Laying can be a funny old game. My betting highlight on Wednesday was Stunning Beauty getting left in the stalls because of a misunderstanding between the starter and the stalls handlers. Bingo - I'd laid him for a place.
I've been laying most days for the last 20 years and can't recall one of mine being left in the stalls before. I could do with something similar on what looks a tricky Friday card.
Market leaders can keep Tasman at Bay
There's just one favourite shorter than 3/1 - the 2/1 shot Alenquer in the King Edward VII Stakes at 15:05. In the last three races on the card the jollies are 12/1, 13/2 and 6/1. Not at all 'lay friendly'.
So three place-lays it is starting with Tasman Bay in the 15:05. Sir Mark Todd's runner is entitled to be in the line-up but has the look of a horse that is at Ascot because the owner wants to have a runner at the meeting.
He might nick a place if ridden to finish third but if he takes the market leaders on early he will be a spent force by the time they turn into the straight.
Tasman Bay simply does not have the turn of foot that Alenquer showed when winning the Sandown Derby trial from Adayar and Yibir.. And Title showed he has extra gears when beating his better-fancied market rival Sea Karats at Yarmouth.
Aidan O'Brien recommended The Mediterranean be supplemented for the race after he finished runner-up in a Listed race at Leopardstown this month. The colt has only won a maiden but must be impressing at home for his trainer to be that keen to run him.
Gear Up and Bellochio were unplaced in the Dante at York but it was a fast-run race and I would still take them to finish in front of Tasman Bay.
Primo suspect against classier rivals
The Coronation Stakes at 16:20 has attracted multiple Group One and Group Two winners over the years, and this year is no different.
Mother Earth won the 1,000 Guineas and then finished second in the French version. The clear pick on this year's form she twice finished behind Pretty Gorgeous last year - at The Curragh and then at Newmarket.
We've only seen Pretty Gorgeous once this spring - at the Curragh when she didn't have much luck in running in the Irish 1,000 Guineas won by Empress Josephine. Her jockey that day and when she won the Group One Fillies' MIle at Newmarket last October, Shane Crosse, has been replaced by Frankie Dettori and I can see her running a big race.
With the German 1,000 Guineas winner Novemba in the line-up, as well as last year's Cheveley Park winner Alcohol Free there is a strong case for laying Primo Bacio for a place.
Ed Walker's filly gets better by the race and exceeded expectations when proving far too good for Creative Flair and the favourite Snow Lantern at York last month.
I was very much with Snow Lantern that day and was surprised Primo Bacio beat her five lengths, given the 14/1 shot could only finish fourth to Alcohol Free in their 1,000 Guineas trial at Newbury.
I can see Primo Bacio is improving but this is a big step up in class for her. If you asked me whether you should back her each-way at 4/1 or lay her for a place, I would advocate laying her.
Glesga Gal a surprising overnight favourite
And so to the three handicaps at the end of the card. You would have thought it easy to find a runner in the 9/2 to 10/1 zone to recommend laying for a place but it wasn't.
That said, the shorter Glesga Gal got for the Sandringham Stakes at 17:00 the more amazed I was. She is not well drawn in stall 10, hasn't won on turf and has yet to race over a mile.
Two-thirds of the field have raced over the distance, some taking to it more than others. Top of my short list each-way would be the 25/1 shot Teodolina, which won at Ascot in April. Others I like include Belief, Create Belief, Dawndiva, Divine Light, Prado, Professional Widow, Ready To Venture and Riknnah.
With those nine all on our side, I would be really disappointed if Glesga Gal makes the first four.
Equality unlikely to take advantage of opportunity
Equality is another false favourite I suggest you take on in the Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap at 18:10. He heads the Sportsbook market at 9/2 but is ranked 25 of 25 by the Racing Post.
Kieran Shoemark's mount won his latest race at Wolverhampton by a wide margin but it is a big leap of faith to think he will win this competitive three-year-old handicap. His heart is in the right place but it is a big ask to make the first four in this company. I wouldn't be surprised to see him drift out significantly in the betting.
Equality is drawn close to the stands' rail but so too are Boomshalaa and Significantly. Both have looked speedier than the favourite.
Mo Celita has won three sellers and two handicaps since joining Adrian Nicholls. This is her stiffest task yet, but her new owners were keen to see how good she is and have booked Oisin Murphy to get her home in front.
Finding the winner is tough enough, but they should be going 8/1 the field. Equality is no 9/2 shot.