Tony Calvin returns with a quartet of selections for Saturday's live racing from Newbury and Newcastle and thinks Nigel Twiston-Davies could have more big-race success...
"I am happy to side with Old Guard again at [9.0] or bigger in the 13:50. I tipped him at 20/1 each way here in the Greatwood and he ran an excellent race in third, shaping very much as if a step back up to this trip would suit."
More Saturday success for Twiston-Davies
It takes some doing to identify Childrens List as my main fancy at the prices on Tuesday morning for the Ladbrokes Trophy at 15:00, only for the horse to be the only one that didn't make it to the race from the five-day entries.
But at least I stopped short of tipping him, so we aren't starting the race on the back foot.
I won't bore you with you the ones that I fear at the top of the market - it is basically all of them to varying degrees - and class usually comes to the fore in this race, with the likes of Denman, Many Clouds, Bobs Worth, Native River and Smad Place among the recent winning roll call.
However, I think the stand-out at the prices is a horse carrying his true weight of ten stone - the bottom three on the card are out of the handicap - so step forward Cogry at [19.5] or better.
He had his jumping issues when he first went chasing, to say the least, but he has really got his act together and he has looked a much-improved horse on his last two starts.
He rounded off last season with a neck second in the Scottish National under today's jockey Jamie Bargary and returned to put Singlefarmpayment to the sword by four lengths at Cheltenham.
He will probably have to be ridden a touch more conservatively here with so much gas in the race - and hopefully that won't be to the detriment of his jumping - but I still think he is fairly handicapped on a 6lb higher mark and Bargary, who can do 9st 11lb, takes a handy 3lb off.
As I said earlier there are loads of dangers, chief among them Whisper and Vyta Du Roc, but Cogry is my sole play in the race.
Cameron can give weight away again
There are three other ITV races on the card and I am happy to side with Old Guard again at [9.0] or bigger in the 13:50.
I tipped him at 20/1 each way here in the Greatwood and he ran an excellent race in third, shaping very much as if a step back up to this trip would suit.
He races off the same mark here, with Bryony Frost again taking off that valuable 5lb, and I think he has another huge race in him. The fact that he is one from one at the track probably means little, but it all adds to the mix. The one I fear most at the prices is Remiluc.
Nothing entices me in the 14:25 - I thought it was a very trappy race, despite just the seven runners - but Just Cameron in the last at 15:35, certainly does. Back him at [13.0] or bigger.
Going into Friday's racing, Micky Hammond had seven winners in the last fortnight (just 17 all season) and I think Just Cameron could be another. He was entitled to need the run at Kelso first time out - he always needs his reappearance badly - and the handicapper dropped him 2lb for it.
That leaves him on the same mark as when winning at Wetherby just three starts ago and, as his connections have pointed out in the past, he is a fair unit and at his best giving weight to inferior rivals. Indeed, he won that Wetherby race off 11st 12lb (the weight he carries here), and 2m on good to soft ground is ideal for him. He should go very well at a double-figure price.
Mirsaale could fill places
Over at Newcastle, the Fighting Fifth at 14:10, has turned into what should be a routine win for the Champion Hurdler Buveur D'Air on his return, though I suppose the ground may have something to say about that.
It must be odds-on that the ground will ride heavy and, while the 6yo has won on it and his form figures on soft read 21111, the conditions are hardly ideal for a class horse with a long season ahead. But it's hard to turn down the opportunity of a Grade 1-winning pot of £62k when you are a 1/4 chance, and he does have the small matter of at least 15lb in hand of his rivals.
Of course, Irving is a dual winner of this race, at home in the conditions, and best when fresh. But he will need the favourite to seriously under-perform if he is going to make it win number three. I am surprised Flying Tiger stood his ground considering he was pulled out of the Greatwood because of the soft ground, and I will admit to having a small tickle on Mirsaale at 100/1 each way, two places, earlier in the week.
The race has predictably cut up and it could be that Mirsaale could nick second, by default, from the front. He looks the only pace angle in the race.
Irving is not the most reliable and getting increasingly tricky, according to his trainer; Flying Tiger is the third favourite but he is only 1lb superior to Mirsaale on official ratings and presumably won't enjoy the ground if you believe connections; and the 132-rated Katgary is surely booked for last spot. I won't put him up as a bet but, if forced to have a wager at the current odds, it would be him each-way.
Bishops to take muddy road to victory
There were 20 entries in the Rehearsal Chase at 15:20, at the five-day stage but the race has predictably cut up a fair bit to just eight runners. Bishops Road and Yala Enki were the main movers earlier in the week, and it is not hard to see why, as both are fairly handicapped mudlarks.
Yala Enki ran far better than it would appear in the Badger Ales first time up as he matched strides with the eventual, race-fit winner Present Man for a long way before crying enough, and has to be feared here off a 1lb lower mark.
The preference at the prices, though, is for Bishops Road at [6.0] or bigger, even if he was available at 14/1 in places on Monday afternoon (though, there have been 12 withdrawals since, obviously).
He finished fourth in what turned out to be a red-hot renewal of this race last season - subsequent winner Otago Trail won, with Bristol De Mai and Definitly Red filling the places and previous winner Wakanda in fifth - and he is 10lb lower now.
With the Kerry Lee yard keeping among the winners this week, at a near 20 per cent seasonal strike-rate, I have to take a chance on his fitness first time up. He is back on the same mark as when winning the Haydock Grand National Trial by nine lengths last year and even a return to his fourth in this race last year would just about see him win this.
And his record when fresh is decent, aside from that fourth last season. He won his bumper first time out in 2013 and on his reappearance (by 17 lengths in heavy ground) in 2016.
Back Old Guard at [9.0] or bigger in the 13:50 at Newbury
Back Cogry at [19.5] or bigger in the 15:00 at Newbury
Back Bishops Road at [6.0] or bigger in 15:20 at Haydock
Back Just Cameron at [13.0] or bigger in the 15:35 at Newbury