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21st April 2024 8:42 pm

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

Earwigging is bad for your mental health

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

My office lies just north of the memsahib’s and so it is only a matter of switching off the selective deafness mode to catch the full conversational flow, surely the nearest thing to Perpetual Motion.

Thus I discovered that she misses smelling like a horse. Sadly I too missed something – one or two vital words of this bizarre statement, made even stranger as the communication was with the charming wife of a racing man. Not unreasonably my mind took off on entirely the wrong trajectory and I wondered briefly whether I might lose Madame to a large dollop of saddle soap and a leather-bearing ex-jockey. Living so close to the Valley of the ever-shagging Lambournites, one is only too well aware of how fragile relationships can be. All this was rocketing through the synapses at a very fast pace and then suddenly I started to think that I had driven her away, through the committal of some unpardonable sin, of which I was totally unaware.

There is no greater calamity for a chap. An unknown crime against someone who can sometimes be…. what’s the word? Unforgiving. Frighteningly so.

If like me you were raised within the Catholic education system, you would know that under 14th century Canon Law, Excommunication from the Catholic Church was often Latae sententiae. The latae sententiae penalty is automatic, and it simply means that your “sentence has already been passed.” You are already condemned – think Salman Rushdie on a far more sinister scale. A Dead Man Walking. I racked my brains, why did she miss smelling like a horse?

This all mentally took place in less than a second, maybe two. The call eventually finished and like an idiot, I stepped out conversationally and stood straight on the mine. “Why on earth,” I inquired, “do you want to smell like a horse?” The snort of derision could be heard in an Edinburgh student flat during Freshers week when no one is allowed out. “No” she said. “I cannot smell a horse. I passed some horses today and I couldn’t smell them.” That’s anosmia for you. If your wife has Anosmia from the March bout of C19, you can fart, but you cannot forget. That’s why some people’s death is recorded as being by COVID-19. It’s not. It’s caused by not listening properly.

Talking of miscommunication, here are today’s tips.

We didn’t have a horrid time last weekend and you have to admit we had a spectacular US Open with the tournament leader on the last two days and close by on the first two. A decent second at 75/1 at 1/5 odds gave us an overall 9pt profit, although I did think we would have Patrick Reed making a contribution as well. The racing wasn’t the best we’ve been, but I’m simply happy to bank very small profits for an inexpensive hobby.

1:50 NEWMARKET Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 (2yo) 1m

Won by Frankel ten years ago, none of these looks quite as good, but none the less it has historically produced some strong Group winners. The five runners are all pretty well matched, with the favourite COBH holding a Dewhurst entry, which suggests that despite his plethora of decent stock Clive Cox rates this a little more than some of his others. GEAR UP is probably rated about 4lbs better than COBH on the form to date. NEW MANDATE has won his last two, despite not settling, and he won The Flying Scotsman at Donny 3 secs quicker than the 2yo maiden on the same card and distance. That’s about 15 lengths and if he gets the pace and Frankie can keep his head on, I think he’ll be very difficult to beat. I am not ignoring ONTARIO and let’s face it AoB knows better than most how to win this and what type of tough middle-ranking Group horses will use this as a career path.


2:05 HAYDOCK Close Brothers Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m

HAYADH seemed to have a bit in hand LTO at Musselburgh, has won off a similar mark and has form on the ground. I also popped DANYAH in the notebook after her winning handicap debut at Donny. He has had some bad luck in running traffic-wise, but if space is there he might justify his price. I think the handicapper, however, might have him in his steely grip and for value, I might chance a small each way on NICHOLAS T, who on the face of it might seem past his best. However he is only 2lbs shy of his last winning mark, has shown he retains some enthusiasm, will get a decent pace, and I see him arriving late on the scene off a price that should be closer to 12s.


