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Trading Post: Lay of Darkness can brighten up the day; plays of the day.

Darkness 2.35 Plumpton Lay 7 Developing into a useful novice hurdler, but jumping wasn't entirely satisfactory over course and distance last time and this is a better race 7 7lb penalty won't help his cause 7 Having his fourth run in a relatively short period of time 4 Charlie Egerton's string is in top form, and his strike-rate at Plumpton (36 per cent) is not bad either Sent off an odds-on shot, Darkness did the job comfortably enough at this venue a couple of weeks ago, and with top-class connections he will be well fancied. At the age of six, I'm sure he has a bright future, but in the short term, namely today, I believe there are good grounds to oppose him.

He was far from foot-perfect against lesser opposition last time, and the combination of extra weight and better company could be the deciding factors in a successful lay. Dangerous Dan McGo and The Listener are both promising individuals and I will be looking to them to help us out.

Callmecozmo 1.20 Doncaster Back to lay 4 Bumper form from last season looks good in the context of this race 4 Today's opposition doesn't add up to much, and he should havethe speed to travel well in this company 7 Understandably hesitant at his fences on debut last time, and I'm hoping he's learned from that experience Callmecozmo was given an easy

time on his chasing debut at Warwick last time. He was up against the likes of Almaydan and Indien Royal then, and should find today's drop in class more to his liking. If Paul Webber instructs Tom Doyle to make all, and the horse jumps well, then I can't seeanything having the speed to go with him. Proved he can go from the front when winning a useful Chepstow bumper in March.

Mister Felix and Ravenscar - two of his main rivals - are not the best over their fences, and if Callmecozmo gets the early advantage I think he needs, then the in-running hedge will be even more viable, not to mention cheap.

Rubberdubber 2.55 Doncaster

Lay in-running up to 3.5 7 Had a hard race when winning at Newbury last time and not certain to be over those exertions 4 Overall balance of form is difficult to knock and deserves to be favourite R ubberdubber is more of a chasing type, and, as they say, whatever he achieves over hurdles will be a bonus for connections. On form we shouldn't have to look any further for the winner, but I just have a niggling doubt about his ability to do everything on the bridle over today's trip, and I'd be disappointed if we couldn't trade a positive position.

I expect him to race prominently, and as he is well fancied anyway, his price will probably shorten. This is the time to lay him. If the strategy for this race works out, then we ought to back him back at a bigger price up the home straight when, or if, he comes under pressure.

in-running pointer

HIAMOVI (1.40 Wolverhampton) is in good form and will be near the head of the market. My advice for his backers is to hold on to your money until the gates have opened, as his style of racing invariably means he will trade at a bigger price in-running.

CAPTION(S):

Rubberdubber: one to lay early and back late, if the race goes to plan
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 17, 2005
Words:578
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