It's the first day of the St Leger meeting and Tony Calvin advises playing it safe and backing just the one horse on Wednesday at Doncaster...
"Sometimes in racing you have to go with your hunch and take a risk when the price allows, and the fact that Big Storm Coming is owned by Doncaster-based firm Fishlake Commercial Motors Ltd leads me to believe we can expect a better run here."
As terrestrial offerings go post-lockdown, Doncaster and Kempton on Wednesday would be some way down the pile , so I have had to get imaginative, shall we say, to eke out a bet in the seven races ITV3 have offered us.
And tips get no more tentative than Big Storm Coming in the Leger Legends at 14:40.
So while I am recommending him as a bet at 33/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook, this really is a tenner, minimum-stakes, win-only job.
The reason being is that he has beaten only two of his 32 rivals this season, though in the horse's defence he has started at 66s twice, and 80/1, in those three races and has been ridden by a 5lb claimer on his last two outings.
Looking at those performances, I didn't think he shaped that badly when last at Thirsk on his reappearance (first start for 321 days and not given a hard time), he travelled well enough up to a point at Leicester next time, and he would have hated the heavy ground at Catterick last month.
But, in total honesty, he hasn't shown a great deal at all.
However, I am hoping that he is simply running himself into fitness at the grand old age of 10, just as he did when bolting up off a 3lb higher mark than this at Epsom last season.
Prior to that success, he had beaten a mere five horses out of 47 on his opening five appearances in 2019, but he still started only a 4/1 chance when winning that 7f Epsom 0-75 handicap.
Someone knew an improved performance was in the offing.
His dire form this time around has seen him fall 10lb in the weights to a mark of just 70, allowing him to get into this 0-70 Classified Stakes, and I am hoping we can see a similar revival here with Paul Mulrennan replacing the claimer (though granted he has a poor record when riding for the stable).
The better ground will suit this old-timer, and he is clearly weighted to do some damage off this mark (and I know this isn't a handicap) if coming back to his 2019 form.
And his owners give me hope that he will be primed for this.
Sometimes in racing you have to go with your hunch and take a risk when the price allows, and the fact that Big Storm Coming is owned by Fishlake Commercial Motors Ltd leads me to believe we can expect a better run here.
The company is based in Doncaster, so I imagine they will be present on Wednesday, and one of this horse's better career starts came at Donny, when he finished fourth off a mark of 88 in August 2018. So hopefully, this is a local plot.
A rather big if, but he would win this if running up to that course form. He is arguably better at 7f but he has plenty of form over a mile and Mulrennan will hopefully be playing him late off a strong gallop, which is what he wants.
It is probably as lightweight a case as I have made for a horse, but I think 33/1 is a very fair trade-off.
County Carnival a big price in the 14:10
I have no betting interest in the earlier nursery at 13:40 but the 2yos Acklam Express and Country Carnival add a fascinating element to the 5f Scarborough Stakes at 14:10.
Outside of the juveniles, it is a tricky enough race to call, though Moss Gill deserves to head the market after his Nunthorpe third, but the youngsters must be very dangerous rivals to all getting so much weight.
Acklam Express has the more solid profile of the pair, but the filly Country Carnival gets a mammoth 30lb from Dakota Gold and Moss Gill and she is a fair runner on her York third or her Goodwood second.
Her last-of-eight at Newbury last time is easily forgiven as she raced on the wrong part of the track on deep ground, and the firms offering 28/1 are taking a chance.
But it is not a bet that appeals too greatly, in truth, though she would be my bet at the prices if you want an interest.
I wouldn't have a clue about horse's physiques, but she looked a dainty little one on TV, and carrying such a light weight could be a big positive for her, too.
Starcat of most interest in a tough handicap
The 7f Group fillies' races at 15:15 is too tough for me to solve, and 9/2 the field (if you shop around) probably underlines just how competitive it is.
Foxtrot Lady, back to 7f, was the best bet on offer at 20/1+ on the exchange, I would much rather attempt to solve a handicap these days, but I went one way and then another when looking at the 1m2f handicap at 15:45.
And I arrived at a dead end.
Caradoc has a big chance if you forgive him his well-backed disappointment at Ascot last time (he was dropped 2lb for it, too), and Rise Hall is down to a decent mark as well, but Starcat is probably the one that interested me most at around the 8/1 mark.
He started off the season in the 2,000 Guineas after winning on his sole start at two (in a decent time), and didn't do badly at Newmarket, and he again shaped well when fifth at Goodwood last time when stepped up to this trip.
The suspicion is that he has more to offer after just four starts, but there are negatives. The Goodwood form is not strong, a first-time tongue-tie clearly hints at an issue, and being drawn 14 of 14 is not ideal.
I think 8s is fair, especially with his stable in decent form, but this handicap does have some depth and I am not inclined to play given the above concerns.
Kempton thoughts to finish
The 1m3f handicap at Kempton has attracted just five runners and it could be just four as massive Ascot eye-catcher Omnivega was entered at Newcastle on Tuesday afternoon before being pulled out at 7.28am, so presumably there was a physical reason for that no-show ("Other" was the reason given).
In his possible absence, maybe Good Birthday can finally deliver, but there is no real joy to be had in the prices and the likely Rule 4.
Itkaann is the predictable favourite in the 1m handicap at 14:25 given his sexy, lightly-raced profile and the fact that he has won at the course.
But there are a couple of similar sorts in here and Zhui Feng is now handicapped to win again, though he has pace rivals either side of him, which could inconvenience him greatly.
So just that one big-priced speculative bet on Wednesday. We have ITV racing all week, so there is no need to force it. And, in truth, there never is.