beftair from the big meetings, approached winning trainer Given to get a line for his piece.
Upon identifying himself, Riddle was rather taken aback with the trainer's response: "Betfair?" Given queried. "Betfair? You lot are the devil incarnate. The absolute devil." Then he walked off.
He could have been joshing and in high playful spirits, of course, as some trainers do after a big win. And I suspect he was. But, if not, I would hope that Betfair's £40 million five-year commitment to the sport has softened his attitude somewhat...
But I digress, and on a more serious point, it wouldn't surprise me in the least were there to be a massive upset in the Dante, and that Given was again a very happy bunny after a big-race win.
True Story could be the best 8-11 shot in a long while if handling the ground - he could chew this field up and spit them out if half as good as he looked in the Fielden - but connections are obviously worried, and they will no doubt instruct Kieren Fallon not to be hard on the horse if he is hating it.
To judge from today's times, I suspect that the going will be nowhere near as soft as some were expecting earlier in the week though - unless the possible showers arrive in force this evening - and he will dot up. But it could be that Odeon is the recipient if True Story fails to deliver. He hardly shone on soft ground in his sole start as a 2yo himself but he looked a different proposition when running away with a 1m1f Redcar maiden on his reappearance.
And the form has substance, too. The nine-length runner-up went into the race rated 84, and won a Beverley handicap off 80 by 3¾ lengths next time.
And that compares favourably to Arod's Windsor win in my eyes, and there are doubts about all of True Story's other rivals. There is talk that second favourite Bunker will need this, The Great Gatsby looks a very doubtful stayer and Saab Almanal has plenty to find.
Odeon's pedigree is all stamina - he is by Galileo and a brother to Godolphin's Group 2 winning stayer Kite Wood - so there is more to come stepped up in trip.
The ground is a slight concern - though he did show a pretty high knee-action at Redcar, if those showers do materialise.
Ok, it's a bit of a flier, but at the odds I am going to take a little stab with my trident at odds of (24.0] or better in the win market, for a place too at 6.05/1 upwards. I will also be looking to back him in Betfair's "without favourite" too, when the market is up on Thursday morning.
All in, to small stakes, it is then!
The more it dries out the better for Ambivalent in the 14:15 and I am going to side with her at odds of 6.05/1.
It is a trappy little race but she is the form horse in here and probably deserves to be favourite, ground concerns or not.
She is unpenalised for her Group 1 win, ran a good second in this race last season and comes here after probably a career-best when third to Gentildonna in the Sheema Classic last time. If the sun keeps shining, she has a big chance.
The 15:15 looks too difficult for me, but at a push I would side with Queensberry Rules, who has been gelded since last season, but I think Normal Equilibrium has a fair chance of following up his recent Lingfield win under a 6lb penalty in the opener at 13:45. Back him at 13.012/1 or better.
Robert Cowell's horses are in red-hot form and this horse has also run screamers on both his visits to this track. He handles both good and soft ground, so no worries on that score, and he looks set to run his race from a midfield draw.
Back Ambivalent in the 14:15 at York
Back Odeon @ 24.023/1 to win and 6.05/1 to place in the Dante Stakes at York, 14:45
Back Normal Equilibrium @ 13.012/1 or better in the 15:15 at York