Setback for Coroebus paves the way for Baaeed
There were nine in the Sussex Stakes at the five-day stage, but it was always odds-against that we would cling on to the magic eight for each-way purposes, so it looks like Baaeed will stroll home without many punters having a bet.
The only surprise was that it was the ante-post 7/2 second-favourite Coroebus who would be responsible for bringing down the field size to seven after being found to be lame on Monday morning.
To be fair, a defeat is not totally out of the realms of possibility for Baaeed, or else he wouldn't be available to back at around 1/5 on the exchange.
He will never be Frankel in the talent stakes, or in his ability to kill a betting market stone-dead.
It is quite something to behold that the sport's superstar went off at 1/20 when winning this race in 2012, from a horse in Farhh who went on to win the Lockinge and Champion Stakes the following season.
What a beast!
Back to Baaeed though, and he probably can't afford to be too far off his A-game and expect to win this without coming off the bridle.
He is opposed by three in-form, high-class winners in Alcohol Free. Modern Games and Order Of Australia after all, as well as dual Group 1 juvenile scorer Angel Bleu.
Order Of Australia's chances could be compromised by the fact that he could be pestered on the front end by Bathrat Leon and Chindit, so maybe last year's winner and recent July Cup scorer Alcohol Free is the way to look to go in the Without Favourite market.
However, the Sportsbook originally put her in at a very short 5/4, and she has only drifted out to 11/8, so I cannot play at those prices. Modern Games was big at 11/2 but he is now into 4s and, if there is a bet, it may be Angel Bleu at 16s. But no recommendation here.
Platonic Inverness could finish strongly
The best betting race on the card is the opening 1m3f218yd handicap at 13:50.
Secret State and Migdam vied for favouritism in the ante-post market around the 7/2 mark, but the latter is a no-show and is presumably being kept back for a 1m2f handicap on Thursday, so the Godolphin horse has obviously hardened in the betting.
The form of his King George V win could not have been given a better boost by the runner-up winning the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy on his next start, though to add balance, the third and fourth both finished last-of-three in their subsequent outings, and the fifth, sixth and seventh have all been chinned since, too.
So maybe we should take off the rose-tinted spectacles and look elsewhere for a bet, for all he has very strong claims.
I was hoping Double Cherry would be declared after a curious run at Haydock last time, but presumably they think the ground will be too lively for him, and in his absence I am willing to throw a few quid at Inverness.
Quite how he won his 1m maiden here last year, I am not quite sure - he traded at the maximum price of 1000 in running - but, despite that unlikely success, he has occasionally looked a less-than-willing partner.
But you can mark up his 4 ¾-length 10th to Secret State in that King George V handicap as he came widest in the straight, and he hit 2.56/4 in running when possibly failing to see out the 1m6f trip at the same course last time, a race in which he again could have travelled more kindly for his jockey, who made perhaps an unwise, sweeping outside move coming round the final behind.
He seems to lack tactical speed, which is an obvious concern around here on quick ground - as could be his draw in one - but at 17.016/1 and bigger I am willing to take a small-stakes chance against horses with sexier profiles.
There is plenty of pace in here, so hopefully a waiting ride and another strong finish is on the cards. I think you'll comfortably beat 16s on the Exchange, too (two firms opened up at 22/1 about him on Monday morning). He is actually available at 21.020/1 as I publish.
Same hymn sheet as Symphony Perfect
The 7f Group 3 Fillies and Mares at 14:25 didn't appear my type of race on first viewing, in that you can throw a blanket over most of these on official figures and the scope for traffic problems and bumper cars here is all too obvious.
Twelve of the 17 are separated by just 6lb, with a mere 3lb between eight of them at the top end, so this race is seriously up for grabs.
Ideally, I think you want a horse that is drawn low and likely to go forward - therefore, minimizing the bad luck element - and, despite the fact she was held up when nutted on the line at Ascot on Saturday, then Oscula from stall two could ft that bill.
The very quick turnaround is an obvious concern though, for all she takes her racing very well, and I was actually more drawn (no pun intended) to the filly inside of her in one, Symphony Perfect, at the prices. Especially when the opening 16s about Oscula was cut into 10s early on Monday afternoon.
Symphony Perfect was having her first start for Hugo Palmer, and her first run for over two months, when an encouraging fifth, at 40/1 (Betfair SP of 65.57), from off the pace over 6f in a Group 3 at York, and I reckon we may just see a reversion to forcing tactics here.
She went from the front when a 2-length fifth to Wild Beauty in the Fred Darling at Newbury back in April - losing ground in the middle of the track close home, so it was probably even better than it looks on paper - and I hope to see her blast off here from the inside berth.
I reckon she will stay this 7f well enough on quick ground around here, so back her at 29.028/1 or bigger on the Exchange.
Again, I feel you will beat 28s, but that's the guide price.
I appreciate the Betfair Sportsbook are paying an enhanced five places - their opening show about her was 40/1 on Monday, but she is now 20s - but I am happy to just take the win part of the bet.
There's Value in my Theory
I couldn't object to any of the prices in the eight-runner Molecomb at 15:00, so you are on your own there, and give me a handicap any day of the week, anyway.
The fillies' 1m2f handicap at 16:10 has cut up from 17 to nine at the overnight stage and the one that interested me most was Value Theory.
Her best run probably came in the Group 3 Prestige Stakes here last season and she has been coming steadily down the handicap this term (8lb in total) while running respectably. Indeed, her best run of the campaign was her third at Nottingham last time.
However, the issue with her is her stamina for this 1m1f1974yd trip. The only other time she has raced over 1m2f she ran well below par on the all-weather at Lingfield, though I appreciate she was coming back for more over an extended 1m at Nottingham last time after looking set to drop away.
And another potential problem is that she likes to lead and Mystirica and Natasha - and a couple of others in here have gone forward in the past, too - could get on her case.
But a look at her pedigree suggests she should be staying this 1m2f trip. She is related to some middle-distance winners, as well as a horse who shone over 2m (admittedly he was by Monsun) in Australia, and that Nottingham run over 1m75yd last time gives me further encouragement.
I'll take my chances at 15.014/1 or bigger off what is a fair mark of 88.
I wasn't sure of the wisdom of a maiden being on the ITV coverage on Tuesday, but at least we have a bit more form to work on in the 2yo 5f conditions' race at 16:45. Once again, though with a 2yo race, it is over to you.
Best of luck.