It's a watching brief for Tony Calvin in the Betfair Chase on Saturday afternoon but our big-price tipster has a quartet of selections for you to consider in some excellent races at Haydock and Ascot...
"He is a heavy-ground winner and, while he is unproven over the trip, he has shaped on a couple of occasions as if he is well worth another try at a longer distance, not least when rallying to win over an extended 2m3f at Ascot."
The Betfair Chase at 15:00 is the obvious highlight of the Haydock card but whether it is an attractive betting heat is open to doubt.
The 2012 and 2014 winner Silviniaco Conti is the obvious favourite with conditions in his favour - and it will be heavy - and a pleasing hurdling reappearance run under his belt. But I'm not tempted in by his current price of 1.981/1.
In fact, from a strict form point of view, Cue Card doesn't deserve to be around a 3-1 poke against him. You can easily argue that he is better horse than the favourite at his peak, he beat Dynaste convincingly in the soft in this race two years ago, and really impressed when seemingly putting his wind and injury troubles behind him when winning the Charlie Hall.
But whether first time up was the time to catch him has to be considered, and if I was going to play - and I'm not - in the race I would side with Ballynagour at 11.521/2.
Now, he isn't the most consistent and has bled in the past. But I thought that he shaped pretty well behind Cue Card at Wetherby, is proven in deep ground, and he isn't far behind these at his best.
Indeed, he finished a head second to Silviniaco Conti in the Betfred Bowl back in April and is overpriced on that effort. But no bet for me.
As expected, the Betfair Price Rush Hurdle at 13:50 has trimmed down to four runners from eight at the five day stage, and it is hard to argue with Irving and Top Notch dominating the market.
In contrast, the Betfair Fixed Brush Hurdle at 14:25 is one of the most competitive and deepest handicaps in recent weeks.
You can easily make a convincing case for about six or seven of these, and when I looked at the race on Thursday afternoon I was leaning towards Yala Enki, and he does look the most likeliy winner to me as he has a lot going for him.
He is unexposed, has chasing experience around Auteuil and looks very fairly treated on the evidence of his Exeter win on his reappearance.
But he was 14-1 on Monday and he is now 6-1, so we have missed the boat there, and I have to look elsewhere for a bet.
Shantou Bob is interesting if coming back to his second to Vyta Du Roc at Sandown last season, is reported fit and well by his trainer, and I think he has had a wind op, too. Tea For Two is now only 7lb higher than when running away with the Lanzarote by 16 lengths just four starts ago. And the likes of Definitely Red, Closing Ceremony and Our Kaempfer can all be given decent shouts.
But I like Baradari at 13.012/1 at the prices.
He has joined Dan Skelton on a very fair mark, just 2lb higher than when winning at Ascot in January, and his new trainer reports this race has been his target for a while.
He is a heavy-ground winner and, while he is unproven over the trip, he has shaped on a couple of occasions as if he is well worth another try at a longer distance, not least when rallying to win over an extended 2m3f at Ascot.
Given there are 16 runners and four places, I was toying with putting him up each way - remember, there are four places on the exchange regardless of NRs as 16 were declared - but given the stamina doubt it makes sense to back him win only.
Earlier on the Haydock card, I am going to go outside of my remit and putting up Copper Birch in the 12:40, and Vendor in the 13:15. Both races are on RUK.
Copper Birch wouldn't be one to rely on but just six starts after scoring by 7 lengths at Taunton back in January he finds himself on that winning mark again.
Granted, his most recent runs haven't been encouraging but he would have probably needed his reappearance at Ffos Las earlier in the month, is a proven stayer and mudlark, and a first-time visor is interesting. He is worth chancing at 11.010/1 or better.
Vendor is probably up against it as he takes on some lightly-raced horses who are potentially thrown in, not least Gunner Fifteen and Stilletto who make their debuts for new (and top) stables and coincidentally both wear a first-time hood, too. And there are plenty of others in here with strong claims, including Unaminitie, a good second at Ascot recently.
But Vendor returned to form when second to an improver at Wetherby last time and doesn't deserve to be a double-figure price here.
He may have been upped 3lb for that run, but he is still well handicapped on his form of two seasons ago - he beat Shotavodka off this mark in the soft at Newbury in November 2013 - and the presence of some likely sorts from top yards makes the market for us. Back him at 11.010/1 or bigger.
Over at Ascot, all eyes will be on Vautour in the 14:05 and he will probably win. But he will be around 1-3 and the prohibitive odds-on "money buyers" got a rude awakening when Faugheen got chinned in the Morgiana last weekend.
Some races you can just watch and enjoy.
Hopefully, I will enjoy the 15:15 after having a bet as Dresden looks well worth a punt at 9.08/1 or bigger.
No real story here. He recorded a career-best when winning by 19 lengths at Aintree time, and the handicapper could have upped him by more than the 9lb that he did. The stable remain in great form and he will be hard to kick out of the frame if in the same mood as Aintree, for all this is a very competitive race with Cold March the worthy favourite.
Back Copper Birch at 11.010/1 in the 12:40 at Haydock
Back Vendor at 11.010/1 in the 13:15 at Haydock
Back Baradari at 13.012/1 in the 14:25 at Haydock
Back Dresden at 9.08/1 in the 15:15 at Ascot