It is very much the calm before the Epsom storm this weekend - it is traditionally one of the more low-key Saturdays in the racing calendar - but Tony Calvin has found three decent bets all the same...
"It would be no surprise at all were this the early-season plan for the horse and I can see him bouncing out from four and stretching these. The obvious negative is that Zand, Nabhan, and Serene Grae also like to go on, but they are wider drawn and hopefully Be Perfect can dominate them early. If he does, then we are in business."
We will come to the class action at Haydock shortly, but I will start off at Chester, which isn't everyone's betting cup of tea, I know. Effectively at these draw-bias tracks you have the option of taking under the odds about well-berthed horses or inflated prices about those housed near the car park.
Neither is ideal so I will pass on the 6f handicap at 14:15 though Secret Hint, even drawn widest in seven, would be my token selection.
Capo Rosso worth a small interest
As I write I am still dithering about whether to put up Capo Rosso in the 14:50 as I think that he could lead these a merry dance if getting out smartly from his midfield draw.
He had some excellent turf form over higher marks last season and has been in good form on the all-weather recently, putting up a particularly good effort when a neck second to Jailawi over a mile at Lingfield last time. And the runner-up was just touched off at Sandown on Thursday night.
So a 2lb rise for that effort now seems very fair and, as I mentioned earlier, he remains well-treated on some of his performances last season. For example, he is 2lb lower than when an excellent second in a valuable Haydock handicap in April 2015.
It could be game over if he doesn't jump sharply from seven, but I have come to the conclusion that as I will chucking a few quid on him, I am happy to put him up to small stakes at odds of [9.0] or better.
Be Perfect is the pick of the weights
However, my main bet at Chester is Be Perfect at [13.0] or better in the 15:25. And I will be going in bigger here.
He is up against some progressive sorts in Indira and Sir Chauvelin - though they have obviously paid for their winning exploits with hefty hikes - a back-to-form Yorkidding, last year's winner Trendsetter, and some well-handicapped horses like Zand. It's a strong handicap.
However, I think Be Perfect could be the pick of the weights and he gets my vote back at a course he goes well at.
He has course form figures of 1-8-2, and you can probably ignore the middle effort as he was held up from stall eight of nine that day, and he is at his best when going from the front.
He did just that when winning here over an extended 1m4f here last June and he only just got picked late on by a very well-treated horse in Steve Rogers over 2m here in September. The third was three-and-three-quarter lengths adrift, and the selection can now race off a 5lb lower mark.
And there were signs of a return to form when fourth behind Sir Chauvelin at Hamilton last time, for which he has been dropped a further 2lb, making it 7lb in total for just three runs this season.
It would be no surprise at all were this the early-season plan for the horse and I can see him bouncing out from four and stretching these.
The obvious negative is that Zand, Nabhan, and Serene Grae also like to go on, but they are wider drawn and hopefully Be Perfect can dominate them early. If he does, then we are in business. The trip and going are no problem at all, either, and I really like his chances at the price.
Silvery Moon ran embarrassingly badly when I put him at York last time and I won't be happy bunny if he bounces back to form in Haydock's 14:00 which he could do now a 2lb drop in the weights allows him to get into this 0-90 handicap off the ceiling mark.
But he meets some progressive and in-form rivals, consistent types like Galileo Gold's lead horse Strong Steps and unexposed sorts like Important Point, who flopped when made 7/4 favourite on his second start at Kempton recently.
Clotilde would be my idea of the likely winner - she apparently worked well with the stable's 1,000 Guineas runner Robanne recently and William Knight had a welcome double at Kempton on Wednesday night after a quiet spell - but her price of around 11/2 reflects that, and she does have stall 13 to contend with.
I can let her pass, especially as the equally in-form Ice Slice, the only guaranteed pace in the race that I could see, may get an easy lead from stall one, though Ghinia, in seven, did make the running for a change at Nottingham last time. And Captain Revelation may go forward, too, from two.
Miss Marjurie can take on Journey
Journey is clearly the one to beat in the Pinnacle Stakes at 14:35, but there isn't much wriggle room in her price at around 13/8.
She may have to be content to sit in behind Lustrous, who is interesting having her first start for David O'Meara, but that should be no hardship and she is the best filly in the race.
But a few of these have the potential to step forward, and others are players if they come back to form, and chief among the latter camp is Miss Marjurie.
She won this race last year before progressing into a very classy performer - she was beaten only one-and-a-half lengths in the Yorkshire Oaks - but the problem with her is a very moderate run at Goodwood first time up.
But she was exceptionally weak in the betting that day, so perhaps she badly needed the run, and I think she warrants a small each-way bet at 10/1 on the Sportsbook, or at [11.0] and [3.5] in the win and place on the Exchange respectively.
I think Gifted Master will get an uncontested lead and win the Sandy Lane at 15:45 and odds of around [2.74] are fair. But his price would need to be a bit bigger to tempt me in, and tipping up obvious 7/4 pokes isn't really the MO of this column. I'll leave that to others.
The Timeform Jury Stakes at 15:10 also features another very strong Hugo Palmer-trained favourite in Home Of The Brave and he is another who is a fair price at around the 4/1 mark. In fact, I very nearly put him up as I think he looks more of a 3-1 chance to me, and perhaps even a bit shorter.
But I fear the likes of Convey, so unlucky at York, and on form he doesn't have much in hand of a few of these, so another reluctant swerve.
Back Miss Marjurie at 10-1 each-way with Betfair Sportsbook, or [11.0] win and [3.5] place on exchange, in the 14:35 at Haydock
Back Capo Rosso at [9.0] or bigger in the 14:50 at Chester
Back Be Perfect at [13.0] or bigger in the 15:25 at Chester