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19th June 2024 5:15 pm

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

A tricky day’s racing, in a week full of tosh.

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I just spent two hours writing a preamble that was just another tired rant and I realised that it was pointless. There are simply too many people out there who think The Duchess of LaLa Land is a good egg; that no one is to blame when newbuilds on floodplains collapse and leave families destitute; that it is acceptable for policemen to help protestors across the M25 so that they can protest; that our education system is fit for purpose; that the NHS works efficiently; that the Conservatives aren’t a “Right-on” liberal metropolitan elite; that town is more important than gown, or indeed country; that…..
You see how easy it is to get on board that socio-political roundabout and to start becoming irritated and emotional. The list of woes this country faces appears endless, sordid, in places corrupt, and generally unresolvable. I try not to care about the exorbitant cost of a French submarine, or that 50% of the ETOs orchestra has been sacked for being white. These are issues over which I can pointlessly comment but do and achieve nothing.
But if I don’t then who? You? That isn’t some piece of self-aggrandisement, there are five score who read this, but then sometimes it gets passed on, or commented upon. The silent majority has to find its voice. The potential societal changes that are coming are simply too draconian and in some cases appear almost sociopathic.
“The end justifies the means”, was actually uttered on the radio this week, by a protestor on the M25. She spoke with the voice of Joan of Arc. Full of conviction, certainty and moral justice. She sounded like the Taliban.
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” John Stuart Mill 1867 (PS: not Edmund Burke!)
 Talking of looking on, here are today’s TV racing tips

1:55 AYR Virgin Bet Doonside Cup Stakes Cl1 (3yo+) 1m2f

PLATINUMCARD had put together a hat-trick until he took the 4th spot at Hamilton over 12f. He then came 2nd LTO having raced vigorously but he simply lacked the gears to beat his table mate Chichester. That was a decent race, and he meets the winning profile of a horse aged under 6 (23/23), with a top 4 finish LTO (19/23) (22/23 Top 6). On similar grounds, I quite like THE FLYING GINGER who gets the Saturday handicap Queen in the plate, Hollie Doyle. Be careful with the Juans here – I would rather have a little on JUAN DE MONTALBAN in preference to the very short 5/4 JUAN ELCANO. Long-shot JUAN DE M. ran well in the March Stakes at Goodwood LTO, just outstayed late in the day. Prior to that, his form includes a 2nd in the Italian Derby. A spot of rain won’t matter and he doesn’t have too many miles on the clock.

PLATINUMCARD E/W – THE FLYING GINGER E/W – Add JUAN DE MONTALBAN for ¼pt exotics with the aforementioned.

2:15 NEWBURY Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes (G3) Cl1 (3yo+) 5f

KINGS LYNN looked as though he needed a break LTO. I think he is progressive and the two month holiday will help. His Wokingham 3rd directly after his impeded progress in the Kings Stand to finish a 3¼l 7th in a bunch finish, show he has talent, heart and an engine.


2:30 AYR Virgin Bet Ayr Silver Cup Hcap Cl2 (3yo+) 6f

BLACK FRIDAY has a perfect score here of 3/3 admittedly in less frenetic company. Still he has a draw that will allow him to go whichever way works best, providing he doesn’t run into any traffic. He races prominently which will help. RATHBONE gets 7lbs off his back from Oisin McSweeney which makes him competitive, has a high draw, races prominently and has some decent form. MAGICAL SPIRIT comes back to repeat last year’s victory and his last run 42 days ago in the Shergar Cup Dash, showed he still has bags of ability. The winner Tis Marvellous has come out and won a Listed sprint since and the race has also produced King of Stars. From the same yard BERGERAC has also been freshened up and this could easily fall to him if the low draw numbers prevail. Clive Cox runs ROYAL SCIMITAR which meets a number of trends and Tim Easterby has BOARDMAN who would be no surprise. In other words anything could win.


2:50 NEWBURY Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes (G3) (Formerly The Arc Trial) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m3f


3:05 AYR Virgin Bet Firth Of Clyde Fillies’ Stakes (G3) Cl1 (2yo) 6f

HEAD MISTRESS has obvious claims after taking a Curragh Listed race last month on just her second run. However, I think SCOT’S GRACE offers more value if only based on her run in the Sirenia. Traffic problems, various tactical moves that would have unbalanced a lesser animal, meant she arrived at the line a strong finishing 5th 3½l behind the winner. She is a good deal better than the paper form suggests. Do not be surprised by a bold showing from DESIGNER. If you can get 6 places for around 66/1, I’d take it

SCOT’S GRACE e/w – DESIGNER 6 places 66/1 

3:25 NEWBURY Dubai Duty Free Hcap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m2f


3:40 AYR Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup Hcap Cl2 (3yo+) 6f

SNAZZY JAZZY won the Silver Cup in 2018, is now only 4lbs over his last winning mark and has 3lbs off his back thanks to Laura Pearson. He has plenty of winning Black Type, and he looks too big. Kevin Ryan has won the Ayr Gold Cup three times in the last ten years and his BIELSA is the market’s talking horse. Only 2¾l shy of winning in The Stewards Cup, he won’t mind any cut. SUNDAY SOVEREIGN and POPMASTER are both trend horses.


4:00 NEWBURY Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes (G2) Cl1 (2yo) 6f


4:15 AYR Virgin Bet Hcap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 1m

Clive Cox runs DANCE FEVER a Sir Prancealot gelding owned by the inestimable Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds. I get their newsletters and I read of their hopes – but I simply don’t see him taking this. David O’Meara has sparkling figures for this race in the last ten years of  2W – 4P – 8R. Pay attention to his  SHELIR. HONG KONG HARRY has had the quirks in his character removed, as well as his nuts, and it has been transformational in every respect. He looks well treated on previous form. Dutch all three to get even money about your bet

DANCE FEVER (4/1) Dutch Win – SHELIR (7/1) Dutch Win – HONG KONG HARRY (5/1) Dutch Win


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