No £15million Scoop6 this week, though Haydock's Placepot looks attainable and is likely to pay well.
"A dearth of alternatives (main rivals Skye’s The Limit and Lexington Abbey may prove better at five furlongs) makes banking on Lightning Moon the best option."
13:30 - This first is the toughest leg of the Placepot and will demand a fair chunk of our resources. That said, it's difficult to get away from likely favourite Justonefortheroad, who has run well on his last two starts and teams up with Pat Smullen in his bid to make the most of a lenient mark. The consistent Morocco also makes it in, the feeling being that he'll suffer no ills for the drop back to a mile being as he is a habitual strong traveller and occasional hard puller over 10 furlongs. Extraterrestrial gets the third spot, his 'squiggle' down to attitude in a finish as opposed to consistency, while he could derive some benefit from the experience of Frankie Dettori.
14:05 - Cubanita ought to be favourite for this race, her level of form the best on offer and conditions here bound to suit better than those in the Yorkshire Cup last time. As backup and potentially one that will carry less of the pool, last year's winner of this race Moment In Time looks a sound option; she's consistent and hasn't won since solely because of the company she's kept.
14:40 - Garswood would normally offer a fair opportunity to bank, though a subdued reappearance is enough to make us look elsewhere. There do also seem to be a couple of solid alternatives in this field: Eton Forever is one, his fitness ensured after a win at Leicester last time. Tawhid is the other, his profile one of consistent and gradual improvement in 2013. He returns this year with his yard firmly up to speed and is arguably the least exposed in this field.
15:15 - Fitness and its habits is the difference here. York Glory and Steps are the two we're interested in and the former is probably just the more capable. However this is his reappearance, which he tends to need, while Steps is retracing his 2013 path. Last year Steps was too fresh at Goodwood on his return, was then re-fitted with blinkers and won at Thirsk on testing ground. In 2014 he returned with a creditable run at Newbury, with blinkers off. Now he has the headgear back on and gets to go on good to soft ground. We're hoping for a repeating pattern, so Steps goes in alone.
15:50 - Now is the time for the straight bat. Parbold might well have won at this level last time but for meeting trouble. Now he drops back to six furlongs, a trip he more than likely has the speed for, into a race in which he boasts by far the best form to date. Even with just two places now available, Parbold is a fairly confident selection.
16:25 - There is a temptation to cut around Lightning Moon, whose inexperience was evident on his impressive debut. He's also a short price, but that just suggests that the layers agree with Timeform: our view is that the BHA handicapper is likely to end up with egg on his face having administered a mark of 82 to such a useful prospect. A dearth of alternatives (main rivals Skye's The Limit and Lexington Abbey may prove better at five furlongs) makes banking on Lightning Moon the best option.
13:30 - 3, 6, 8
14:05 - 1, 7
14:40 - 5, 9
15:15 - 3
15:50 - 7
16:25 - 2
= 12 lines