There doesn't seem a great deal of point getting financially involved in the big race of the day, the Summer Cup at 3.30, with so many 'ifs' and 'buts'surrounding the entire field.
At this stage of the jumps season I'm not really looking too hard to find betting opportunities, there will be one or two along the way that jump out and that will do for the time being.
Very few of them look to be well handicapped at the current time, Brian Boranha possibly the best looking at the weights and one that could travel best through the race, however his finishing effort has never been much to shout about. A possible back-to-lay but nothing more.
Bandsman will be ridden cold as they step him up to beyond 3m for the first time, but there's not much evidence to suggest he wants a stamina test.
Padleyourowncanoe isn't bred for it either and with only two runs over fences to his name he doesn't make much appeal near the top of the market for all that his unexposed profile over obstacles suggests he could have more to offer at some stage.
I suppose if you look at it like that, the two market leaders are worth opposing and take out around 30% of the Betfair market, so there should be some value elsewhere but it's too much of a guess-up for me, on their day you could make a fair case for most of them.
The 4.30 was much more interesting as I quickly put a line through quite a few, what's more a quick look at the early tissue prices suggested there was an angle with King's Temptation put in at 11/4.
I wouldn't say I was B Case's biggest fan and he's only had two winners in handicaps coming off this sort of break in the last five years, one of which was Croco Bay's Cheltenham Festival victory which came in at 180 on the machine.
He ran no sort of race off a similar absence last April when 2/1fav so without going into further analysis that I feel is against him, he's one to oppose although looking at the odds this morning that seems to be the general consensus.
Wilberdragon doesn't win out of turn and although he's bred to stay this 3m2f trip, the evidence so far suggests that the flat 2m7f of Worcester is about his limit, although you can understand them having a try as he's pretty exposed over shorter trips.
Midnight Magic was quietly progressive at a lower level during the first half of last season, since when he's undergone wind surgery. Stamina is definitely his forte and of all the runners here you'd expect him to be the fittest coming from the Pipe kennel.
He's been very slow to get his act together but they've persevered and he could be one that keeps pulling out a bit more as he gets older. This 0-120 is a level up on what he's usually performed at though, and he will need to find that further progression to win this, but he's respected.
The most interesting is perhaps Lord Getaway, who was shaping up into a fair staying chaser a couple of seasons back but lost his way last winter.
Let's get the negatives out of the way; he's a bit of a one-paced plodder and a big unit prone to shoddy jumping, however he was fine at Cheltenham on good ground when fourth in a decent contest over a year ago and a return to that form would be more than enough to take this.
He ran okay on his first two starts last term on tight tracks that wouldn't have been to his liking, but was then out of sorts in an Exeter marathon before having a couple of spins over hurdles, which wouldn't be his bag.
Hopefully the five month absence has freshened him up and this looks a good race to start him back. He is actually 1/1 at the track after grinding out a hurdles victory in the quag so does tick a few boxes, the main point for me being that he's the class act of the race if fit enough to show it, and that he avoids any serious errors.
Of the others Pride of Parish might be interesting from a stable adept at bringing one back from an absence, but he might not get home if this does become a stiff test. Even his best Point form might not be good enough.
The Happy Chappy has been a desperate disappointment since winning twice in 2017, looking an increasingly hard ride and he's without headgear today. He's had two wind ops, and is hard to back even knowing that the talent is there to win off a much reduced mark.
Still Believing shows bits and pieces of form at the age of 12 and is handicapped to go close, but the headgear she's worn for her three most recent wins is left off, and is not one to have a great deal of faith in.
Let's look at the betting, as of 10.30am.
The firms are 10/3 the field although 4/1 on the machine for Midnight Magic. There's not much 5/1 about Lord Getaway and to be honest 9/2 is probably about right as there are question marks over his well-being. The one that looks over-priced if anything is Still Believing at 12/1, so if I do end up playing this race I'll be having a small bet on Lord Getaway, with a few shekels on the Evan Williams veteran who I reckon should be more like an 8 or 9/1 shot in this field.