The Betfair Sportsbook have priced up the four Friday ITV races at Newmarket, so they were the focus for for this week's first ante-post column.
I say first because the Queen's funeral put all declarations and entries back 24 hours - Saturday's fields won't be known until gone 2pm on Tuesday - so I decided to split up the copy.
Looking at Friday's racing, I didn't hold out too much hope of a bet to be honest. Regular readers know I prefer a handicap to get stuck into rather than the four Group and Listed races ITV are serving up from HQ on Friday (there are three ITV handicaps from Haydock but they are currently not priced up).
They haven't attracted massive fields at the five-day stage though - the entries range from 10 to 19 - so they are manageable and maybe you will be sitting pretty if you bet now and land on a runner. Or maybe not.
The Sportsbook initially made the once-raced Newmarket winner Laurel their 7/4 favourite in the opening 1m Listed contest at 13:50 (she is now out to 9/4 for the reason below).
Rule out Laurel at the price
That surprised me somewhat, even if this impeccably-bred Juddmonte filly (by Kingman out of a Group 1 winner) was clearly very impressive on her debut.
The form of that novice win is nothing special as it stands, with the runner-up beaten at 6/5 in a Chelmsford maiden next time, and the fourth (the third hasn't run since) finishing last of 10 in an Ascot handicap off 84.
And, when first looking at the race on Monday - and far more importantly - she was jocked up for a novice at Kempton on Wednesday night.
She was confirmed for that Kempton race on Tuesday morning, so you can rule out the 7/4 favourite straight away.
It is still an unattractive betting contest at this stage, even with a horse taking 36 per cent of the market (yes, I know they aren't betting to 100 per cent) seemingly out of the way (unless she unexpectedly gets taken out of Kempton and comes here).
Romantic Rival is interesting 7/1 shot
Basically, there are simply too many closely-knit form horses and progressive fillies in here to have a strong opinion at this stage - George Boughey's Oscula is double-entered by the way - but Boughey's Romantic Rival is interesting, having officially improved 11lb when third in a 7f Doncaster Group 3 last time at 150/1. And she would have won with a clear run, too.
The step up in trip will suit her, and she is a fair 8s shot, but the fact that Boughey has four in here obviously gives him options.
There are 14 in the 1m4f Group 3 at 14:25 and, again, I am surprised to see Sea Silk Road put in as short as 11/8 in here after a slightly disappointing fourth at Deauville last time, even if this does represent a drop in grade for her.
Top two look under-priced
Even with her 3lb penalty, you can make a fair argument that 11/4 chance Eternal Pearl should be at the head of the market.
She was beaten only half-a-length by Sea Silk Road in the Height Of Fashion at Goodwood in May, and her form has really taken off of late. The 3lb penalty for the Deauville Group 3 win last time is inconvenient, though.
You could also make a very cogent (and easy) case that both are under-priced though, as this race has more depth to it than their combined odds suggest.
Last year's winner Forbearance at 7s and the 89-rated, but well-bred, Royal Scandal at 16s are the two that caught my eye, though the latter is also entered in the Listed race on the card, so that rules her out of the betting equation for the time being.
Story should contain a few twists yet
I think 7/1 Never Ending Story could go off favourite if turning up for the Rockfel at 15:00 - she met all the trouble going when fourth in the Group 1 Moyglare last time - but who knows if Aidan will send her over?
The layers clearly do not.
In any case, this 19-runner race looks best left alone until we see the confirmed runners on Wednesday - the 7/4 favourite Commissioning did look very good on her debut at Newmarket - and the going, which could scare plenty off.
Or maybe not.
The Newmarket ground is currently good (good to firm in places), with the weather set fair until Friday, so maybe we are looking at fast ground, unless they get jiggy with some watering.
And, lo and behold, I have just checked on the BHA website and Newmarket are set to water "the whole of the course on Tuesday" ahead of their three-day meeting starting on Thursday, so what can possibly go wrong?
We don't know how much they are going to put down for starters and basically we don't know where we stand with the ground, especially as one site I use has rain arriving on Thursday into Friday (not a lot forecast at the moment, but forecasts change as we know).
And Newmarket are known for over-watering, especially on the July course.
There are just the 10 in the Group 2 Joel Stakes at 15:35, so it has an easier shape to address betting-wise, with Oscula the only doubly-entered horse this week.
This looks to have been defensively priced up though, with Tempus and Potapova the 11/4 joint-favourites, so keep an eye out for my antepost column about Saturday's racing, where I can hopefully find a bet or two.
That should be out late on Tuesday afternoon or first thing on Wednesday.