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

Day 2 of the return.

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup

Getting ones eye in

While I would love to pass off my crude notes as some sort of well-honed guidance, the reality is of course that I am, like most of you, still getting my eye in. The things you forget to check beforehand – like Newcastle’s Clerk going in deep with the harrow. I hadn’t clocked a couple of racing incidents or worked out some ante-post targets. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad day’s work and Deauville, one of my top 5 tracks of the world, made my heart sing.

I’m going to keep today simple and stick with sensible handicaps or horses whose performance, should at the very least be watched. Fingers crossed.

13:20 Newcastle: I quite like the look of RAYDIANCE as an e/w shot. He won’t mind the waxy ground that appeared to drag some of my selections yesterday, and if I have a concern it is that this galloping mile might be 150 yards or so just too far. He’s got a decent draw and I shall stick in SIR BUSKER for forecast purposes. SIR BUSKER is one of the excellent KVT syndicate horses – run by Sam Hoskins. My man on the inside says Sir Busker has come on this year and strips like a very nice horse with Royal meeting handicap ambitions.

14:30 Newcastle: The talking horse and likely favourite, MUBAKKER is bred and shown ability on fast ground. I hate to go on about it, but the AW is running slow, and I don’t think will help his cause. Instead, I’m going to have small e/w on one of my old chums, GROWL, second in the Ayr Gold Cup second and taking the Great St Wilfrid consolation race for Richard Fahey. COLD STARE is also capable of running into a place.

18:00 Newcastle: BIG COUNTRY is now with Jamie Osbourne just down the road, having left Mick Appleby. I’m assuming Jamie has got him fit and to the mark and has discovered the means to rekindle BC’s interest. MEDAL WINNER for Archie Watson also has possibilities, providing Roger Fell doesn’t put his pair into the frame as he did in the first yesterday. If I had to pick one of his it would be COCKALORUM who ran pleasingly in a Newmarket handicap LTO (4th), and comes here off the same mark.

13:35 Kempton: ST GALLEN has had a wind op and which is reported to have gone well. Interesting choice for Oisin – he’s my winner.

15:20 Kempton: Willie Haggas runs the Lope de Vega colt, COLD FRONT, which should hose this. He showed a ton of ability when a green 2nd at Newbury on Heavy ground and it was his sheer guts that got him that close. Probably bet of the day – but at short odds.

15:55 Kempton: HM The Queen runs FIRST RECEIVER and if I can get evens, I’ll be thrilled. He was only ½l adrift over C&D in November and I would lover HM to have the fillip (ED: I see what you did),  of an early-season winner. The photograph of her in the newspapers yesterday riding her fell pony was inspirational. God Bless Her.

Frankie will probably win the next on Galsworthy, and the rest aren’t really of interest.

Hope that helps.

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