Tony Calvin likes the look of Wednesday's card at Epsom and recommends a couple to back at generous odds...
"You can bet your bottom dollar that Epsom trainer Pat Phelan will have his dual course winner Jakey primed for this, especially as the owner is also a local, too, by all accounts."
I swear this is not one of those contrived intros, but when I was watching Rebus on the alibi channel on Sunday night, the headline character, a gnarled old Edinburgh detective played brilliantly by Ken Stott, made a reference to a "jakey".
So I googled it and the urban dictionary told me it was "an unwashed Scottish ruffian with nothing better to do than drink copious of Buckfast and dodge the social".
Let's hope that coincidence serves us up a winner as Jakey looks to hold outstanding claims in the Great Metropolitan at 14:45 on a cracking little card at Epsom on Wednesday. It may not be on C4 any more but it is still a classy midweek meeting.
Jakey's only disappointing run at this track came in this race last season, when the good to soft ground may have not been ideal. But another explanation could be that he left his race behind when winning at Kempton three weeks previously, as I think he is best when fresh.
He has won first time out in the previous two seasons, and was returning from a six-week break when winning over 1m2f on fast ground here last July.
He is not obviously well-handicapped on what he has achieved, but the five-year-old has raced only eight times and there could well be a lot more to come from him, even if 1m2f is arguably more of his trip.
And you can bet your bottom dollar that Epsom trainer Pat Phelan will have his dual course winner primed for this, especially as the owner is also a local, too, by all accounts.
Back him at odds of 8.07/1.
I really do fear Cry Fury, as he returns to the Flat after a couple of poor runs over hurdles on a very tempting mark indeed, and Hector Crouch is good value for his 7lb claim, too. But his last Flat form of note was a while ago, and Jakey looks by far the more solid option. And Phelan has started 2015 in decent form.
The usual suspects all return for the opening sprint at 14:10 and slight preference would be for Fair Value on his favoured fast ground. But I wouldn't be surprised if any one of six or more won this - plenty have course form and come here on a decent mark - so I'll pass.
It is stretching things to label the 15:20 a "Derby Trial" these days, as I think Debussy in 2009 was the last notable winner of the contest.
Future Empire looks the form horse in this year's renewal and he is rated only 100, so the winner will probably still be a 33-1 poke for Epsom after the race, and it looks a match between between him and the penalised Christophermarlowe. Again, no betting interest here.
Even though he is 4lb out of the handicap, impressive recent Windsor winner Collaboration must be a big player in the City And Suburban at 15:55 and it would be no surprise to see last year's winner Sennockian Star bounce back to form, even if he hasn't exactly been wrapped in cotton wool since that success.
The drying ground probably isn't ideal but I'm taking a chance on What About Carlo at odds of 6.05/1 or better, There was some early 6-1 available this afternoon but that soon went.
He is only 4lb higher than when an impressive winner over course and distance last June and he came from miles off the pace to finish fourth in the Lincoln last time.
The step up in trip is sure to suit, and the more they water, the better his chances here. He is handicapped to win again, that much is clear.
Mezajy looks the horse to beat in the 1m maiden at 16:30 and the 3yo handicap that rounds off the card at 17:05 is a fascinating little contest.
I would back Cosmic Ray at a price if forced to play in the race but with unexposed maiden winners from the Varian and Godolphin yards, not to mention in-form and race-fit runners like Lear's Rock, the sensible option is to sit this one out.
Back Jakey at odds of 8.07/1 or better in the 14:45 at Epsom
Back What About Carlo at odds of 6.05/1 or better in the 15:55 at Epsom