It's Eclipse day at Sandown on Saturday and Keith Melrose from the Racing Post provides three bets from the card, including a strong view on the big race.
The 5f track at Sandown is a strip separate to the main course (bar a crossing point) which is reputedly home to a significant draw bias.
That bias used to be much greater in times gone by and, while it still exists in 2023, in general the market allows for it now, at least when the ground is not extremely quick.
Ante-post favourite Annaf is drawn highest and that is not great for his chances. The Ryan Moore-ridden Marshman is in stall three and could well be favourite by the off time.
I like the chances of 10/1 DILIGENT HARRY. His draw is fine, he is plum middle in stall six, but what really interests me is the distance of this race.
Diligent Harry is a five-furlong horse, in my view. He continually travels powerfully over six furlongs before sputtering out.
Admittedly, he is not the heartiest whatever the trip and might be slightly better on the all-weather.
Yet in this very winnable-looking Group 3, I think those slight misgivings are overruled by double-figure odds on a serious talent.
The last three winners of this £100,000 1m handicap made their previous appearances in the Royal Hunt Cup 17 days earlier. The same goes for six of the 15 in the field, so it does not really narrow things down.
INTELLOGENT only beat a handful home at Royal Ascot, but he is readily excused and actually did not shape all that badly.
He missed the break, before travelling well for most of the race. Once push came to shove, the effort he had made in catching up told and he faded away.
Intellogent was 12/1 that day, not far off favourite Perotto. He is now 14/1, in spite of nothing more than an excusable defeat at Ascot.
Perotto hardly shaped like a winner in waiting himself, yet has been far more readily forgiven.
The Eclipse is generally seen as the first clash between three-year-olds and their elders.
It is fitting that Paddington has been chosen as the representative from the Classic generation. He and Auguste Rodin have been the standout performers in their crop from Britain and Ireland.
But the feeling persists that they are coming from a class with a bad name.
The older horses are not a vintage crop themselves, but EMILY UPJOHN beat some of the best of them handsomely in the Coronation Cup at Epsom last month and looked at the time as though she was the one to beat in the Eclipse.
What has changed since? Paddington's St James's Palace win was a step forward from him and confirmed he is the best three-year-old miler around.
Yet he was beating the same horses as before, just a little more convincingly. The Eclipse will provide his first real test and I expect 6/5 Emily Upjohn to prove too strong.