Andy Stephens was on the mark with Bin Battuta at 4-1 last week, having selected 10-1 and 7-1 winners the previous week.
Five Group One winners clash in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday but you can pick flaws in each of them and the door looks open for a surprise.
The one who makes most appeal, at a general 25-1, is Madeleine Must even though on official figures she is superior to only one Crown Walk, her stablemate, in the nine-runner field.
I would not worry too much about that because she’s had little chance to show what she can do over a mile and looked much improved when coming from last to first in a Listed contest over the trip at Longchamp last time.
She showed a sparkling turn of foot that day, off a decent gallop, and the form looks solid with Imperial Charm, who finished third, having previously twice gone close in Group One company.
I Can Fly was only fifth in the Matron Stakes but she is better than that
Her connections paid £20,000 to supplement her at the start of the week, which tells us she has come out of that success in great shape, and trainer Alex Pantall has a good gauge to the top three-old fillies via Castle Lady, his French 1000 Guineas winner.
Runners from France have scooped five of the past ten renewals of the Sun Chariot and, as a daughter of Motivator, Madeleine Must should relish the soft ground.
I’ll also be having a small bet on I Can Fly, even though she can be slow away and lacks consistency.
I think it’s pretty clear that what she needs to show her best is soft ground and an end-to-end gallop, such as in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last autumn when a neck runner-up to Roaring Lion despite her jockey putting up 2lb overweight.
I Can Fly should have her optimum conditions and, while I’d never trust her at short odds, I’m prepared to have a play on her at a double-figure price.
Two others who make appeal on a card dominated by fillies at Headquarters are Eva Maria and Rhossili Down, who run in the first and last races respectively.
Eva Maria impressed when pouncing from off a steady pace to win on her handicap bow at Ayr last month and can become the fourth successive three-year-old to land the British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap.
She has to cope with a 6lb higher mark but the well-bred daughter of Sea The Stars won without being anything like fully extended at Ayr - Paul Hanagan gave her one tap of the whip late in the scene – and has already shown that soft ground holds no fears for her.
She was initially available at 6-1 on Friday afternoon but the 9-2 still available still looks fair enough.
Rhossili Down has flattered to deceive in the past and in three of her past four races has traded odds-on in-running on Betfair, only to fail to get the job done.
She switches to handicap company here after three months off having had a wind op and I’m convinced an opening mark of 74 for the good-looking daughter of Kingman is lenient.
Testing ground should not be an issue to judge by the way she handled soft ground at Carlisle in June. Like Madeleine Must, she will be ridden by Harry Bentley.
The big betting race at Ascot is the bet365 Challenge Cup, with course specialists Raising Sand and Ripp Orf – who dominated last year’s renewal – predictably heading the market.
Both seem certain to again go well but I cannot resist risking So Beloved at the general 18-1 on offer.
Some of you will question my sanity as the nine-year-old has now gone 44 races since last getting his head in front but he has won or been placed in 27 of his 64 races and retains plenty of ability.
He has dropped to his lowest mark for four years and is 7lb lower than when a big eye-catcher in the Royal Hunt Cup on soft ground in June. I also like the fact that the highly-promising 7lb apprentice Angus Villiers has been booked, plus the fact that the combination are drawn high near the stands’ rail.
At Redcar, Summer Sands is a cramped price for the Racing TV-sponsored Two Year Old Trophy after his third place, at 100-1, in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket last week.
He has to prove that is no fluke and, even it wasn’t, there has to be a chance this will come a bit quick for him.
Preference is for Glasvegas, who is 12-1 despite finishing ahead of Summer Sands when a staying-on third in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
Glasvegas has failed to reproduce that form in two subsequent starts but he again showed that testing conditions hold no fears for him when he won at Hamilton last time and first-time cheekpieces may help add an edge.
Finally, my heart says a third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe success for the wonderful Enable at Longchamp on Sunday but my betting head says Ghaiyyath.
The manner in which the latter, already a two-time winner at Longchamp, won a Group One prize by 14 lengths in a slick time in Germany last time suggests he is out of the top drawer and that is endorsed by the official handicapper, who rates him only 1lb inferior to Enable.
Ghaiyyath is unraced on anything softer than good ground but he is bred to adore the mud and I fancy he will relish it. He is drawn widest of all, in stall 12, but that may also be a blessing for a horse who enjoys his own space.
Clearly, Enable will be a tough nut to crack but she’s 4-6 because bookies know her bulging fan club will back her at whatever odds they offer. Ghaiyyath, not sighted on British shores for two years and overlooked by the public, is available at 12-1.
There’s no way there should be such a gulf in their odds.
How To Bet £20 on Saturday:
1.40 Newmarket: Eva Maria £3 win at 9-2 with BoyleSports
2.50 Redcar: Glasvegas £1 win and £1 each-way at a general 12-1
3.10 Ascot: So Beloved £2 each-way at a general 18-1
3.25 Newmarket: Madeleine Must £2 each-way at a general 25-1
3.25 Newmarket: £1 win I Can Fly at a general 14-1
5.10 Newmarket: Rhossili Down £2.50 win at a general 10-1
Tomorrow: 3.05 ParisLongchamp: Ghaiyyath £2.50 win at a general 12-1
10p Each-Way Heinz plus 22p each-way accumulator plus a 15p Win Heinz (costing £19.99). General odds in brackets.
1.40 Newmarket: Eva Maria (4-1)
2.50 Redcar: Glasvegas (12-1)
3.10 Ascot: So Beloved (18-1)
3.25 Newmarket: Madeleine Must (25-1)
5.10 Newmarket: Rhossili Down (10-1)
Tomorrow: 3.05 Longchamp: Ghaiyyath (12-1)
Select any odd to add a bet