Into day two of the Hennessy meeting at Newbury on Friday and Tony Calvin is here to talk us through the card and pick out his best bets, with three runners grabbing his attention...
"This point/bumper/hurdle winner clearly disappointed on his last start at Wetherby back in December 2014, but his trainer reports him "in really good form at home". Soft ground isn't an issue and the step up to 3m is expected to suit, on both run-style and pedigree."
The jury is still out over whether Little Jon truly stays this trip and this front-runner certainly won't get an easy lead here with the likes of Next Sensation in the line-up, but he is worth chancing all the same at 13.012/1 or bigger in the 2m 3f 187yd handicap chase at 14:40.
But I'd suggest covering your stake by putting in an in-running lay at around the 2.245/4 mark.
In terms of ability, there is little doubt that he has the talent to win a good prize off a mark of 137 - and Jamie Bargary is a decent 5lb claimer too - and hopefully his stamina will last out over this near-2m4f-trip.
If it does - and he has run decent races over slightly longer trips, such as when sixth at the Festival when making too many mistakes - then he could take a lot of beating here.
If he can't get his own way out in front, hopefully his jockey will be happy to sit in behind the leader and not get involved in a stamina-sapping pace battle, which he did at Stratford last time.
The juvenile hurdle at 12:25 is a bit of a guessing game with three, presumably expensive, French recruits from top stables in the line-up, and one or two interesting sorts from the Flat.
I was quite taken with Darebin's win at Sandown earlier in the month, though - connections put the improvement down to him being a lot calmer before the race - and he only carries a 6lb penalty here as that was a Class 4 hurdle.
It could be that he goes off at a silly double-figure price when the betting beds in later, in which case I will back him, but at this stage it's no punt for me.
Drumshambo is worth chancing at odds of 7.06/1 or bigger in the 12:55.
He won first time out at Ascot two seasons ago but it is fair to say that he hasn't scaled those heights since. But he has been dropped 24lb, and he has recorded a couple of fair efforts in the interim.
He has been running over 3m+ recently but I like the angle of stepping back down in trip; indeed all his winning has been around the minimum trip.
Presumably Unowhatimeanharry was only entered in the 13:30 just in case he suffered an early mishap at Newbury on Thursday - he didn't and won well - and in his absence the one I think is worth risking here is Missed Approach at 6.611/2 or bigger.
The time has long since passed when we marvel at the ability of trainers to produce horses to win after a long absence, so it is only of minor concern that the selection returns from nearly a year off the track. And crucially returns on a lenient mark, too.
This point/bumper/hurdle winner clearly disappointed on his last start at Wetherby back in December 2014, but his trainer reports him "in really good form at home". Soft ground isn't an issue and the step up to 3m is expected to suit, on both run-style and pedigree.
Once again, the novice chase at 14:05 is probably the class highlight of the card, but I can't get involved. However, it wouldn't surprise me if the 153-rated hurdler Activial made up into an even better chaser and he would be my token selection.
There is a cracking novice at 15:15 and the in-form Ben Pauling sends his classy dual bumper winner Ballyhenry out for his hurdling debut.
He beat Royal Vacation by four lengths on his bumper debut last season and he gets 5lb from that horse today, who probably sets the hurdling form standard here on any of his three good starts over obstacles.
But there are a few others in here with claims, and the race is full of unexposed types, so we can let this contest pass from a betting perspective.
The concluding maiden hurdle at 15:45 is no less competitive and probably houses plenty of future winners - the most interesting participant is the Cheltenham bumper third Wait For Me - but as a betting medium it leaves me cold.
I'll be back tomorrow with my tips for Gold Cup day.
Recommended Bets (all Newbury)
Back Little Jon at 13.012/1 or bigger in the 14:40 (but put in an in-running lay at around 2.245/4)
Back Drumshambo at 7.06/1 or bigger in the 12:55
Back Missed Approach at 6.611/2 or bigger in the 13:30