the INSIDER

The danger of betting on horseracing at this time of year is that we have no idea what the weather is going to do. Ascot has been drying out all week, but there is plenty of rain forecast for the next couple of days which could have a big impact on tomorrow’s markets.

It’s a great shame that Canford Cliffs won’t meet Makfi for round three and I can’t really see past the French colt now. He’s too short at 8/11, though, so I’ll be leaving the QEII alone from a punting perspective.

The Totesport.com Challenge Cup (3.40pm) has been a very difficult race for punters recently with a 33/1 and 50/1 winner in the past three years. Only one horse has carried more than 9stone to victory in the past decade, so it’s best to concentrate on those towards the foot of the handicap.

This year’s race looks as competitive as ever and I would rather back a few big-priced horses each-way. Mark Johnston’s LOWDOWN (0.5pts e/w) has disappointed in his past few outings, but judged on his comprehensive win in the Scottish Steward’s Cup in July he is definitely no 40/1 shot. I’ll also have a small bet on stablemate COLEPEPER (0.5pts e/w) and last year’s winner ADVANCED (0.5pts e/w).

Finally, it might be worth having a few quid each-way on William Haggas’ DEVER DREAM (1pt e/w) in Sunday’s Diadem Stakes, as she was very impressive at Doncaster last time.