The Charlie Hall Chase takes centre stage at Ascot on Saturday but Tony Calvin can't see past Cue Card and has his eye on two bigger price selections elsewhere on the card, as well as a tip from Wetherby...
The question on a few punters' lips tomorrow morning will be just how much water have they put on Ascot and Wetherby, because without any irrigation I think we would be looking at firm ground at both courses this weekend.
The Wetherby field sizes have already suffered, even with watered, officially good ground forecast, so let's start by looking at racing at the Berkshire track.
Yorkist was the main midweek mover in the ante-post markets. He was 8/1 on Wednesday but now you will be lucky to snaffle 3/1 about him in the 14:25. While that is undoubtedly something of an over-reaction, it is understandable given some of the shorter-priced opposition from earlier in the week, notably Hollywoodien, and given his profile.
If the ground does ride on the firm side, then that is a question mark for him - all his form has come on soft or heavy, though he does have snippets on good - but this is first start for Dan Skelton, having left Micky Hammond, and he is 8lb lower in the weights than he was this time last season.
Ideal Skelton fodder - and I doubt if the trainer would risk him if he was really worried about the ground - and he could easily bolt up.
But the price has clearly long gone, and the horses that I most like against the favourite, last year's runner-up Pearls Legend and the in-form Noche des Reyes, are next up un the market. I'll have to pass.
This 7/1 chance looks Mint in the Handicap Hurdle
Nothing appeals in the six-runner handicap chase at 13:55 - though Master Dee could get an easy lead out in front, if Crimson Ark doesn't decide to pester him - and Skelton has another obvious chance with Ch'Tibello in the 15:00.
But quotes of 11/2 about him have disappeared, and Hint Of Mint appeals to me as a decent alternative at 8.07/1.
He was a very smart hurdler a couple of seasons ago when with Nick Williams, when he was beating the likes of Purple Bay and locking horns with the likes of Faugheen and Rock On Ruby, and the last time he was seen out on a track he was rated 142.
The handicapper has given him a massive helping hand by dropping him 12lb in his absence, the switch to Harry Fry is an obvious big plus to his chances.
He was 12/1 earlier in the week but I think odds of around 7/1 are very fair.
Voix D'Eau a good price for the 3m Handicap Chase
Saphir Du Rheu drifted to 16-1 in a place for the 15:35 after his owner Andy Stewart said on Tuesday the West Yorkshire Hurdle was the number one plan for the horse (and he was backed from 7/1 to 7/2 for that race).
But it looks like Paul Nicholls has had the final vote and decided to come here, and it makes sense. He was rated 163 over fences at his best; he is a Grade 1 winner and gave The Young Master weight and a good thumping when winning first-time out at Carlisle last season.
Nicholls said he had problems with the horse after Carlisle, and he also tweaked his wind, but first time up may be the time to catch him, especially off a mark of just 152.
But, once again, we come to the price. He is around a 4/1 poke now, and that is too short for me, and I like the claims of Voix D'Eau and Hadrian's Approach more.
The former gets my vote at 9.08/1. No real story here. He shaped well over an extended 2m3f on his comeback at Chepstow, and I thought this sort of trip would suit him when he won a good handicap over 2m4f166yd at Cheltenham, and decent ground is what he wants.
Silsol the bet of the day from Wetherby
Over at Wetherby, I think Cue Card will win the Charlie Hall at 15:20. End of story. But then again he is about a 4/5 poke, so that is not telling you anything you didn't know.
I am looking forward to seeing Holly Bush Henry over fences in the 13:35 but not enough to back him in a tricky five-runner race, and the same is true of a desperately tight-knit mares hurdle at 14:10.
Silsol could be worth a few quid at odds of 9.08/1 in the 14:45 as on form he probably should be nearer favourite.
He could be yet pulled out if the trainer deems the ground too quick, as he does look best in the soft, but he is officially the highest-rated hurdler in here and he ran a very good race when second to stablemate Ptit Zig on good ground at Sandown in April.
He would be 10lb worse off with the favourite in a handicap, and has won first time out for the past two seasons. There is a lot to like about his chances, and he is probably my idea of the best bet of the day.
Back Silsol at 9.08/1 in the 14:45 at Wetherby
Back Hint Of Mint at 8.07/1 in the 15:00 at Ascot
Back Voix D'Eau at 9.08/1 in the 15:35 at Ascot