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27th May 2024 3:10 am

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

Chester May Meeting Day 1.

These Donors Are AMAZING Thank You

William S – MEJi – Peter N – Nigel B – Ken C – Mark S – James D – William M – Fiona M – Julian A – Jonathan H – Mrs V.M – Pete BN – Gavin C – Thom S – Sarah C – Mark S – Sam H – James R
Peter ignored the wolves, pirates and volcano and focussed on his fingerwork.

There’s a line in Peter Pan which goes:

“In time they could not even fly after their hats. Want of practice, they called it; but what it really meant was that they no longer believed.”

I suspect, too, that many of my regular readers have become incapable of going after their wind-tossed racing trilbys because they have lost faith.

Punchestown was dreadful, but to be fair, we had been ticking along, not winning much or losing much either. Then, Oh ye of little faith, and as happens maybe twice a year, we had a spectacular result that should result in long queues forming at Locks and an inbox heaving with apologies from Doubting Thomas and his sister Arabella Faintheart.

Saturday was pretty spectacular, with a very reasonable 250+ pt profit. Sadly, and as you know, I never advise a horse without backing it myself, but only for moderate stakes. And tragically and almost mystically, as soon as the small but welcome profit is banked, some Yahoo from HMRC sticks his hand out and says where’s mine? How do they know? This time around, the day after, my man from the Old Estonian Accountancy League tells me that I might not have paid money for 19/20 or 20/21 when I thought I had become exempt because of a nasty cough, old age and poverty.

In the good old days, I used to buy en primeur with the tax money, and then, just before the wagon turned up to whisk the non-existent assets away, sell the claret from the bond for around a 30%pa return and give it to the tax man. Sadly, that scheme went awry one year when we invested via a wine auction house run by Charlie Chassagne-Mountebank and bought lots – sold lots – and lost the lots. Once that has happened a couple of times in life, it’s pretty easy to understand why some people think it best to put their winnings straight back into circulation – a couple of shirts, pop into Churchs, a couple of dinners at the club, settle the outstanding with Fitzdares and then start the dance all over again!

I might, however, set aside a bit to help pay for the retention of a priest in Newmarket, a situation that I find curiously distressing.

In simple terms, the story is this: Racing Welfare has to pay a charity called Sporting Chaplaincy UK a fee to supply a Chaplain to Newmarket to take care of the needs of the workforce and those involved in the sport. But RW can no longer afford it, so they’re getting rid of the vicar who has been there for some time.

Now, 100 years ago, I am almost sure that at least six estates within an hour’s ride of the Town’s clock had large houses with family chapels attached, which privately employed chaplains. The padres each had a stipend, a house, an allowance, a horse (replace with car) and various expenses. Let’s call it in today’s terms IN TOTAL AND AT MAXIMUM £100k per annum.

Perhaps some of the more well-heeled residents of Newmarket can remind me what Frankel stands for at stud? Or maybe someone can tell me what Tatts commission on a single foal by Frankel is. Or maybe someone can explain why the racing industry’s HQ can’t organise itself to find and pay for its own racing chaplain without going through what I suspect is a management “top-heavy” and bureaucratic charity to supply them. Get a grip and remind yourself of the issue outlined in Matthew. 6:24

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.

Patently, we’re going to need to find some more winners! Never mind – it’s so easy at Chester. Not.

1:30 CAA Stellar Hcap Cl3 (3yo 0-90) 6f 14 run


2:05 CAA Stellar Lily Agnes EBF Conditions Stakes Cl2 (2yo) 5f 10 run

I am worried about the draw because I quite fancy NIGHT IN PARIS, which meets most of my trends. He also is a front runner and could set a cracking pace and win this from the front – if he defeats the draw. So the safer bet is DAISY INTHE BREEEZE, who  is drawn 3, and turned in a decent performance at Brighton LTO.


2:35 Saddle-Up For More Than Racing Hcap Cl3 (3yo 0-88) 5f 11 run

MOONSTONE BOY gets first-time blinkers and has a decent draw – but needs to avoid getting squeezed up with a brace of front runners not far away from wider out. Tom Marquand’s ride ZIGGY’S MISSILE would be a selection if he has the speed to get away from his draw in stall 12.

MOONSTONE BOY 3 pts e/w – ZIGGY’S MISSILE 1½ pts e/w

3:05 Weatherbys E-Passport Cheshire Oaks (Fillies) Cl1 (3yo) 1m3½f 9 run

GALILEO DAME is an easy selection having watched her put AOB’s Port Fairy away back on debut last October, then beating another AOB hot pot LTO. FLYING FINN looked overpriced – but two non-runners suggest the place market is stuffed.


3:40 Boodles Chester Vase Stakes (G3) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 (3yo) 1m4½f 6 run

I cannot see anything beating GROSVENOR SQUARE – other than the lack of a seasonal run. Rating, speed figures, Ryan Moore… skinny but hard to oppose. HIDDEN LAW is the obvious choice, but I come back to almost any speed rating. On Tiemform for example, GS is at least 6lb better than HL.


4:10* ESL Export Maiden Stakes Cl3 (3yo) 1m2½f 8 run

EBEN ZAABEEL 3 pts e/w 

4:45* CNG Switch Hcap Cl3 (4yo+ 0-88) 7f 14 run

ON A SESSION 4 pts Win – DIRTY OLD TOWN 1 pt e/w


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David Cameron
17 days ago


  • 1:30 STASH THE CASH 8th 11/1 – AURIC 9th 11/1 7 pts Dutch -7.00 Total: -7.00
  • 2:05 DAISY INTHE BREEZE 4 pts e/w 8th 5/1 -8.00 Total: –15.00
  • 2:35 MOONSTONE BOY 3 pts e/w 6th 6/1 -6.00 – ZIGGY’S MISSILE 1½ pts e/w NR Total: -21.00
  • 3:05 GALILEO DAME 6 pts Win 4th 7/4 -6.00 Total: -28.00
  • 3:40 GROSVENOR SQUARE 5 pts Win 3rd 7/4 -5.00 Total: -33.00
  • 4:10* EBEN ZAABEEL 3 pts e/w 4th 9/1 -6.00 Total: -39.00
  • 4:45* ON A SESSION 4 pts Win 11th 7/1 -4.00 – DIRTY OLD TOWN 1 pt e/w NR Total: -37.00
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