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

Avoiding the weather puns about Snowfall.

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup


As Open tipping short-lists go, the one that ended my last posting was pretty good.

“I was torn for my 5th selection to pick from a shortlist of KOEPKA, LEISHMAN, OOSTHUIZEN and SPIETH and it was easy for me to swerve the favourite. So I didn’t back any of them and will wait until later in the Championship before playing more.”

Sadly, the main opportunity was missed, and I should have simply swapped the four actual selections with the four “lets-wait-and-see”s. Had I done so, the crowing and general whooping would have been intense, so you should all be relieved. However, as we arrive at Day 3, I’m NOT going to back the current Open leaders, whose odds are now prohibitive, in recovery terms. Instead, I shall take my loss on the chin and hope that the intense competitiveness of these master practitioners continues producing more record-breaking rounds.

Talking of breaking, my best wishes are extended to Rachel Blackmore, who has broken either her thigh bone or her pelvis. Neither is good and both will hurt. Still and all, you might as well be on the sidelines now for three months, rather than have it happen in October/November. She will be back. (As an aside did you know that Arnie delivered the line “I’ll be back” in at least sixteen of his movies! Crikey. And they say the man is uni-dimensional.)

Finally, my little chickadees, I shall not be reporting fully from Goodwood but will post my selections on Telegram. This is a more private version of Whatsapp (in that it isn’t irrevocably linked to Facebook),  and more importantly, it allows me to have my own Raceweb channel. This way you’ll be able to get my tips – if that’s what you want – by simply downloading Telegram to your smartphone and going to I’ll experiment with it today.

Talking of experiments that probably go horribly wrong, here are today’s tips

By the time racing starts and with no rain forecast, plus decent sunshine I would guess both Newbury and Market Rasen will run G/F. The Curragh might get an insignificant spot of rain for an hour overnight, but sunshine is promised all day tomorrow with temperatures reaching Scorchio. This will lead to an outbreak of poor headlines regarding Snowfall. The Morning Line will not be able to resist and are 4/7 on to deliver the obvious pun.

1:50 NEWBURY bet365 Stakes (Registered As The Steventon Stakes) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m2f

I’m a fan of DERAB who is dropping down to Listed company after a crack at the French Derby. He was 2nd behind Falmouth winner Sky Lantern at Newbury and his Newmarket Novice win was by 6½l and the 3rd, 4th and 5th have all won since. Two of the last six runnings have been won by 3yo and he gets an allowance. He’s been backed down to 11/4 in places from 5s


2:05 MARKET RASEN Betway Summer Hcap Hurdle Cl2 (3yo+) 2m½f

2020 winner RED FORCE ONE moved to Philip Kirby in March and has been mostly seen on the flat. However, the ground won’t bother him and there is the possibility that if he has his racing head on, he is the wrong price. Off his mark he is within 2lbs of his last winning mark, and I think the 11lbs between him and CAMPROND is too big.


2:25 NEWBURY Bahrain Turf Series Hcap Cl2 (3yo+) 2m½f

ZEEBAND took the Northumberland Vase by 2½l LTO in the UK, for which the handicapper has given him 8lbs for his Newcastle victory, but he’ll handle that and should certainly go very close. He will almost certainly be Varian’s Ebor horse. At a price I fancy INDIANAPOLIS hailing from the Saturday handicapper Ian Williams, who won this last year with Reshoun. WITHOLD has a chance (won this in 2019) and a wide outsider would be MANCINI who also hails from Williams yard and is fitted with first time blinkers

INDIANAPOLIS e/w – MANCINI e/w – ¼pt CFC all four mentioned

2:40 MARKET RASEN Betway Summer Plate Hcap Chase (G3) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m5½f

FIRE AWAY has some e/w value, but he is rapidly approaching the time when the handicapper has his complete measure. I’d want 10s to be involved. CAPTAIN TOM CAT is the logical choice and tyhe best value is probably to be found with FRANCKY DU BERLAIS.


3:00 NEWBURY bet365 Hackwood Stakes (G3) Cl1 (3yo+) 6f

DILIGENT HARRY for Clive Cox has impressive form and has raced afainst – and beaten some very decent performers… on AWT. This is his first Turf race and I’m assuming he’ll handle this fast and drying ground. TABDEED won this last year, but when all is said and done, I can’t see past the favourite, KINGS LYNN,  who won’t have the same problems as he faced at Ascot.


3:10 MARKET RASEN Heed Your Hunch At Betway Hcap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+ 0-150) 2m7f


3:25 CURRAGH Juddmonte Irish Oaks (G1) (Fillies) (3yo) 1m4f

If you saw SNOWFALL’s Oaks run, then you cannot back anything else. If you didn’t, bad luck, because it was very, very special to see that race live. Purists are going to talk a lot of sideways tosh about Epsom pre-race rain, the field not taking the normal course, coming stands side. Watch and Learn you pedant purists, Watch and Learn.


3:40 NEWBURY Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes Cl2 (2yo) 5f

VINTAGE CLARETS and CHIPOTLE (never, ever let me catch you having both at the same meal) are fully ten points clear on Tiemform ratings and are priced accordingly and thus unbackable. Both are around 9/4. The next best is GUILDED at around 22/1, who was 5th of the near-side group at Royal Ascot LTO in the Windsor Castle with CHIPOTLE winning on the far side, clear by 2¾l. The other I’m supporting is SHOWTIME MAHOMES.


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