The Keeper of The Privy Purse or the Hon. Kneesup as she prefers to be known, has berated me for failing to provide adequate description of our current circumstances.
Thus, I have to tell you, that since Monday night and until tomorrow, we have been in residence at The Park House Hotel, Bepton, West Sussex. The clover has truly gathered around our door, we are like Porcs en Ordure, a rare delicacy in the current economic times and it is entirely down to the kindness of a great chum.
He had booked his favourite suite, at one of my favourite places in England, when he discovered that life’s conspiracies had forced him to abandon ship, and rather than let anyone down, (or worse, lose his coveted suite in the future), he donated the booking to Kneesup and Co. I have only ever dined here during Goodwood week, but never stayed, and it has always been the greatest fun, with super food and good company.
Staying here however is different. By a proverbial country mile. Hot and Cold running everything from Boules and Bowls to Tennis and Golf. Delicious food, TVs laid out for racing and then whisked discreetly away to make more room for cocktails on the Terrace before Dinner. Madame in the Spa, Kneesup by bar wolfing a delicious and reasonably priced Rose (by comparison to Goodwood, whose wine list can make the wounded Rhino look benign when it comes to charging). Charming staff, and I mean thoughtful, gracious and amusing to boot, the whole time here is heaven. That sounds gushy, but readers must by now know the gush and I are as far apart as a Geyser in Yellowstone and a Geezer in Carshalton. Don’t come here during future Goodwood weeks, it is already fully booked by me for the next two lifetimes.
I should also make clear that I don’t eat here all the time. West Sussex and the coves of Chichester Creek aren’t that far away and are a tidal flow of delicious bars and gastro-offerings, which are this year heaving with people not working! Everything is booked, or worse, bad. I did manage to get into one favoured old haunt, and it was horrid, with all the atmosphere of a 1950s Vladivostok 3 star hotel, in a bad harvest year. The meal was desultory and C19 is a reason to shape up management and effort, not to drop it from a great height and watch it shatter. We rushed back to the warm embrace of civilisation.
Yesterday , if the question had been “There were two Kings of England called Charles. One was called Charles The First, what was the second one called?” Raceweb would not have got it. However, it was a good day’s racing and I was thrilled for Marcus, Shk Hamdan and his whole team. Marcus was gracious on TV in mentioning Angus Gold, Hamdan’s racing manager. but the one they all have to thank is Jim Crowley whose ride was timed to the nano-second.
Today, subject to the Rose staying on tap, I shall be watching the following selections…
13:10 Mirabeau En Provence Handicap 14 Runners, Class 3, 5f
If there is a chink in BAL MAL’s armour it might be the increasingly fast ground. And The step up in class. And the 21lbs extra he’s gained this year in a busy season. Still 5/1 looks tasty. ELECTRIC LADYLAND didn’t light anything up at Royal Ascot but made all at at Windsor LTO. Goodwood will suit her and she has a CD to her name from three starts ago.
ELECTRIC LADYLAND wins – RFC with BAL MAL
13:45 Unibet You’re On Handicap 25 Runners, Class 2, 1m 1f 197y
ZABEEL CHAMPION with Ryan Moore on board, might steal this if given an easy early lead. He’s up 8lbs but that probably isn’t enough, to stop his progress. AL SALT and JUNKANOO appeal on various trends.
ZABEEL CHAMPION wins – JUNKANOO e/w – AL SALT for forecast purposes
14:15 Qatar Richmond Stakes (Group 2) 10 Runners, Class 1, 6f
YAZAMAN should hose this based on his effort in the Windsor Castle at Ascot and his 2nd in the G2 July Stakes at Newmarket behind Tactical. Tom Marquand is riding out of his skin at present and the combo looks too good for these.
14:45 John Pearce Racing Gordon Stakes (Group 3) 14 Runners, Class 1, 1m 3f 218y
ENGLISH KING wins. Simples.
15:15 Qatar Nassau Stakes (Fillies’ Group 1) 8 Runners, Class 1, 1m 1f 197y
Japanese star DEIRDRE won this last year at 20/1 but has shown little since. last year with a poor performance behind MAGIC WAND in the Eclipse LTO. Ryan Moore’s decision/instruction to pilot Donnacha O’Brien’s FANCY BLUE seems a and this decent horse has beaten a pair of previous G1 winners when taking the French Oaks at Chantilly LTO. She gets a 9lb WFA allowance. NAZEEF has good solid form,
FANCY BLUE win
15:45 Gusbourne Nursery 29 Runners, Class 2, 7f
Richard Hannon is on top form at present and I like the look of RUNNING BACK, Oisin Murphy in the plate. The colt steps up in trip after finding the 6f on the sharp side, failing to justify favouritism LTO at Kempton. He is considered an exciting prospect at home and the step up to 7f should bring out the best in him. Jamie Osbourne runs BALAVAD in a visor for the first time. and MONZA CITY is too big.
RUNNING BACK wins – BALAVAD e/w – MONZA CITY e/w
16:20 British E.B.F. Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (Plus 10/GBB Race) 21 Runners, Class 2, 7f
ZOOMA e/w if you must have a bet at all
16:55 Tatler Nursery 17 Runners, Class 2, 5f
WINTER POWER wins