THANKFULLY 'Super Saturday' is no more in the racing world.
An afternoon at York, Newmarket and Ascot has been split in half to the relief of punters, who faced an impossible task enjoying all three at once.
Change in racing hey? It might just catch on…
So with the July Cup and the Summer Mile out the way, we turn to the Knavesmire a week later.
The John Smith's Handicap is the big betting race of the afternoon, and as ever you can end up with a densely populated shortlist for the ten-furlong heat.
Sitting pretty at the top of the betting is Roger Varian's Fifth Position, a horse who has improved by the bucket load already this season.
His Newcastle return behind Sir Busker and Dark Vision over an insufficient trip was full of promise, and he built on that with a facile win at Doncaster.
It was a cool ride from Andrea Atzeni, and ensured the handicapper could only react by throwing the horse up 5lbs. That could come back to bite…
He is by far and away the likeliest winner in my book and as the old cliche goes, is a Group horse masquerading in a handicap.
But he will be short, very short for this. I doubt the 7-1 available on Tuesday will be knocking around come Saturday.
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There are clearly other dangers. Caradoc has threatened to win a decent handicap for a long time, but there are others less exposed and of more interest.
Solid Stone is one of those. He cruised home last time and fits into a similar mould of Sir Michael Stoute's 2017 winner Ballet Concerto. John Gosden's Harrovian and William Haggas' Desert Icon are also geldings on the up.
However, at close to three times the price, the 25-1 available on ANYTHINGTODAY screams 'yes, please.'
Roger Fell has enjoyed a good time of things since the resumption of racing and this horse is a recent recruit having joined from David O'Meara.
He's six and has had plenty of racing, but Fell is as good as any at getting more out of animals like this.
His run behind Fifth Position at Doncaster was encouraging. And while the winner had him well covered, he enjoys a 4lbs swing in the weights and is a huge price in comparison.
The return to better ground is a big plus. He has never enjoyed soft going, like he experienced at Haydock last time out – put a line through that one.
Judged on his Newcastle run prior to that and his Doncaster second, it's clear Fell has worked some of his northern charm on the horse.
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His placed efforts have ensured the handicapper has been unable to go overboard with any rises. He's only a couple of pounds higher now than when switching across Yorkshire.
A big galloping track is clearly his thing – he's won at York before and has won over a mile-and-a-half, no negative at all.
Northern trainers don't have the best record in this race, the soft southerners tend to spoil the party, but let this be the year the John Smith's stays in Yorkshire.
He's simply too big of a price to ignore and Fell will have had this earmarked ever since his Newcastle return.
BETTING ADVICE: 1pt EW Anythingtoday 25-1 (Ladbrokes, Betfair, Paddy Power)
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