It's the final day of the Cambridgshire meeting at Newmarket and Tony Calvin has a host of bets across the card. He also has one at Haydock in Saturday's action...
"He has made big strides this season, winning at Goodwood over 1m2f, but it was his massively eye-catching second to Pivoine at York last time that really highlighted his claims here."
Starting off with Cambridgeshire Handicap
There isn't a great deal of pace in the Cambridgeshire at 15:40, but a fair chunk of it is drawn middle to high so that, rightly or wrongly, is where I will be targeting my two pins on the 35-runner 1m1f handicap.
The first one is quite embarrassing really, as he is one of the favourites on the 13.012/1 mark. But Alfarris, drawn in 23, has so much going for him that I have to have him onside.
His claims are indeed very obvious, as the price suggests.
He has made big strides this season, winning at Goodwood over 1m2f, but it was his massively eye-catching second to Pivoine at York last time that really highlighted his claims here.
Sure, the winner absolutely gagged up, but I'd be pretty confident he will reverse those placings on 5lb better terms here.
His wide draw in 20 meant he didn't get the run of the race but he still came there cantering 2f out, having down a lot of work to get there, and perhaps his jockey would have gone sooner had he the chance again.
In any case, the way he tanked through that York race is very encouraging, and the step down to 1m1f means that Jim Crowley can push the button when he wants.
I was very tempted to put up Mordin too.
He is progressive, is 5lb well-in after his recent Sandown second, is drawn in 25, his stable is in red -hot form (operating at 33 per cent in the past fortnight) and the first-time cheekpieces have to be viewed in a positive light given his trainer is two from nine with that option in this country since 2016.
One of the winners came just last week - in fact two did, as Sporting Chance won a Group 3 in France last Monday - and his overall form figures in this situation here read 301432431.
In fact, I was going to put him up, but all of the 40s and 33s disappeared on Thursday night, so I am going to leave him alone, very reluctantly.
I am probably going to be kicking myself from here to Newmarket if he obliges, but my other bet in the race is Via Via at 100.099/1 or bigger.
I expected him to be running at Haydock on Saturday due to the soft ground there, and the reason he is such a big price is because of the drying conditions at Newmarket all week.
Good to firm is undoubtedly a concern, as he ideally wants some dig, but he has won on this course on fast ground, and he loves Newmarket.
He has run well on all three starts on the Rowley course, and he bounced back to form on the July course in first-time blinkers last time.
He went up 2lb for that but he is still 2lb lower than when a hampered, staying-on sixth in the Lincoln, and the way he finishes off his races I expect the extra furlong to suit.
I am very fearful of Danceteria, as he was hugely impressive at Newmarket because coming from a mile off the pace in Ireland last time, and he makes most of the appeal of the other market leaders.
Beatboxer could be upset here
I tend to approach 2yo races with a no-bet mindset, but I am always willing to be swayed, so let's start with the Royal Lodge at 13:50.
It actually has a pretty nice to shape to it as I can't see why Beatboxer is so short in the betting. Sure, he has been impressive in victories at Sandown and Haydock, but the form is nothing to write home about and it certainly isn't at the level of the Solario runner-up Arthur Kitt.
I think the Tom Dascombe colt should be favourite after what he did at Ascot and Sandown, but I'm not sure I really want to back him at 4/1 either.
Superlative runner-up Cape Of Good Hope will love the mile here and then we have the relative unknowns like Kadar, a $700,000 breeze-up purchase who beat a fair sort in some style at Haydock on his debut.
I can see myself place-laying Beatboxer if he remains the price he is now -and I think Cape Of Good Hope is probably the each-way play in the race at around 6/1 (if there is one) - but I am not going to put up such a bet here.
Gossamer could find her wings
Earlier in the week, I thought Pretty Pollyanna was a very solid favourite at 5/4 in the Cheveley Park at 14:25, but the race has a lot more depth to it than I first envisaged.
Sure, she is the clear form pick on her ¾ length defeat of Signora Cabello, and her earlier Newmarket success.
However, you couldn't rule out the runner-up reversing those places here and Aidan O'Brien has a very strong in hand, with the first-time blinkers on Gossamer Wings (trainer is 31 from 181 with this option since 2006) particularly interesting about a filly who has looked slightly wayward on her last two starts.
She is a much bigger price than her stablemates Fairyland and So Perfect, and I thought the 40/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook about her was bordering on the insulting. Back her each-way.
It is a concern that two of her poorer efforts since her debut have come over this 6f trip but the form of her short-head second to Signora Cabello in the Queen Mary and her third in the Flying Childers last time do not equate to her being a 40s poke here.
She looked like some headgear was needed when drifting in the closing stages at Doncaster last time, and her pedigree suggests 6f really shouldn't be a problem. The stable won this a 25/1 second string in Brave Anna in 2016, so let's hope lightning strikes twice.
I have to have an given the way she travelled over 7f in the Moyglare last time.
The winner, Skitter Scatter, is an under-rated tool and the step back to 6f looks an obvious move for this filly after that run at the Curragh last time.
An additional Haydock tip
I'm not in any great rush to oppose Ten Sovereigns in the Middle Park at 15:00, but odds of around 8/11 very rarely make any appeal to me and this is no exception.
It wouldn't surprise me if his stablemate Sergei Prokofiev bounced back to form or Jash proved a Group 1 animal, so we can quickly move on to Haydock.
Escobar is a bet at 15/2 each way with the Sportsbook in the 14:05.
It wouldn't surprise me if Just Hiss bounced back to form but he looked very laboured at Carlisle last time and Escobar is weighted to go well.
He is on the same mark as when second at Sandown in July, is a course and distance winner on his only start here, and the soft ground doesn't really bother me.
It has been drying out all week, and the only time he has encountered soft ground he ran a perfectly respectable fifth in a Group 3 at Goodwood. In fact, you can argue that it was one of his better effort.
I don't have a bet in the 5f handicap at 15:15, although I think the handicapper has given Tropics a big chance here and he is a fair price at 25/1. But I couldn't narrow this down to any manageable punting size, so I will leave alone.