THE Betfair Exchange Trophy is worth a whopping £85,000 to the winner - and this year's contest looks as electric as ever.
A fiercely competitive field of 16 go to post for Ascot's Grade 3 handicap on Saturday.
An extra dash of Christmas cheer
'Tis the season of the lightly-raced and unexposed, with the front four in the betting for this big prize having had just a handful of starts over hurdles between them.
Quoi De Neuf heads the market for Evan Williams, a trainer who's been singing from the valleys even louder than usual this campaign.
His contender finished a more than respectable fourth in the Greatwood at Cheltenham last time out on just his second run in handicaps and clearly has strong claims in a similarly tough contest now.
David Pipe is another trainer who's also been flying of late and his Umbrigado is taking a monster drop in trip after not quite getting home over 3m at Haydock.
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Connections couldn't make it more obvious that they think he's on a good mark and the heavy rain that's fallen will surely help him no end.
Rain isn't certain to help French Crusader, though, whose handicap form is arguably the best of the bunch.
Nicky Henderson's six-year-old cruised through his return at Newbury and only found the Grade 1-bound Epatante too strong.
He hasn't much form on ground softer than good but considering how potent he is on a sounder surface, the wet surely won't be welcome.
Not So Sleepy is a classy Flat horse and looks an even better hurdler judged on his defeat of Lust For Glory at this track last time.
He's only had four starts over the smaller obstacles so is bound to have plenty of progression left and he shouldn't be inconvenienced by the ground.
Nicky Henderson's other runner is Countister, who travelled very well into the Greatwood last time before not quite getting home.
That was her first run of the season and just her third outing since the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, so expect her to improve on that.
Philip Hobbs has been enjoying a fine season and fields Crooks Peak, though he doesn't look that well-treated and was held by French Crusader last time.
Harambe had an injury scare earlier in the week but has since been declared sound by trainer Alan King, and he has obvious claims on his Greatwood victory last time out - if ready to roll.
The strong-travelling Tamaroc Du Mathan is fascinating judged on his run behind Master Debonair at this track, while Whoshotthesheriff will relish the drop back in trip after getting run out of it late on at Haydock last time.
Scaramanga won well last time out and has his burden removed by Bryan Carver's useful 7lb claim.
Monsieur Lecoq, Sir Valentine, Turnpike Trip, Mohaayed, Zanza and Remiluc can all be given chances in a very hot race.
Where should I put my money?
The ground is likely to have a massive impact as it's sure to be bottomless come post time.
Plenty of these are better on a sounder surface, but one who should enjoy every blade of rain-softened turf is Not So Sleepy.
He had some very good Flat form and is thoroughly unexposed over hurdles. He can run a big race, as should Whoshotthesheriff, who bossed a very hot field last time before finding the 2m4f trip too much late on.
This drop in distance should be ideal and he can bolster his already impressively consistent record.
Where should my money go?
Whoshotthesheriff 12-1 (Bet here)
Not So Sleepy 8-1 (Bet here)