It’s good to be back tipping on a Monday, he lied – only joking, I love it, and it beats working for a living – so let’s ditch the rambling intro and get stuck straight in.
The turf cards could have done with a few more runners, but there were enough for me to suggest four bets on the Bank Holiday meetings.
I am going to know my fate in a short spell, as they all run in a 30-minute window.
At one stage, Neverland Rock was going to be another in the Ripon Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy at 4pm, but I stepped back at the last minute.
I thought he was very disappointing in the Richmond at Goodwood last time, even though he was only beaten two and a half lengths in that Group Two, and that is probably a harsh assessment.
He had earlier travelled like a dream over 7f before emptying in the Superlative Stakes, and the step down to this trip at Goodwood promised to see him go close to winning there.
Whether it was track position, or the course itself, he never looked entirely happy there, and I was minded to give him one more chance here, even if it is a trappy little Listed race, where even the lowest-rated in the line-up, No Lippy, has claims.
But, as I said, I decided to leave the race alone.
The selection has not shone in his two starts here, but I will plough on regardless.
If the forecast is correct, then we could be looking at soft ground for Chepstow on Monday and that won’t bother Peachey Carnehan, who ran well in testing conditions when a close third over 6f at Thirsk last time.
The step up to 7f does worry me a little, as I think he is better at 6f, but he is does have plenty of form at this trip, and a victory too.
The key to him winning could well be that his stepping down into the 0-55 handicap grade for the first time, and his 3lb claimer knows him well.
[(full)Watch Reaplay] () Just Hiss ran a cracker at Haydock behind Century Dream and Original Choice
I have a bit of history with Just Hiss, as I haven’t yet got over his defeat at Haydock last September when I had a proper go on him at 20-1.
He completely missed the kick but still only lost out by a short-head and half a length length to Century Dream and Original Choice – two big improvers this season – that day, and he looks very well treated off a 1lb lower mark on that running.
Of course, he has run four times since without getting his head in front, but he has run some very solid races and he shaped well when beaten just a length over course and distance earlier in the month, his first start since May.
There was due to be persistent rain in the Ripon area from early afternoon onwards on Sunday, and any more ease in the ground will be very much in his favour.
It was heavy that day at Haydock. I was there and got absolutely drenched. He rates the bet of the day.
Unnoticed can return to form at a course where he invariably runs well.
His last start here saw him finish third off a 4lb higher mark in April, and he has been steadily coming down the weights of late.
I think the handicapper was kind in easing him 2lb for a fair fifth at Newcastle last time, and Ollie Pears’ horses have been running well in defeat despite a winless August.
There is some decent racing at Epsom on Monday, but I found potential bets hard to come by, though Zzoro helped me out at the last minute.
I had to wait until he was pulled out of a Sunday engagement at Goodwood this morning, mind you, as bizarrely it appears he was “declared in error” there.
He has been a little disappointing since just being touched off at Windsor in April and can be a bit tricky, but he has at least come down 7lb in the weights as a result, and the experiment with blinkers at Newbury last time has been ditched.
He did not run too badly in a hot Class 2 handicap won by Ajman King here on Oaks Day and, with 3lb claimer Jason Watson booked and from a stable that have hit a bit of form of late, I think he is weighted to bounce back to form.
Some of his best efforts have come in soft ground or with cut.
Tony's top tips for Monday: