Off to Catterick today and it looks a really interesting card with the course benefiting from the abandonment of Wetherby's two-day fixture in terms of numbers.
I wanted to put a message out for a couple that look good bets, firstly Runswick Relax in the 1.00. I'll be very surprised if this ex-Wade horse can't win a weak heat off a mark of 68 plus the jockey's claim.
He showed much improved form for the stable switch over timber where he was outpaced over a short trip. Even today's 2m 3f may be on the sharp side but getting all that weight from moderate rivals will make the difference.
The stable's horses ran well at Sedgefield on Boxing Day and anything at 3/1 or above is a fine bet - I expect him to win well. You can ignore the fall last time - he was wiped out by another horse.
I will however be having a small saver on Rosquero at 20/1. He is running off effectively 66 which is miles lower than his ability dictates. He's moody but the new headgear could make a real difference and if he clicks he'll go very close. The top weights are rated 94 in this 0-100 and the low weights will never have a better chance.
In the 2.45 I'm dying to take on Truckers Highway for all that he's done absolutely nothing wrong in completing a hat-trick. However, those exertions will catch up one day and raised another 13lb I have to look elsewhere.
There could be a lot of pace on and that will suit Engrossing if Hughes bides his time a little. I thought he was in the process of running a better race last time faced with an impossible task, until he failed to get home.
He may be a bit of a bridle horse but this race could fall into his lap if the likes of Discay and Oficial Ben force the issue with the jolly. I've no beef if you want to back Nautical Twilight as she looks leniently treated after that last win, but she's just a bit short in the betting.
At 7/2 I'd be tempted, but at double figure odds I'll chance Engrossing who is now down to a workable mark, with Hamilton taking off another 5lb. It's a great shame there's not eight runners.
The 2.10 is double tricky with Rebel Benefit and Gonalston Cloud dark horses. Jac The Legend was disappointing over timber last time but could hit back over fences, while What's Up Woody is well handicapped and must go close if in good form. At 8/1 he's very tempting with an in-running lay the play there.
I thought Tippmanboy was overpriced in the opener although Deauville Dancer is probably the right favourite, but the ground is a concern for that one.
The second division is interesting but with the great man aboard Park Place I'm confident the horse is the one to beat. How JR only has one ride at the track today is beyond me but the tip should be worth taking. Caged Lightning could be a very real danger and with both the novice hurdles I won't be getting involved until seeing them in the flesh.
Good luck today and the blog will be updated again after racing at Doncaster tomorrow.