As a tipster with a timed column - I'm 5pm the day before racing - it is often a case of sitting and suffering and hoping that the horse you fancy doesn't shorten throughout the day, rendering your advice null and void. There is nothing like having to change copy, and tack, at 4pm, trust me.
And that was what I feared with Appeared in the opener at Ascot at 14:15 - he opened up at 11-2 on Thursday night - but luckily his price has held up okay and he rates a bet at 5.59/2 or bigger.
This horse clearly had a lot of ability last season, but also a bit of a hole, for the want of a better phrase. I think it was more than immaturity anyway, and maybe physical.
He showed signs of waywardness throughout his campaign, not least when winning like a seriously good horse over 1m4f at York in May, and he was running all around the place at Newmarket on his final start.
So I think gelding since then could be the making of him. And it is very interesting to note that the same trainer-owner combination won this race with King Bolete last season on his first start for the stable after a similar cojones-off operation.
There is only 5lb between nine of the 10 runners in the 14:50 - and the other one is the 7/2 favourite - so I can happily leave that 1m4f Listed race alone. And similar comments apply to the 1m fillies' handicap that follows, though the 6/1 about Singyoursong looks the best value outside of the correct favourite Aristocratic.
I don't think you can play in the Victoria Cup at 16:00 without at least having a saver on favourite Fastnet Tempest at 7.413/2 or bigger.
He really should have won the Spring Mile at Newbury last time but threw the race away in the closing stages after tanking along when hitting the front - he hung left and looked awkward there - and he clearly remains handicapped to win off just a 1lb higher mark.
He will need to be delivered later here but I think a strongly-run 7f should play to his strong-travelling strengths, he ran well at the track last season, and with luck in running in this 27-runner charge he should be bang in there at the death. And hopefully in front.
First-time cheek pieces may see Zhui Feng back to form here and I wouldn't put anyone off him at 28/1+ (I may chuck a tenner or so at him) , but at 50.049/1 or bigger then I have to back another old "buddy", Steel Train. In fact, Betfair Sportsbook offer 50/1, and that is obviously very tempting.
He ran well, but not well enough for my bet, when seventh in the Lincoln three starts ago, and he hasn't had races to suit in two subsequent starts.
He had no chance at the weights at Lingfield on Good Friday and didn't get the strong pace and big field he thrives in at Doncaster last Saturday.
So even though that run seemed very tame, at least it has seen him dropped 3lb - and he never got into that Doncaster race after a slow start - and the tempo of this contest should be more up his street.
He won a 19-runner handicap under today's jockey Shelley Birkett at Doncaster last season, and finished second of 16 over course and distance last September, recording smart time figures on each occasion. He has a fair bit going for him for a 40/1+ poke.
Lingfield plays host to one of the worst Classic Trials I have ever seen in the shape of the Oaks Trial at 13:55.
When a 99-rated maiden is 17lb and more clear of the opposition on official figures then it is fair to say Epsom may not be necessarily on the agenda after this for any of the field, but maiden winners Camerone and The Sky Is Blazing are unexposed and at least bred to improve a fair deal for the step up in trip, so perhaps I am being unkind.
Flight Of Fantasy is proven over 1m4f and is probably of most betting interest at 20/1+ but it's not my kind of race, as you may have guessed.
And nor is the Derby Trial at 14:30 really, as a lot revolves around how straight Aidan O'Brien's St John Lavery is.
The talk at the start of the week was that this colt, and their Dee Stakes runner Cliffs Of Moher, were their Derby top dogs - well, them and Churchill perhaps - but this race isn't a gimme for the runaway Gowran Park maiden winner by any means.
He meets some horses with fair juvenile form, and others with plenty of promise, headed up by Epsom Derby Trial fourth Tartini, and that race has been working out very well since.
I will sit and watch, thanks.
If Qemah brings her A-game to the 7f Group 3 race at 15:40 then the rest will be playing for places.
She has plenty of pace, so the step down to 7f shouldn't be an issue, and she is unpenalised for her Group 1 wins in the Coronation Stakes and Rothschild last season. She is well clear on official figures, as you'd expect.
If you wanted an each-way play against her I would side with Mix And Mingle - a course winner who was back to her best when beating a subsequent Listed race scorer with some ease at the Craven meeting.
But, with an unsettled forecast, perhaps wait until nearer the race before you back her as she is much more effective on good or quick ground.
A promising pair for the Swinton Hurdle
Just when you think the National Hunt season is over until October at the earliest, up jumps the Swinton Hurdle at 15:10.
Many will think that the Scottish Champion Hurdle will be the key to this race, as Zubayr would probably have won there had he not fluffed the last and he is still feasibly treated off a 4lb higher mark.
Good ole' Peace And Co, 10th at Ayr, will win a handicap on the bridle off his current mark of 144 if he ever consents to settle and finish off his race, but my two against the field are Court Minstrel and Multiculture.
Court Minstrel ran a good race in the County Hurdle, when beaten under five lengths in tenth, and this tighter track on expected decent ground - though rain is forecast in the area and the course have watered a fair bit, which worries me a fair bit - should suit him far better than Cheltenham.
He was rated 13lb higher after winning at Chepstow two starts ago, and he is a serious player but, sod's law, his price has collapsed from 16/1 this morning (and it wasn't me, you can be sure of that), so I have to bin him - you know what happens next - and rely solely on Multiculture at 11.010/1 or bigger.
The way he travelled into the race when third (and he was beaten some way in the end) at Newbury three starts ago suggests he is better than a 130-rated horse and he has got more match practice in since with heavy odds-on wins at Warwick and Wincanton in similarly testing conditions.
But good ground promises to suit him a lot better - he can handle soft if the going changes for any reason, natural or unintended - as some of his best Irish Flat form came on a good/fast surface. He has the potential to step forward a lot for a stable that won this race with a similar sort in War Sound two years ago.
Back Appeared at 5.59/2 or bigger in 14:15 at Ascot
Back Multiculture at 11.010/1 or better in 15:10 at Haydock
Back Fastnet Tempest at 7.413/2 or bigger in 16:00 at Ascot
Back Steel Train at 50.049/1 or bigger in 16:00 at Ascot