2:25 NEWMARKET Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies) Cl1 (2yo) 6f

MISS AMULET has been bought by Michael Tabor since she won York’s G2 Lowther Stakes last month. She’s won 3/6 and is rated 111 and while she is fancied it is worth remembering this is her first G1 and benefits from Ryan Moore in the saddle. She is on an upward curve and sets the clear standard on ratings. ALCOHOL FREE caught the eye on her debut when winning by 1¾l from subsequent winner Al Saariyah at Newbury last month. She then stepped up to come 2nd in the G3 Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury staying on well despite her lack of experience – and her wide draw. Millisle who won this last year took exactly the same route for Jess Harrington. James Ferguson has been talking up ZOETIC who is impressing the team at home. The daughter of Kodiac she was beaten on her first three starts, but the penny dropped and she won at Wolverhampton on the AW before going on to Newbury to take a Listed race at Newbury. She likes cut and any rain will help her cause. If you can get 14s she is worth an e/w punt.


2:40 HAYDOCK Close Brothers Motor Finance Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 5f

The value here might lie with AINSDALE, making his seasonal debut for Karl Burke. He’s been absent since October 2019, where he completed a hat-trick at Nottinghma (easily), and comes here 8lbs higher. However there is cut in the ground which he’ll appreciate, (won on Heavy), and 14/1 looks too big. COPPER KNIGHT is being backed like there are only three runners Opened 16s now 11s.


3:00 NEWMARKET Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (Group 1) (Colts) Cl1 (2yo) 6f

I could make a solid case for LUCKY VEGA who won on his debut at Naas beating LIPIZANNER by ½l. He was the 2nd in a G2 at the Curragh, won The Phoenix Stakes, beating Royal Ascot winner The Lir Jet by 3l. He had a dismal journey in the National Stakes at the Curragh earlier this month and the market is judging him by his Phoenix Stakes performance. But I think all the juice has been squeezed out, which surely can’t be said of HM The Queen’s TACTICAL, who has course experience, has Buick on board, (his strike rates for Balding here are 50% strike rate for a place over the last 9 years). He has never gone off bigger in four starts than 7/2 and was eye-catching when he won the July Stakes back in …….. Then he went for the Prix Morny over 6f at Deauville. where he ran a very strange race, ending up 5th of 9, beaten 4¼l.  14s is a stonking price.


3:15 CURRAGH Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes (Group 2) (2yo) 1m

I can’t really see anything taking this except HIGH DEFINITION, who looked the biz on his Curragh debut last month. A good turn of foot, balanced, steerable, he scored easily under hands and heels and looks all over another Ballydoyle champ in the making. Historically it has been used as a proving ground for a number of their Galileo colts, and Aidan has sent out the last nine winners.


3:35 NEWMARKET bet365 Cambridgeshire Handicap (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+) 1m1f

29 in the cavalry charge and the general consensus is no one knows where the pace is, or which draw will triumph. Personally I think it will be anything with a double-digits draw, and have selected accordingly.

TULFAARIS has been running well in C3 conditions races and likes a bit of cut. I am hoping that there will have been some showers over the afternoon, (as forecast), which will help. He came over from France at the end of his 2yo career where he was 1/5. He ran well in a couple of handicaps and then got blocked on at least three occasions in his run in the Britannia at the Royal meeting. He has shown some potential since and 2nd in his last 3 races all at Ascot – suggesting he likes a nice straight track. I wonder whether he has been targeted here by Charlie, and with Hayley on board is good for five places. TEMPUS too has a decent draw, but does he get the trip and is this really a race in which to back favourites? CELTIC ART seems to have had something of a dartboard career distance-wise, and I wonder whether the Colemen now think 9f Good 14f bad. He has met and not been disgraced by some very decent animals in his career to date, so the draw and price and some crossed fingers supported by his trends profile put him on the list. BELL ROCK has decent form, is drawn 24, has Oisin on board and has been gelded. The horse, not Oisin. He beat Ouzo in an 8f Newmarket handicap in June off a mark of 98 (now rated 103) before finishing sixth in the Royal Hunt Cup. He stayed on well at Goodwood over 9f behind Maydanny, and he is unbeaten in two runs on the Rowley Mile. He goes well fresh. Finally, I’m adding LUCANDER who is an improving 3yo who won a decent handicap LTO at York. He finished impressively and has decent pace.


Finally the very best of luck to SIR BUSKER’s connections, including Sam Hoskins.

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