At a shade of odds-on, many people will feel that Bataash is money already banked when he runs in the Nunthorpe Stakes at 15.35, but, as a punter and acquirer of dosh to help pay for my seven children, a big-priced horse that places will garner me a bigger return than sweating on the fav who, it must be remembered, blew his chance last year by boiling over in the preliminaries.
Granted fast ground, and assuming the Charlie Hills speedster behaves himself, he could be away and gone, but that still means there are two places up for grabs.
A Gimcrack winner previously, Blue Point could easily fill one of those places after patently not getting home in the July Cup at Newmarket, which leaves me with Mr Lupton and Sioux Nation.
The former isn’t up to winning this, but all of his best form has come at the Knavesmire on good-to-fast ground from off the pace, so if Paul Hanagan rides him in that manner again I could see him picking up the pieces and sneaking into the three.
Sioux Nation is a bit of an enigma. He seems to retain the majority of his form, but only uses it when he wants to. His July Cup form makes him a contender for a place here and 20/1 with the PP traders looks a perfectly acceptable offer. He is one of few in this line-up with the latent talent to cause an upset if he gets up from the right side of his box on Friday morning.
The opening mile-and-a-half handicap (13.55) looks a moderate renewal this year and as such the likes of Melting Dew and Reshoun have obvious claims.
The Lonsdale Stakes (14.25) fits into the same bracket as the Nunthorpe with a red-hot odds-on favourite, but once again the other two places are up for grabs. I would rather eat pickled eels than bet odds-on, so go with the place pick on board 25/1 shot St Michel who I’m sure we’ve not seen the best of.
A definitive hold-up charge, Sir Mark Prescott’s stayer has been building up steadily to his best form this season and if he gets a good pace for the long home stretch, I fancy he could surprise quite a few of these.
The Gimcrack Stakes at 15.00 doesn’t really have a stand out player, but Showout is a big runner from the juvenile hot house of Archie Watson, while Aidan’s The Irish Rover will also have his supporters, but I prefer Richmond Stakes third-place finisher Shine So Bright at around 4/1.
The son of Oasis Dream is less exposed than the majority of these and with his stable firing on all cylinders I make him my nap of the day!
With experience on his side, the giant Commanding Officer will surely go close to losing his maiden tag in the Convivial Maiden at 16.15, while I thought that Borodin was one of the each-way plays of the meeting in the closing three-year-old mile handicap due off at 16.50.
The Richard Fahey charge has a lovely, fluent action that is well served by the good ground and, as such, conditions look perfect for him. The cream on the cake surely has to be his box six draw and, if I can garner a double-figure price, I shall be having one of my biggest each-way wagers of the season on the famous pink and white check colours of Sir Robert Ogden in an attempt to close the gap on his huge personal fortune and my meagre current bank balance.