After copping with a 25/1 winner last week - and having the 25/1 second just for good measure - Tony Calvin is in good spirits as he takes a look at Saturday's ITV racing...
"He is having just his ninth start here and, at home on fast ground, I fully expect him to progress a good deal now given a more extreme test of stamina."
Quloob the main bet but Chauvelin also of interest
Newbury takes centre stage on Saturday, and the main betting race of the day is the JLT Cup, a new £100,000 race this season. I am going in two-handed in the 2m110yd staying handicap in the shape of Sir Chauvelin and Quloob at 14:25.
Unfortunately, the market has belatedly cottoned on to Quloob - he was 14/1 in a place on Wednesday morning - but I still have to have him onside here at [7.6] or bigger. I don't want to lose if he wins.
He started his improvement last season when winning a Bath handicap over 1m2f off a mark of 71, but he ended the season as very much a staying prospect when a neck second off 94 to Dubawi Fifty over 1m6f at Nottingham.
He went up 4lb for that run, but that is acceptable given the winner is now rated 15lb higher, and Quloob ran with a lot of promise when fifth to Amazing Red over 1m6f at Newmarket on his return.
He again shaped as though he was crying out for a step up to this kind of trip - it is odd a how such phrases as "crying out" have crept into everyday racing terminology - when sticking on well late on his reappearance there, after looking badly outpaced 2f out.
He is having just his ninth start here and, at home on fast ground, I fully expect him to progress a good deal now given a more extreme test of stamina.
The stable had a double last Saturday and are a very effective outfit in general, operating at a decent 20 strike rate this season and a fair percentage being placed if not obliging.
Connections are trying him in first-time cheekpieces, which surprises me slightly, and the stable are 0 from 3 with that option since 2016. But hopefully, they know what they are doing and it will prove to be another plus.
Sir Chauvelin doesn't have any such secrets from the handicapper but he comes here in great form, and looks set to run his race. He is a solid each-way bet at 20/1, five places, with the Betfair Sportsbook, and that is probably the most tempting punt in the race.
He was never going to be seen to best effect stepped down to an extended 1m2f in the John Smith's Cup at York last week, but he ran well enough to finish in midfield and this trip will suit him a lot better.
He had previously excelled in a hampered second to Dash Of Spice at Royal Ascot and then finished to good effect from a long way off the pace when third in the Northumberland plate.
He is only 1lb higher than those Ascot and Newcastle runs, and the series of four quick runs in hot handicaps doesn't overly concern me, as he is a hardy sort who has always taken his racing well.
Market looks spot on in the Hackwood
No real view in the 1m2f Listed race at 13:50 where it could prove very tactical, as there is a distinct lack of pace. Fajjaj has made it before, but anyone who saw him win unconvincingly, at odds of 1/5, at Ayr last time would struggle to see him leading this better field.
Autocratic is interesting in a first-time visor and tongue-tie against the form horse Desert Encounter - Sir Michael Stoute is 24 from 158 with this move in the last 10 years or so - but it's a really trappy little race.
I thought Projection and Equilateral deserved to dominate the market in the Hackwood Stakes at 15:00 for different reasons.
If Projection, not out of place in a better grade than this as we saw in the Diamond Jubilee last time, runs his race then he will be very hard to kick out of the frame at around 4/1, but if Equilateral confirms the promise of his Doncaster win then he could just run away with this.
It doesn't take much to get me shouting at the TV but a few expletives were let loose in the direction of at the TV as a couple of pundits ventured forth that Equilateral ""beat trees" at Doncaster.
If your idea of a large shrub is Foxtrot Lady, rated 83 at the time and 102 now after her Newmarket win last week, then so be it. But Charlie Hills' colt beat her by eight lengths giving her 12lb in a very quick time at Donny, and they were devastated when he ran so flat in the Commonwealth Cup.
But apparently he scoped dirty afterwards, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit were he resume the winning thread here (winning thread being another one of those phrases that "racing" has adopted).
The front pair look the obvious and right favourites, with perhaps unlucky Sandown fifth Dream Of Dreams the most interesting of the horses priced in double-figures.
