8/19.00 Iberico Lord catches TC's eye in Greatwood
7/18.00 L'Eau Du Sud provides the back-up
There is only one place to start, with regards to betting interest in the Cheltenham races on Sunday. It is not the four-runner Shloer Chase at 14:55, a closely-knit contest on ratings and one that will probably go to the fittest comeback horse, though Editeur De Gite did have a poor spin around Exeter last week.
Not for me, although I hope Lydia Hislop is on Racing TV duty on Sunday.
Even a grumpy old man like me raises a smile when she pronounces Shloer with her unabashed annual glee, accompanied by a hearty guffaw.
Very much a related contingency, and wonderful viewing.
If you are backing Jonbon at 4/91.44 though, give your head a wobble.
It is a good job that I didn't have a bet every time I thought I had the Greatwood Hurdle at 15:30 cracked as I would have half the of the 16-strong field covered by now.
Borrowing from the Blackadder playbook, I have lurched more than a lurching Lurcher in the past few days, but after going through all the relevant replays once again on Friday morning, I landed on Iberico Lord.
And with some strength to that latest, and final, conviction.
To be honest, I completely forgot just how ridiculously eye-catching his second to owner/stablemate Under Control at Sandown in April was, and I am not inclined to let a 6lb rise for a defeat deter me here.
It would be something of an understatement to say Aidan Coleman really should have won that race - and won it handsomely - had he been just a shade more urgent at any time from the second-last, and the third, Arqoob, was six lengths away and he won easily off the mark he ran off that day on his return to Esher last week.
Now, this is a hugely competitive race, and Betfair Exchange markets are nigh on impossible to call these days, but I genuinely think he could go off favourite.
Back him at 8/19.00 each-way, five places, with the Sportsbook.
It is the most attractive bet I have seen in this column for a while.
After a decidedly inauspicious start to his hurdling career, he surely has huge upside on just his fifth start over obstacles.
To me, Onlyamatteroftime remains a false price at his current odds.
His last traded price before the ante-post market was suspended on Friday morning was 5.04/1 and I couldn't have him on my mind at less than 7/18.00 myself - he is 7/24.50 with the Sportsbook - for all the switch to Willie Mullins could invigorate him substantially.
Admittedly, I wouldn't back that up with hard, cold cash, as I can let others play the heavy odds-on by laying at those prices. I can very easily ignore him, though.
It would need to be 7s to spark any interest in him given the horse's questionable profile, and let us not forget he is also rated 10lb lower in Ireland.
I admit I had the 2lb well-in Knickerbocker Glory, Anyharminasking and Luccia on my possible punting dance card this week - and a couple of others aside - but I am very tempted to go in two-handed here, in the hope that Cheltenham cops more rain than is currently forecast into Sunday.
The horse in question is L'Eau Du Sud, who will relish it if it gets a lot deeper than planned and for whom a wind op may finally unleash the potential he showed on a couple of occasions last season off a mark of 130 here.
I know he finished third in a Morebattle but I was actually a little disappointed by him there. I thought he shaped exceptionally well when third at Kempton previously, when he had stablemate and subsequent County Hurdle winner Faivoir 9 ½ lengths away in fourth.
That was a very strong race in the round, with the winner now rated 9lb higher after going on to finish second in the Martin Pipe, and the fifth also having won twice since.
So, if I was underwhelmed by his solid Kelso third - and I think he is much better than that - I am happy to have him as my back-up at 7/18.00 win-only with the Sportsbook or 8.07/1 or bigger on the Exchange.
He is 8/19.00 in a place as this goes live; it is important to note that for readers.
I am expecting nearer 9s on the win-only exchange market, to be honest - though that line will only firm up from Saturday morning onwards admittedly, so a watching brief may be required - but that's my base starting point for a bet.
I'll be hugely disappointed if Iberico Lord is out of the first five given his handicap upside, but I am content to play L'Eau Du Sud on the nose as he is more of a gut-feel punt.
The latter's part-owners Sir Alex Ferguson and Ged Mason hardly need the cash, especially after Spirit Dancer won in Bahrain for them on Friday, but I reckon they will be back in the country for Cheltenham on Sunday cheering their charge on.
Even for a cynic like me, the two silver foxes are a joy to watch on TV, shouting their horses home.
And, if it really lashes down - at the moment even the most extreme forecasts say only 12mm is due in the next 48 hours, with some saying half of that - then that would suit both of my selections.
Nothing else at Cheltenham interests me, so I will favour brevity for a change.
I am also not getting involved in the 3m3f149yd Southern National at Fontwell at 14:03 as it could be last man/woman/horse standing in the ground.
The going there is already heavy and they have called an inspection for 11am on Saturday, with rain forecast throughout the day.
Even if it passes, it won't be the stuff Great British Racing will be putting on any showreel.
I am going to have a few days off before Weighed-In on Monday, but I may chime in with another update on Saturday morning if anything catches my eye.
No promises, though.
Good luck and go well.
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