LAY THE FAVOURITES IN PRO-AM TESTS: Shamrock is gunning for the short shots at Roscommon this evening, as amateurs and claimers line up against each other in Pro-Am races that usually throw up big-odds winners.

Sorry but it’s a five-race card for me. The three Pro/Am races that round off the Roscommon meeting today produced winners at 25-1, 20-1 and 7-1 last season, and no wonder.

Only two of the riders of the 50 horses taking part this evening don’t claim, and one race is a maiden, another a bumper.

Yet, believe it or not, each of those two have an odds-on favourite at the time of writing. Surely laying Blossom Gate (7.05) and Morning Ireland (7.35) is a lucrative proposition.

As for betting to win, there’s an obvious choice there, too: follow the low numbers in the draw for the handicaps at 4.35, 5.05 and 5.35; those races all produced winners in single-figure stalls on the equivalent card in 2010.

Lisianthus (4.35) is a solid each-way bet for the O’Brien family that launched Ballydoyle; they have had to be patient with this daughter of soft-ground pedigree, with Fran Berry booked for her return to the track.

Gagnant (5.05) has everything going for him, as a CD winner who loves some cut, well drawn against a big bunch of maidens.

The fillies’ handicap is the best race of the evening, with eight of them having won one of their last three races. But maybe the winner will come from one who now has the weight advantage for being lightly raced and waited with.

I’m thinking of Sionan (5.35) for the current Ballydoyle incumbent. Aidan O’Brien has plenty on his mind, planning the next venue of his horse of the year, So You Think, but this slow-learning filly will love the change of ground and her first handicap effort at Killarney puts her bang in the picture here.

NAP: Gagnant (5.05 Roscommon)
NEXT BEST: Sionan (5.35 Roscommon)
EACH-WAY: Lisianthius (4.35 Roscommon)
LAYS: Blossom Gate (7.05 Roscommon) and Morning Ireland (7.35 Roscommon)
DAQ YANKEE: Clu Agus Cail (4.30 Newton Abbot), Lisianthius (4.35 Roscommon), Gagnant (5.05 Roscommon), Sionan (5.35 Roscommon)