Storm looks worth chancing in Super Sprint
The Weatherbys Super Sprint at 15:35 always presents a tricky dilemma, in that do you go with the obvious shorter-priced form horses or outsiders with the potential to go forward. Recent winners of this race have come from both camps.
However, ante-post favourites Signora Cabello and Queen Of Bermuda have opted out at the overnight stage, and the one that caught my eye is Cookupastorm.
Richard Spencer has his horses in great form with five winners form his last 14 runners, and he has a dab hand with his 2yos.
Cookupastorm was another for him when winning over 6f here last time, improving massively on her modest Lingfield debut.
The time wasn't any great shakes but she made all to beat a 6/4 newcomer - and the fourth was just touched off by Ginger Nut, who runs here, the time before - in good style, so I hopefully she can handle the step down in trip here.
She gets in here off 8st 2lb, so hopefully Martin Dwyer can get down to his lightest and not put up any overweight here. Every little counts in races as competitive as this, and I will be backing her at [21.0] or bigger on the exchange. The Sportsbook's 16/1, five places, is a fair alternative, too.
Queen can provide us with a Dramatic Newmarket winner
There is a tricky little 1m4f Listed race at Newmarket, and initially I couldn't see an angle into that race at 14:45. Or so I thought.
Then I stumbled across the claims of Dramatic Queen, who I think is worth a small-stakes nibble at [8.0] or better.
William Haggas had three in the race at the five-day stage, including Maid To Welcome and What A Home (rated 101 and 100 respectively), so it could be significant that he relies on Dramatic Queen, who has an official mark of just 92.
She got that courtesy of her fourth to stablemate Sea Of Class over 1m2f at Newbury last time, and I think she has the potential to rate a fair bit higher now she is stepped up in trip.
I think that Newbury fourth could be a fair bit higher, too.
The winner is second favourite for the Irish Oaks on Saturday, the second ran well when a non-stayer over 1m4f next time, the third had previously occupied the same position behind Magic Wand and Forever Together at Chester, and the fifth met trouble in running when an excellent second to Smart Call in a Group 3 at Newcastle.
She is having only her fourth start here and she would relish this extra 2f if taking after her dam, who won over 2m on the Flat in Galway.
Good jumps action at Market Rasen but no bets
I will resist the temptation to get involved in the jumping action at Market Rasen but it is no surprise whatsoever to see Dan Skelton's Fair Mountain head the betting the Summer Handicap Hurdle at 14:05.
What he lacks in experience over hurdles - though he did races 17 times on the Flat - he certainly makes up for in potential.
His mark of 134 is probably on the high side for what he has achieved in his three hurdling starts, but he is unexposed in this sphere after bloodless victories at Bangor and Uttoxeter and it is his form on the level that makes him very interesting indeed.
He was a smart sort over middle distances in Germany, winning a Listed race and finishing second in an Italian Group 2 over 1m3f, and he must go very if translating that ability to a handicap off this mark.
Recent course-and-distance scorer Sumkindofking and last year's winner Alcala would be my two against the field in the Plate at 15:15.
Alcala has had a couple of recent spins to put him spot on for this and he is only 1lb higher than when beating Wadswick Court in this race last season. If he is the same form here, and he travelled really well that day, then it will take a well-treated horse to beat him.
Wand the one to beat in the Irish Oaks
Over at the Curragh, I suspect Magic Wand will prevail in the Irish Oaks if the ground remains on the fast side.
She looked the real deal when winning the Ribblesdale on a quick surface but, then again, Oaks winner Forever Together is probably not being given the respect she deserves for that Epsom win at around 4/1.
But her first-time cheekpieces worry me a bit - O'Brien is only 1 from 19 when using his headgear initially since 2016 - so I am happy to sit this one out.
Back Quloob at [7.6] or bigger in 14:25 at Newbury
Back Sir Chauvelin at 20/1 each way with Betfair Sportsbook in 14:25 at Newbury
Back Dramatic Queen at [8.0] or bigger in 14:45 at Newmarket
Back Cookupastorm at [21.0] or bigger in 15:35 at Newbury