Sometimes you have days when God leaps out of bed and says “Here I am – and because you have recently been less of an arse than normal, I have decided you shall have a good day.” So you go for lunch with old friends and see a chum you haven’t seen for five years or so. He is well and he has helped do the cooking and he is a very good chef. The lunch is delicious.
The Irish Peer has invited some people one has never met, and some people who because they have stopped drinking are no longer among the most dangerous people on the planet. And he gets a Hail Fellow Well Met because he too is no longer an arse. Various others appear, including a very pretty girl who is married to a charmer, and who I feel certain I have met before. The trouble with being a Fading International Boulevardier, (the acronym is not unnoticed), is that I cannot remember who and increasingly when, so it becomes best to assume there is no social history. Time passes. I give her several tips and show her how to use Bet365. With some girls, it is easy to confuse ennui and disinterest with one’s former magic weaving its spell, so I press on and then mention to her husband en passant, the name of a friend. “Crikey,” he says, “Know him, he’s a great mate… he’s with that lovely girl…” “Who”, I interject” “is the sister of young Tim who you also know through our lunch host and who is a guest here today.”
From then on, the rest of the afternoon was just a series of coincidences and charming and funny moments, sitting in the Sun gently drinking various cold wines, finding more memories and meeting and hopefully making new friends. The common interest of racing and the shared excitement of a winning bet or a losing ticket, and good food, made for just the loveliest day. You might remember I mentioned God and it was about 4:55 when he made his presence felt, by reminding me that over the years, I have mentioned that Ian Williams can get one up for a decent handicap. Indeed I mentioned Reshoun on June 27th 2020 when discussing the Northumberland Plate – which he didn’t win but instead took The Marsh Handicap at Newbury a month later. I said at the time:
“I also fancy … RESHOUN, the latter coming from Ian Williams who understands, as we have discussed before how to target a horse at big handicaps. He meets a number of trends and joins my other long shot.”
Thus spracht Zarathustra and I then spotted that Ian Williams had William Buick in the plate for the 5:00, and thought 100/1 seems a bit toppy for that combo. So I had an each-way lurch towards Skybet who were, in any event, paying seven places.
Thank You, Jesus, I am enriched.
When I got home, The Hunt Chair called to tell Mrs Plantagenet that after all his scores of Royal Meeting attendances, this was the finest day he’d ever had. The bio-screening was easy-peasy; the gate security efficient; the restaurants queue-free; the bars devoid of rabble-rousers; the seating aplenty with tables, space and time, to do one’s form, and so on and so forth. In short, our day on Friday would be the equivalent of Nirvana. It transpired he had spent the day with Rick Stein, so I will reserve some small judgement until Friday – but in the main and in my newfound zen-like approach to life, I am enthused.
As you must surely be by these exciting suggestions for today!
2.30: Queen Mary Stakes Group 2, 5f, 2yo fillies, ITV/Sky
The winner comes from: TWILIGHT GLEAMING [9/4] – QUICK SUZY [9/1] – NYMPHADORA [12/1] – GET AHEAD [14/1] – ORINOCO RIVER [20/1] – CRAZYLAND [33/1]
QUICK SUZY Win – NYMPHADORA e/w – CRAZYLAND e/w
3.05: Queen’s Vase Group 2, 1m6f, 3yo, ITV/Sky
This is wide-open despite being a traditional AOB race for harvesting. Ryan Moore’s charge looks no better than nice but is taking plenty of juice out of the market, leaving tons of e/w value, which will dry up this AM. Jess Harrington tries 1st-time blinkers for TAIPAN and all of Gosden & Son’s are sporting first-time tongue-ties or cheekpieces.
The winner comes from WORDSWORTH [11/4] – DANCING KING [15/2] – KEMARI [8/1] – KYPRIOS [10/1] – GOLDEN FLAME [25/1]
DANCING KING dutched with KEMARI to Win – GOLDEN FLAME e/w
3.40: Duke of Cambridge Stakes Group 2, 1m, 4yo+ fillies and mares, ITV/Sky
The winner comes from:
LADY BOWTHORPE [11/4] – CHAMPERS ELYSEE [11/1] – PARENTS PRAYER [12/1] – VALERIA MESSALINA [18/1]
CHAMPERS ELYSEE e/w
4.20: Prince of Wales’s Stakes Group 1, 1m2f, 4yo+, ITV/Sky
With only six runners and no LORD NORTH, it’s either LOVE or ARMOURY.
5.00: Royal Hunt Cup Heritage Handicap, 1m, 3yo+, ITV/Sky
You need a horse that’s less than 20/1, under 9st 5lbs, preferably a middle to high draw. “Ed Walker on Matthew Flinders: “… I am hoping this is his last run in a handicap.”
The winner comes from: MAGICAL MORNING [13/2] – MATTHEW FLINDERS [15/2] – GROVE FERRY [12/1] – FINEST SOUND [11/1] – MAYDANNY [14/1] – LAFAYETTE [22/1]
MATTHEW FLINDERS Win – LAFAYETTE e/w – FINEST SOUND e/w
5.35: Windsor Castle Stakes Listed, 5f, 2yo, ITV/Sky
Wes Ward – a legend in his own lunchtime – runs RUTHIN. His runners since 2014 are 506000098. He is too small a price in a 2yo race full of improvers.
The Winner comes from RUTHIN [2/1] – DIG TWO [7/1] – ARMOR [11/1] – SPRING IS SPRUNG [20/1] – ERNIES VALENTINE [25/1] – CHIPOTLE [25/1]
DIG TWO Win – ERNIES VALENTINEe/w – CHIPOTLE e/w
6.10: Kensington Palace Stakes Handicap, 1m, 4yo+fillies and mares, ITV4/Sky
The worst kept secret in racing, DREAMLOPER has been on everyone’s radar since May. Ed Walker said “… Beaten a short head at Ascot over a mile last time, she has been raised five pounds since and I am hoping that doesn’t cost her victory here. She wore a hood that day but are going to leave it off on Wednesday because Tom (Marquand) felt it blunted her speed a bit”. Being backed and for plenty.
The Winners comes from DREAMLOPER [4/1] – WALIYAK [12/1] – DECLARED INTEREST [16/1] – DALANIJUJO [28/1]
DREAMLOPER Win – WALIYAK e/w