Welcome to the Monday Club.
This column may not be able to focus on the likes of Cheltenham, Royal Ascot or Glorious Goodwood – oh sorry, it isn’t called that anymore – but I can promise you that the darts that we will be throwing will be of the bigger-priced variety. Well, that’s the plan anyway, wherever and whenever possible.
First up on the oche on Monday afternoon is Reinforced in the 7f handicap at Ayr (2.00). The handicapper has not budged after he has run below-par on his last two starts, over 7f and 1m here, but if he returns to the form of his Carlisle win last month then he should go close.
The key to his chance here is that he is the only recognised front-runner in the field; he made all at Carlisle, and did the same over course and distance last season. The stable is in great nick, too, with four winners from their past six runners, and any more rain (showers are forecast) will suit this soft-ground lover. He is available at 7-1, and a bit bigger still on Betfair.
Fellow top-weight in the second division (2.30pm) is Ralphy Boy, who is also worth a small tickle at 12-1.
He has a pretty good strike-rate for a handicapper, even if he has failed to win on his past 13 starts.
He is 7lb lower than for his last win and shaped as if his turn was near when sixth at Thirsk last time.
The step back in class to a 0-65 handicap is a big positive and the fitting of cheekpieces for only the second time (he last wore them in October 2012) is another interesting move, too. I would be worried if the ground turned soft, though, so keep an eye on the weather.
I thought there could be some mileage in Weekend Offender in the 1m2f handicap at 4pm, until I saw the prices.
This is his first attempt at the trip but his run-style suggests it will suit, and he shaped with promise, after an unfortunate accident at Hamilton the time before, when sixth at York last time.
However, even a top price of 9-4 doesn’t come anywhere close to tempting me in, so I have to walk away. I do that quite a lot.
I haven’t got into the jumps yet, so that rules out Newton Abbot, and small fields at Windsor have not lent themselves to being attractive betting mediums.
So off to Wolverhampton, where Omotesando interested me in the 1m4f handicap, but not as much as Seen The Lyte in the nursery at 5.45pm.
She has the best speed figure in the race courtesy of her Ripon second on her penultimate start, and she has been eased 1lb after a fair York run last time. She likes to go forward but there is a lot of competition for the lead here, so she may have to be reined back and sit handy instead.
I thought odds of 14-1 (in one place) and the general 12-1 were very fair. The Mark Johnston horses are going great guns in nurseries, so Seyaady, another pace angle, is an obvious danger. But, at 9-4, he hasn’t been missed in the market.
Tony Calvin's best bets for Monday
2.00 Ayr: Reinforced at a general 7-1