My racecourse forays are not as frequent as I would like these days, mainly due to my workload, but I am looking forward to going to Haydock on Friday and Saturday for the 32Red Sprint Cup meeting.
The aim is to nail The Betting Lab on Thursday night, have a late one doing all my various weekend columns, and get on the train at Euston at 9.30am on Friday morning, free from work and primed for an enjoyable 48-hour blast on my lonesome.
So if you are at Haydock, come and say hello. If you are not too boring, I will probably buy you a drink . . . if I have any money left after some Monday punting, that is. Here is what I came up with.
All Back To Mine did not run too cleverly at Lingfield last time but she ran far too free in the early stages after some buffeting and wasn’t ideally positioned throughout, so I am willing to forgive her that effort.
Unfortunately, the handicapper is of a similar mindset and has left her on the same mark.
However, that is the same as her earlier second over an extended 5f here (the winner and third ran well in defeat next time) and her speed figures compare favourably with the opposition.
Her best efforts to date have come over 5f but I will be disappointed if it is stamina that defeats her here over this sub-6f trip. Bet365 are the only firm to have priced it up so far and go 7-2.
Elsewhere on the Brighton card I thought Good Luck Charm had a decent shot in the 4.30pm.
There is nothing doing on the Ffos Las card where only one of the races has attracted eight runners but I thought Lamb Chop (3.15pm) and Jacbequick (4.45pm) had obvious chances.
On a day hardly brimming with betting opportunities, Parnassian is worth a small nibble in the opener at Windsor.
There are two firsts for the four-year-old here. It is his first outing in a 0-75 handicap and also in blinkers, for which Amanda Perrett is 9 from 92 when initially adopting this headgear since 2006. That’s not a bet-inducing stat in itself, but it is about par for the course.
Parnassian has come down 6lb in the weights this season despite really not running a bad race. He hasn’t been beaten more than 4¼ lengths in any of his seven starts in 2018, and was beaten under a length in a bunch finish here last time.
He is 10lb lower than when winning over course and distance for Karl Burke last year.
The Perrett stable had a golden August with 10 winners at a strike rate of 28 per cent, and her Zzoro did this column a favour when winning under Jason Watson at Epsom last Monday.
Watson is also on board Parnassian, which is clearly another positive, and everything looks in place for another big run. The only downside is that the inital 8-1 on offer did not last long.
George Baker has had a 2018 to forget with just five winners – he didn’t have his first winner until May and his last two runners have not beaten a horse home – so it is with some trepidation that I recommend Harry Hurricane as a small-stakes play in this 6f handicap.
The horse himself is on a bit of a downward spiral, too, and he has dropped 12lb in the weights since the turn of the year.
But he has run a couple of good races this season, and one of those came last time out when fourth off this mark here.
Five furlongs and quick ground are his optimum conditions, and this represents his first start in a 0-80 handicap, too, so hopefully his class can come to the fore.
I couldn’t find a bet on the Newcastle card, although the first-time cheekpieces on William Haggas’s Life On Earth in the 5.50pm are interesting as the trainer is 10 from 46 with this option since 2016.
Best of luck.
Tony's top trio: