Tony Calvin is happy with his antepost position on Sunday's 1000 Guineas, but our man is very keen to add another tip in the Fillies' Classic at Newmarket...
"...indeed, she pretty much has the profile of the recent 1000 Guineas winners from Ballydoyle, far more so than Santa Barbara anyway - and I'll be surprised, disappointed and poorer if she is out of the frame."
The betting for the 1000 Guineas is deeply weird, and presents a very nasty dilemma.
Deep down, I suspect everyone knows they should be tipping and backing the favourite Santa Barbara, such is the outrageously positive chat coming out of Ballydoyle in what could well be a substandard Classic.
It is as if Aidan O'Brien has released the handbrake on the bland caution he has hitherto employed when discussing his horses and it has enthralled and lured in everyone, including the market.
But how can any pundit or punter take themselves seriously if they do decide with the Curragh maiden winner (even at her bigger exchange price) solely on the basis of the trainer chat, and who knows how this super-worker will react if having to get down and dirty and off the bridle here?
It certainly can't be on the evidence of the formbook, as her maiden success was no great shakes from a time or form perspective, though of course she has connections who have hoarded Classics in the past two decades, the pedigree (she is a half-sister to two recent 1m Group 1 fast ground winners Iridessa and Order Of Australia) and no end of improvement in her.
Anyway, the decision, they say, is yours, though I suppose the coward's way out is to tip in the without favourite market, an option this yellow belly is seriously considering.
Still bullish about my antepost tip but I have a new premier bet
I went with Thunder Beauty at 25/1 in my ante-post column on Monday, and little has changed there, including her price.
It was good to hear trainer Ken Condon being relatively upbeat about her preparation on the Nick Luck Daily podcast earlier in the week - though he wasn't going into anywhere approaching Aidan territory on the confidence front - as I do think this filly has Group 1-winning potential.
She only hinted at that, mind you, in her runs in the Moyglare and the Boussac, but you'd be a hard judge not to see more merit in those performances than her beaten distances.
Colin Keane sat her too far off the pace when she was a staying-on fifth to Shale and Pretty Gorgeous over 7f at the Curragh - she is bred to get 1m2f - and she looked like a real threat turning in at Longchamp only for her action to seemingly go soon afterwards, getting into all sorts of trouble thereafter, including being broadsided by another filly.
I initially put that down to inexperience and waywardness, as she didn't look the finished article in the Moyglare either, but Condon reckons the heavy ground was the reason for the bumper cars there and hopefully she will shine on this quicker ground.
I am happy to take my chances at 25s, but now O'Brien has confirmed Mother Earth for the race (he did so on Wednesday) then she has to be my premier bet.
She was still a 14/1 chance in the marketplace as I awoke from my slumbers at 6am on Friday morning, which surprised me, given this looks a very weak renewal with plenty of dubious stayers in the final field.
Few can match Mother's CV
Mother Earth scores more highly than most on all fronts, and she has to be a bet at 10/1 each-way, four places, and bigger.
In fact, I will also be looking to back her in the without Santa Barbara market (once it is up), but a guide price is hard to give at the moment - I'd be guessing 4s or so would be acceptable - so that play is on hold.
At the moment, the bet in the main market has to be the recommendation.
She is the second-highest rated in the field, a mere 1lb shy of the Cheveley Park and Fred Darling winner Alcohol Free, who is far from a guaranteed stayer going up to 1m.
We know Mother Earth stays, having finished third to Pretty Gorgeous in the Fillies' Mile here, and she then went over to the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland and found only the unbeaten Aunt Pearl too good, while finishing in front of Lowther winner and narrow Cheveley Park winner Miss Amulet and the previously unbeaten Morny winner Campanelle in third and fourth.
She has obviously shortened from first thing on Thursday morning (after Pretty Gorgeous was ruled out by the trainer at 8.30am) but the market is still underestimating her chances - indeed, she pretty much has the profile of the recent 1000 Guineas winners from Ballydoyle, far more so than Santa Barbara anyway - and I'll be surprised, disappointed and poorer if she is out of the frame.
She is proven in this grade, over the trip, on this course and over the ground. A CV that few of these can match.
In fact, none from what I can see, and that went for Pretty Gorgeous even before she was ruled out on Friday morning (which was annoying for connections and for me too, as I didn't fancy her one bit on the ground and she helped make the market).
Mother Earth is a strong bet at 10s, four places, even though I would have liked a more midfield draw for her (she is in stall two, with Santa Barbara in one, which may not be ideal for the favourite). And let us hope she isn't in here as a pacemaker in a race with no confirmed pace!
I have personally taken a flier at Seattle Rock at three-figure prices on the exchange for a few quid, and she may be another filly I will look to back each-way in the without favourite market once that line is up.
I have joined the Twitter boycott from 3pm on Friday, but all my columns, current and future, can be found on betting.betfair, and the Racing Only Bettor and Weighed In Podcasts found in the usual place on Spotify etc.
Good luck all.
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Back Thunder Beauty in 1000 Guineas at 26.025/1