BIBLIOTHECA (4.45) is an interesting Irish challenger in the 1m 6f Class 5 handicap at Musselburgh.
John Egan comes in for the mount on the four-year-old filly and it will be no surprise to see money coming in.
Bibliotheca has twice finished runner-up at Ballinrobe recently, on one occasion losing out of the nod to All's Quiet, a subsequent scorer over hurdles.
She produced a decent effort in the mud at Listowel, running fourth to classy Ted Veale in a 1m 4f handicap, and at this time last year finished an excellent third of 20 behind Theos Well and Pivot Bridge in the Amateur Riders' Derby at the Curragh.
Bibliotheca usually bowls along up front but she was ridden with a bit more restraint by Katie Walsh that day, so she is not necessarily one-dimensional. Trading at 9-1 generally last night, she looks good value in a pretty modest contest.
Having made a good few quid out of both Set In Stone and WHATSTHEMESSAGE (4.10) this summer it's hard to split them in the 1m fillies' handicap.
The market much prefers Set In Stone following her no-nonsense win over Invermere here a fortnight ago. She enjoys soft ground, so everything looks dandy for another bold show, especially with Rowan Scott again taking off 5lb.
Just like Set In Stone, Keith Dalgleish's Whatshemessage has won four of her last five starts but the sequence was brought to an abrupt halt when she beat only one home at Doncaster when elevated to Group company.
She is returned to calmer waters and on a line through Invermere, who she also beat at Hamilton, there isn't much between her and Set In Stone.
Like gallant Sepal yesterday, the handicapper eventually has his say, but if all eight runners stand their ground I'll be backing Whatsthemessage each-way at around 9-2.
Whatsthemessage took the measure of ISABELLA at Hamilton and she runs in the 3.45 at Epsom, where the ground is now officially heavy.
Harry Bentley’s mount scored at Thirsk and Pontefract before that narrow Hamilton reverse, setting out to make all on each occasion. Isabella could well enjoy a solo up front in this small field and should take some pegging back.
Elsewhere on the card, C’EST NO MOUR (4.20) is bidding to reel off a unique hat-trick. The top weight has already landed the Jump Jockeys’ Derby and the Amateur Riders’ Derby over course and distance and could well complete the set by landing today’s Apprentices’ Derby.
The four-year-old has done us a turn this summer and, despite rising in the ratings on this testing ground, I’m loathe to look elsewhere.
State Sovereignty got stuck in the Hamilton mud when flopping behind Indian Chief but had earlier hacked up by 19 lengths in a Catterick maiden. He ran Tarte Tropezienne fairly close at Ripon and that horse showed up for a long way behind useful Star Rock and Cribbs Causeway in a stronger affair at Newmarket.
Swiftly moving on to Chantilly for the Arc, it may be a case of looking a gift horse in the mouth, with wonder filly Enable drifting slightly to even-money.
She has answered John Gosden's every call by routing Group 1 opposition all year and is by far the most likely winner.
Although ULYSSES (3.05) has little chance on the book after being put in his place by Enable on bad ground in the King George at Ascot, the son of Galileo looked a far happier horse at York last month when hosing up from Churchill and Barney Roy in the Juddmonte International on soft.
The ability to travel well and manoeuvre out of trouble when the big field inevitably bunches is a vital tool in the Arc, and Ulysses and Enable will need to be on their guard starting from a rails pitch in stalls one and two respectively.
With some firms offering quarter the odds four places, Sir Michael Stoute's colt will be hard to keep out of the frame at around 8-1 (bigger on Betfair). It’s possibly significant that Stoute was very keen to take in the Arc before crossing the Pond for the Breeders’ Cup.
Like Enable, Winter is a filly to die for and she spearheads Aidan O’Brien’s annual French onslaught, with Order Of St George, placed last year, not a bad ‘second string’.
Musselburgh – Bibliotheca (4.45)
Musselburgh – Whatsthemessage (4.10)
Epsom – Isabella (3.45)
Epsom – C’est No Mour (4.20)
Chantilly – Ulysses ew (3.05)