I am banking on an upset in the Gold Cup in which Stradivarius is odds-on to complete a hat-trick of wins in the race.
The six-year-old won 10 races in a row from the start of 2018 until autumn last year, none of them spectacularly, the last nine of them by under two lengths. He has outstayed some very decent stayers to win this race in 2018 and 2019, Vazirabad, Order Of St George and Dee Ex Bee among them.
He has not won his last two races, though, so I am happy to put him up as a lay for today's race.
Favourite could wilt under pressure
Although Stradivarius is dogged and unbeaten over two miles and a half, there is a chance that a younger horse will get the better of him, as Kew Gardens did in the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup last October.
Frankie Dettori told the stewards after one of the most memorable finishes of the season that his mount hung right-handed under pressure. He still finished six lengths ahead of Mekong and 10 lengths ahead of Withhold and I would expect him to do so again.
Realistically, layers of Stradivarius are relying on one of the other five improving. Technician closed out 2019 with two victories at Longchamp. In the Group 2 Prix Chaudenay he went past the long-time leader Moonlight Spirit with 100 yards to go and reversed St Leger placings with Nayef Road who was back in seventh.
In the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak he beat three of the best four stayers in France - Call The Wind, Holdthasigreen and Way To Paris. Oisin Murphy takes over from Pierre-Charles Boudot, who was in the saddle for those wins, but that would not worry me.
Cross Counter was beaten two lengths by Stradivarius in last year's Gold Cup and again in the Goodwood Cup. He has since taken his career earnings to over £3.5million with three good efforts in defeat in the Irish St Leger, the Melbourne Cup and Saudi Arabia. He needs to improve or for things to not go Stradivarius' way.
Moonlight Spirit is one of the many Group winners that started out on the all-weather. He has yet to run at this level or over the trip but improved with each run last year.
Nayef Road outstayed Prince Of Arran and the favourite, Withhold, at Newcastle last time - confirmation, if it was needed, that he is going the right way and worth his place in this line-up.
Stradivarius is undoubtedly a worthy favourite but he may not be as fast as he was. At 8/13 he is worth laying.
Forget the Hype and lay Dettori's mount for a place
If I was pricing up the Golden Gates Handicap at 13:15 I wouldn't have either Hypothetical or Acquitted as favourite. They are two of the three that have attracted money, though, in the last few days.
Acquitted is seen as well handicapped as the horse that beat him three lengths at Newcastle, Palace Pier, is 4/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook for the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes on Saturday. It was a slow-run race, though, and he has not been helped by drawing stall 15.
My choice of the two as a place lay, Hypothetical is one of the least experienced in the line-up. He has had just the one run since winning a maiden at Chelmsford on his debut. He was favourite for a Derby trial at Kempton where he disputed the lead in the straight but faded in the last two furlongs. Dettori wasn't hard on him but you were left wondering whether he really stayed 10 furlongs. He will need to if he is to be placed this afternoon.
Global Storm has the best chance of the three that have won at the trip - all of them coincidentally owned by Godolphin. He is unbeaten since he was gelded and that has coincided with him racing beyond a mile for the first time. He has a 5lb penalty for beating Arthurian Fable by a short head at Newmarket but it was a career-best and there should be better to come. No surprise he is 9-2 from 15-2.
Stablemate Ya Hayati and the third Godolphin runner, Laser Show, weren't much cop last year but can be fancied on their Meydan wins earlier this year.
Andrew Balding was happy with Bronze River's prep run behind Global Storm, and this gelding is a handy one to have on our side.
Maori Knight would have a 5lb penalty had he won at Haydock where he was headed in the shadow of the post. He races off the same mark so is one you would hope can make the frame and keep Hypothetical out of the first four.
Make an Enemy of Gosden
For my third lay I am opposing one of the two market leaders for the Britannia Stakes at 16:10.
Enemy has been backed down from 10/1 to 11/2 on our Sportsbook for this 24-runner handicap on the back of his recent gallops at Newmarket. His form, though, would not put him in the first 10.
The form of his Ascot win last autumn has not worked out well. The second and third have still to win a maiden. And earlier this month he was outpaced in the closing stages when beaten at 1-2 at Yarmouth. He was a costly flop, then, and could be this afternoon, too.
There are two winners of their most recent races that will be hard to keep out of the frame: Finest Sound and Path Of Thunder as well as Establish who did not get the best of rides from Jack Mitchell when finishing full of running for a handicap for which he was favourite at Lingfield.
Finest Sound's odds have halved from 6/1 to 3/1 as he is several pounds ahead of the handicapper. After his three thirds as a two-year-old it was decided to geld him and operate on his wind. The surgery doesn't always work but he looked a completely different horse on hius season debut at Haydock, winning in an exceptionally fast time by five and a half lengths. He has gone up 12lb but, as this handicap closed ahead of that race, he just has a 5lb penalty, so has 7lb in hand of his rivals. Owner, trainer and rider have had a winner this week which is good news for his backers.
Path Of Thunder has been gelded since he won a nursery on the Newmarket July Course last summer. He made all over seven furlongs that day but he has always worked like a miler and his pedigree points to him staying this trip and possibly 10 furlongs.
I'd sooner back Verboten, Khaloosy or the as-yet-unbeaten Dance Fever, than Enemy, who can be laid for a place with confidence.