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

Let’s hope Mr Jobsworth stays at home.

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup


It’s going to be interesting to see what August 1st holds for Goodwood. I had already decided to attend and was planning to join a throng on Trundle Hill where, on that magnificent and historic site, the less-inherited have always watched the racing. I suspect there will be at least a 1,000 bodies with picnics and booze. On current evidence, we are unlikely to be moved on by the Peelers.

However, inside that great racecourse, lying at the heart of a living testament to how an estate should be run in the 21st century, all will be regimented and properly managed – and subject to inspection by the local Council. This is because, as of some ten hours ago, the Councils, not coppers, not Government, the local council were given the total authority to decide whether an event can happen or nay.

This is, without doubt, the most significant power ever delegated to the Local Authorities and it allows them to close premises and to stop events if the Council is satisfied certain conditions have or have not been met – BUT the interpretation of those conditions are open to wide interpretation. Deal and Hastings, for example, might possibly have similar views – but the same as Brighton and Chichester? Probably not.

Theoretically, the Local Authority must review its decision at least once every seven days – allowing a site, business etc, to re-open quickly if the Local Authority can be persuaded that the hand-sanitizer is now correctly mounted and there is sufficient space for sixteen paramedics to evacuate the entire corps and drums of The Dagenham Girl Pipers in the event of a fainting fit at seeing a Frankie Flying dismount. If not – and possibly only on the grounds that Ron Blenkinsop from the Council had a dismal night with Flossie from Amenities – then nothing might happen at all.

Personally, I am appalled that such people have been given this power. It reminds me of my late and very great Aunt, who having spied out the lie of the land in Sunday church, might leap from one Communion queue to another. Querying this manoeuvre, she told me that she felt it inappropriate to receive the sacrament from her hairdresser… “A perfectly nice man – but hardly on a par with the proper authority.”

Meanwhile, a busy sporting weekend looms, so time for a few tips.


The FA Cup returns this weekend as the teams reach the Semi-final stage. Today we have Arsenal and Man. City and the prospect of global humiliation as Mikel Arteta, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice is defeated by the wizardry of Pep Guardiola, in the battle for dug-out supremacy. 3-0 last year, but I suspect that it will be closer to 2-1 this time with the Apprentice being shown little respect, by his former team.

Sunday’s FA Cup match sees Man. Utd and Chelsea take the field and for Ole Gunnar Solsjaer or Frank Lampard the chance to reach their first FA Cup final as a manager. The Red Devils are on fire at the moment and this season Lampard’s Blues have already had a trio of spankings from United. Strangely Lampard said Chelsea carry no resentment for neither their 4-0 Old Trafford humbling in August, nor their the 2-1 home loss in the Carabao Cup, or indeed for February’s 2-0 defeat.

“Knowing the circumstances of the games, fair play we’ve lost three, that’s just a fact, and I’m not into revenge, I just want to win the game in front of us on Sunday, we played some good stuff in the Carabao Cup. We played a very changed team and played some good stuff, but you still lose. And in the league, we had a good first half, missed opportunities and they took theirs. So I think you have to respect the fact that they’re a good team, we can all see that in their recent performances, but I’m not overly concerned with the games that have gone by. I just want to win the one in front of us.”

Frank Lampard talking tosh

So that will be Manchester United to win by 3-goal margin then!


Race three comes from Budapest and the twisty Hungaroring circuit.

(I am, as an aside, always reminded of Henry Higgins’s dreadful rhyme in My Fair Lady; “… never have I ever known a Ruder Pest” (Oh go on then, here’s THE LINK to see that marvellous song and that timeless phrase, “…oozing charm from every pore..”)

Apart from discovering two cases of COVID 19 from the 5,000 travelling entourage, the now-ceaseless battles and objections over various technical advancements mean that once again Renault will object to the Racing Point brake ducts after the Hungarian GP – and will do so after every race until the matter is concluded. Renault launched a protest against the cars of Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll after the Styrian GP, in which the Racing Points finished sixth and seventh, suggesting that they are copies of those used on the 2019 Mercedes.

This might seem like another technical storm in a tea cup, and that once again – probably to be confirmed in Qualifying – Mercedes are the dominant F1 force again this season. However, Racing Point’s pink cars showed in the two (wet and dry) practice laps that they are a rapidly-imroving team, if only in confidence. Their drivers are taking on every corner and each political and technical issues as if they own it. They appear a cohesive force and I would not put anyone off punting Perez for a podium at 4/1. Stroll is 14’s and might be more interesting at 6/5 for a top 6 finish.


Meanwhile racing from York and Newbury suggests the following selections:

1:55 YORK John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m6f 5 runners

EAGLES BY DAY e/w 3rd in the King Edward from which all of the first six, bar him, have gone onto win.

2:15 NEWBURY bet365 Rose Bowl Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (2yo) 6f 8 runners

METHOD wins. The form is very strong after last weekend’s Duchess of Cambridge when the 2nd, Fev Rover, pushed Dandalla to a head.

2:30 YORK John Smith’s Cup Handicap (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+) 1m2½f 22 runners

BALTIC BARON e/w Finally a big field, plus decent ground, plus pace, plus 10f.

SINJAARI e/w had strong form last season, but ened on a down note. First Time out this season and might pay a dividend

2:50 NEWBURY British EBF/bet365 Premier Fillies’ Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 1m 6 runners

HUBOOR wins. Will like the ground which was far from ideal when seen at Ascot LTO. Both his wins on Good.

3:05 YORK John Smith’s City Walls Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (3yo+) 5f 9 runners

EQUILATERAL wins. Dropping in class and to an appropriate distance – only concern is whether he might be racing again too soon.

3:25 NEWBURY bet365 Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m4f 10 runners

VIRGIN SNOW wins. Her breeding suggests she will get the additional 2f and the pace should be such that this drop in class (decent G3 LTO) that she’ll be able to set the fractions with more experience than she did in that race.

3:40 YORK William Hill Extra Places Every Day Handicap Cl3 (3yo+ 0-93) 1m4f 13 runners

ARCTIC FOX wins. Being backed like a backy thing should be.

4:00 NEWBURY bet365 Hackwood Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (3yo+) 6f 12 runners


Others horses to cross my path and make me go Hmmm are

  • 4:20 Haydock: ZLATAN wins
  • 8:25 Haydock: SPLINTER e/w

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