Work raises its ugly head and delays matters, while winking at me from the sideboard are the 227 tests I have to take before Friday’s big adventure.
But first, we must continue our labours against the bookies and, as labours go, yesterday went pretty well. We’re showing a 30pt profit for the meeting so far, although I wish you had been with me on Tuesday when we uncovered Reshoun. Yesterday I had a similar moment and was later reminded of the words of Omar Khayam
“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit, Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
Drink and food having been taken, I remarked to the racecourse chairman and a Lambourn trainer, that the words “Dettori”, “Cheveley Park” and “Gosden”, rarely appeared in the same sentence as “25/1 runner”. Despite the horse’s name, INDIE ANGEL, providing us with the clue that God might have picked up the pen once again, this near-religious certainty was overlooked and as the conversation moved on, they loaded the stalls, Frankie won and none of my tears could wash away the thought. Curses.
Talking of cursed, here are Thursday’s Ascot Tips:
THURSDAY DAY 3
The ground is still riding GF and only 2½mm fell on the course overnight apparently. Light rains are forecast and I might allow for that in my shortlist, although I do not expect it to ride GS today, unless the wind changes.
2.30: Norfolk Stakes Group 2, 5f, 2yo, ITV4/Sky
THE SHORTLIST: SECOND WIND [11/1] – PROJECT DANTE [7/1] – PERFECT POWER [12/1] – ANDREAS VESALIUS (best with cut) [22/1] – NAVELLO (possibly too exposed) [22/1] – KING OF SPEED [40/1] – LITTLE EARL [40/1]
THE SELECTION/S: SECOND WIND e/w – KING OF SPEED e/w
3.05: Hampton Court Stakes Group 3, 1m2f, 3yo, ITV4/Sky
THE SHORTLIST: MOHAAFETH (needs G/F) [13/8] – SECRET PROTECTOR [22/1] – ROMAN EMPIRE [11/1]- NOTRE BELLE BETE (4th to Poetic Flare on debut) [50/1]. I have backed this latter with Bet365 e/w to 2 places at 60/1 and for a larger stake to 6 nplaces at 25/1. If he comes 3rd to 6th I’m getting 10/1 about my money and if he comes 1st or second, both bets win.
THE SELECTION/S: MOHAAFETH Win – NOTRE BELLE BETE e/w
3.40: Ribblesdale Stakes Group 2, 1m4f, 3yo fillies, ITV4/Sky
THE SHORTLIST: NOON STAR (ground concerns) [9/4] – DIVINELY (3rd in Oaks and probably needs cut) [6/1] – DUBAI FOUNTAIN (hated Epsom) [6/1] – ESHAADA (skipped Epsom for this) – NICEST (beeing backed was 66/1 two days ago) [33/1]
SELECTIONS: ESHAADA and DUBAI FOUNTAIN dutch win – NICEST e/w
4.20: Ascot Gold Cup Group 1, 2m4f, 4yo+, ITV/Sky
Of course we all want Frankie and STRADIVARIUS to win their fourth Gold Cup, but evens seems a big ask. TRUESHAN and PRICESS ZOE both needs soft. If the heavens open by this afternoon. consider them
THE SHORTLIST: STRADIVARIUS [1/1] – SPANISH MISSION [11/1] – SANTIAGO [22/1]
SELECTION/S: SPANISH MISSION Win – All three in a ½pt CFC
5.00: Britannia Stakes Heritage Handicap, 1m, 3yo colts and geldings, ITV4/Sky
Be aware the bookmakers are being very stingy here and if you ever wanted to understand the meaning of the word Cartel, it is when you get 18 bookies offering exactly the same 4 places for ¼ odds in a 29-runner Ascot handicap sepearted by just 14lbs on OR figures. The very best overround is 128%. I don’t think you want to be drawn low or be a hold-up horse.
THE SHORTLIST: QAADER (He’ll need to grab the golden highway on the far-side) [20/1] – RAADOBARG [15/2] – SIAM FOX [28/1] – AKMAAM [40/1] -SUMMA PETO [16/1]
THE SELECTION/S: RAADOBARG Win – AKMAAM e/w – QAADER e/w
5.35: King George V Stakes Handicap, 1m4f, 3yo, ITV4/Sky
THE SHORTLIST: PARACHUTE [18/1] – SIR LAMORACK [7/2] – KONDO ISAMI [12/1] – SISKANY [6/1] – SUREFIRE [5/1] – ACT OF WISDOM [33/1]
THE SELECTION/S: PARACHUTE e/w – ACT OF WISDOM e/w – KONDO ISAMI e/w
6.10: Buckingham Palace Stakes Handicap, 7f, 3yo+, ITV4/Sky
THE SHORTLIST: LORD CAMPARI [11/1] – DANYAH [10/1] – ALDAARY [5/1] – RAISING SAND [28/1]
THE SELECTION/S: LORD CAMPARI e/w – ALDAARY e/w