A good friend of mine said to me recently that punters want to be tipped short-priced favourites. You can imagine my response to that ridiculous statement - especially as he should know better - and it re-entered my thoughts when seeing a similar-thinking merchant, unsurprisingly hawked around by various bookmakers in the last year or so, on Twitter yesterday.
If there is anything that bookmakers want to see - indeed, will pay to see - is pundits and tipsters, with the ultimate in short-term thinking, opting for the default mechanism of going for the favourite. Frequent winners, no doubt, but almost guaranteed long-term losses.
Good god, it annoys me.
I am firmly in the camp that anyone consistently tipping towards the top of the market is basically lazy, and not putting in the homework and looking beyond the obvious. In spread betting parlance, the "Stop At a Favourite" market would be settled sooner rather than later for a fair few.
So if you thought a recent break would have mellowed me, think again.
Stoute runner or possibly an outsider to Eclipse rivals
After all that, I better not tip Cliffs Of Moher in the Eclipse at 15:35. But at 3.211/5 he is easy enough to resist, for all that he could get shorter in the betting come the off.
Don't get me wrong. He shaped liked the best horse in the Derby - a Derby that is working out incredibly well with the likes of Capri, Benbatl and Permian coming out and winning next time, not to mention some impressive placed efforts from others - and you suspect a strongly-run 1m2f, aided by stablemate Taj Mahal on the front end, will see him in a better light than his Epsom second.
But odds of around 2/1 and 9/4 for a horse that isn't even the best 3yo in the race on official figures - that honour goes to Guineas runner-up and St James's Palace winner Barney Roy - before factoring in the older brigade, leaves me a bit cold.
Then again, if the stable were willing to take out Deauville and Orderofthegarter at the overnight stage (I half fancied both), then maybe favourite backers are going to be on the winner. Stable confidence is apparently high.
So what wins if he doesn't? Fellow 3yos Barney Roy and Eminent are very feasible winners, with the 1m2f trip threatening to ideally suit both, but of the Classic generation I can't let Salouen go unbacked at 50/1 each way with the Betfair Sportsbook, or 65.064/1 or bigger win only on the exchange.
Now, stop laughing and listen.
I think the world and his partner saw how much trouble he met in running up the straight in the Derby - I think he would have finished in the first six at least given a clean passage - and, on the back of that, I was sweet on his chances in the King Edward VII Stakes.
However, he again was not seen to be best effect there when held off the pace, and I retain the faith in him. At these odds, anyway.
Okay, he is the lowest-rated horse in here by some distance but I think a more prominent and aggressive ride over this 1m2f trip could see him take a big step forward. And his neck second to the King Edward VII runner-up Khalidi over 1m1f in the Fielden at Newmarket in April gives some credence to that train of thought.
Well, I am backing him, anyway.
I am also going to back Ulysses each-way at 15/2 each way with the Betfair Sportsbook or 8.615/2 or bigger win-only on the exchange.
He is only 1lb shy of the two form horses on official figures - those being Lightning Spear, undoubtedly the best horse in the race on his QEII third to Minding and Ribchester but unproven over the trip and a big disappointment in the Queen Anne, and Barney Roy - and on a definite upward curve.
He signalled he was much more the real deal on his return when beating Deauville in the Gordon Richards Stakes over course and distance - the runner-up ran a blinder when third in the Queen Anne - and he traded 1.618/13 in the run in the Prince Of Wales's before being eyeballed by Highland Reel close home.
There is no Highland Reel in here, and he could prove a tough nut for the youngsters to crack, along with Decorated Knight.
Elsworth raider to Master 1m Handicap field
I probably didn't pick a good week to write my intro as I think favourite Battaash could well make all from stall two in the 5f Group 3 at 13:50 and I also rate the chances of Paco's Angel in the 15:00.
Both are fair enough bets at around the 3/1 mark, but I can let them go unbacked.
However, I won't let Master The World win without my money at 24.023/1 or bigger in the 1m handicap at 14:25.
I took a punt with him off a long break (maybe too long given his profile) in the Hunt Cup and it didn't work out. But I thought he ran a blinder to finish 8th, from off the pace, at 66/1 there and the handicapper may have been too hasty in dropping him 2lb.
That is 1lb lower than when he was an unfortunate neck second to handicap good thing Franklin D at Goodwood last season, and this stiff 1m could suit him ideally. Indeed, he has run well on all three of his starts here, and hopefully 5lb claimer Joshua Bryan (who I admit I know little about) can weave him through late off a fast pace. The horse can be tricky. But at least he is talented tricky.
Greenside has to be on everyone's shortlist after his impressive course and distance last time - he is 5lb higher here but Ryan Moore was suitably impressed that day and his trainer thinks he is a Group horse - and he is a worthy 5/1 jolly.
And others towards the top of the market that have to be of interest include George William, on the wrong side in the Hunt Cup last time.
On our way to the Rich list if Legacy prevails
I don't have any betting interest in the opener at Haydock but Rich Legacy interests me a fair deal in the Lancashire Oaks at 14:40 at 15.014/1 or bigger.
She did us a big favour when winning the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last season and showed her first form since when fourth in the Ribblesdale last time.
And, had the waiting tactics not been overdone there, it would have been interesting to see how close she would have gone.
I am betting it would been pretty close, for all she was beaten the best part of 3 lengths at the line, and double-figure odds have tempted me in. Abingdon is clearly the one to beat after that runaway Pontefract win.
Soldier can get amongst the Action at Haydock
I am also going with two double-figured horses against the field in the Old Newton Cup at 15:15 starting with Soldier In Action at 13.012/1 or bigger.
The pace element to the tip is pretty considerable as he is one of the few in the race that likes to go forward, and he could easily get on the lead from stall three.
He came back to his best when winning at Epsom two starts ago but his rider failed to take advantage of a good, early leading spot on the rail at Ascot last time and met trouble and never got into a rolling rhythm thereafter.
He doesn't have to make the pace but he certainly can and I think he could give his trainer his third win in this race in recent years if bossing this big field early.
I will throw a bigger dart with Baydar at 30.029/1 or bigger. He finished a place behind Soldier In Action at Ascot, and has been dropped 2lb for it.
That leaves him only 4lb higher than when winning a strong 1m2f Newbury handicap last autumn, and this 1m4f trip has long promised to suit.
He would ideally want a bit of rain - and he has been withdrawn on fast ground before, despite winning on it - but his trainer - Betfair Ambassador Hugo Palmer - is in much better form of late and he has booked a decent 5lb claimer, too. He is no 33/1 poke in my eyes.
Back Master The World at 24.023/1 or bigger in the 14:25 at Sandown
Back Rich Legacy at 15.014/1 or bigger in the 14:40 at Haydock
Back Soldier In Action at 13.012/1 or bigger in 15:15 at Haydock
Back Baydar at 30.029/1 or bigger in 15:15 at Haydock
Back Salouen 50/1 each way with the Betfair Sportsbook, and/or 65.064/1 or bigger win-only on the exchange in 15:35 Sandown
Back Ulysses at 8.615/2 or bigger, and/or 15/2 each way with the Betfair Sportsbook in 15:35 Sandown