Never ask “What can possibly go wrong?”, because Murphy will tell you!

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup was the former Racing Correspondent of various BBC regional radio stations and was the gossip columnist on the now-defunct Odds On magazine. He now runs Nick Boyd's large, privately owned reputation, which is widely regarded as a sporting, not-for-profit endeavour.
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I wept all the way to the bank yesterday, with frustration, fury and sorrow. If I am brutally honest, and as many of you will know I am an infinitely lazy bugger. A fading international boulevardier with a penchant for interesting stories, a knowledge of racing which infuriates and delights me in no small measure, and an ability to select winners which is marginally better than a pin.

I write because it pleases me and sometimes amuses my friends, which makes the endorphins flow – apparently, all teenagers need these in order to flourish… and some international boulevardiers it transpires. De temps en temps, we get it so right that church bell ringers are ordered to get back to work and bookmakers actually look bewildered. Yesterday was such a day until Mr Murphy’s Law came good. As the British stage magician Nevil Maskelyne wrote:

It is an experience common to all men to find that, on any special occasion, such as the production of a magical effect for the first time in public, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Whether we must attribute this to the malignity of matter or to the total depravity of inanimate things, whether the exciting cause is hurry, worry, or what not, the fact remains.

Maskelyne, Nevil. “The Art In Magic”, The Magic Circular, June 1908, p. 25

Thus it was that the total depravity of half the copy resulted in it not publishing. It could be seen on my screen, it had paginated correctly, we had some 40 minutes to the off, and all was well until we hit the Publish button. But on the public cloud, there only appeared all the work done until Murphy and then Zip, nada, nowt. What I wrote and you saw was good – what you didn’t see made it spectacular. So Raceweb was visibly +8.11 pts ahead with the following results:

  • 1:50 NEWM (JULY) AL SUHAIL win ROPEY GUEST e/w (if 8 runners) +5-2 =+3
  • 2:05 YORK SARDINIA SUNSET +0.91
  • 2:25 NEWM (JULY) AL AASY wins SOUND OF CANNONS e/w +6-2=+4
  • 2:40 YORK
  • 3:00 NEWM (JULY) YAZAMAN e/w 2nd 6/1 +0.2
  • 3:15 YORK
  • 3:35 NEWM (JULY)
  • 4:10 NEWM (JULY)

However, and as I always back my own judgement, this is a copy of my slip from yesterday showing the selections I wrote about, which you missed and I backed.

What makes it worse, was that I had also written that I thought Thunderous was a good e/w shot but took it off my list as it added too many bets. Move on now and as WC Fields once observed: “Never cry over spilt milk, because it may have been poisoned.”

Today we have more from Newmarket’s July meeting and summer jumping from Market Rasen. Half the work has again been erased – this time because of non-runners!

1:50 NEWM (JULY) Price Promise At bet365 H’cap Cl3 (4yo+ 0-88) 7f 12 runners

They’re dropping like flies here, with seven non-runners thanks to the Soft going, leaving a field of 12. This has also produced a very tight market, with little that I can see now by way of value. I quite fancied REVICH at a big price who last won at Epsom about a year ago. He has been meeting decent types on poor terms since and this might have been easier, but I’d want double-digit odds despite his trainer being in good form. PRESIDENTIAL won’t mind the ground and ran well when 6th in the Silver Hunt Cup last time out, and this drop back to 7f might be just what he needs. If the ground were firmer and it were Brighton, I’d be all over DE VEGAS KID but it isn’t. Instead, I suggest BREANSKI who was a neck and ½l third at Redcar on G-G/S ground. He is on a handy mark and I put that loss (and the subsequently manageable 1lb rise) down to his jockey sacrificing ground when switching to the far side to make his challenge.

BREANSKI win

2:05 MARKET RASEN Betway Summer H’cap Hurdle (GBB Race) Cl2 (3yo+) 2m½f 11 runners

RED FORCE ONE looked as though he was prepping for this at Thirsk LTO. BRANDON CASTLE looks too long, given the trainer/jockey combo, but I’m selecting Olly Murphy’s charge VALENTINO DANCER who is wearing first-time cheekpieces.

VALENTINO DANCER e/w

2:25 NEWM (JULY) Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (Sponsored By bet365) (G2) (Fillies) Cl1 (2yo) 6f 7 runners

Karl Burke’s DANDALLA won the Albany Stakes by an impressive six lengths at Ascot, and if she is the same today she’ll be tough to beat. Aidan O’Brien has MORE BEAUTIFUL who disappointed in the Queen Mary but should appreciate the extra distance – but I don’t think will like the ground. I quite like GHAALIYA who made a pleasing debut at Kempton LTO impressing from a wide draw. draw. She was clinging on at the line to win by a head, but that was more greenness and she is well regarded at home. TIME SCALE won the Listed Empress Fillies Stakes on the Rowley course two weeks ago and gave the impression of being a very decent Group filly for the remainder.

TIME SCALE wins

2:40 MARKET RASEN Betway Summer Plate H’cap Chase (Grade 3) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m5½f 17 runners

BAGS GROOVE is the favourite and has won Kempton’s Pendil before. 147 is therefor a surprisingly decent mark, midway between his last two winning marks. He has had the wind-op and he’s been off for 400+ days, so you pays your money and takes your choice. POTTERMAN has some spots of decency in the form book, and at 15/2 might make a dutching companion for my own preference which is SAN BENEDETO, who ran well when 4th of 12 to Oldgrangewood at Newbury on his final jumps start last November.

SAN BENEDETO win POTTERMAN win (dutched to odds) Total 2pts

3:00 NEWM (JULY) bet365 Trophy (Heritage H’cap) Cl2 (4yo+) 1m6f 15 runners

SHAILENE might have had some of my money at Ascot in one of the new “who cares what the name is” handicaps. Andrew Balding’s charge pulled like a train and the pace was very muddling – but I did note that she (under Sylvestre) was midfield on the inner, then she was switched left, then she was kicking on, took the lead, was headed and then got hampered at the 1½f mark. Different tactics and a decent pace and she might be e/w value. Charlie Appleby runs GHOSTWATCH who was last seen in June in Newmarket’s Buckhounds, used to be a tough and progressive 3yo who won the Melrose and an Ascot Listed race over 1m6f, but he has been off the course before June since October 2018. Mark Johnston is doing an Aidan and has entered the Kitchen sink and two Henry Hoovers. KING’S ADVICE won this last year and is now top-weight and 5lb higher. CHRISTOPHER WOOD, who is a very decent hurdler, and who had a good Flat win LTO will appreciate any rain that falls. However, I’m going for another MJ runner STAR OF THE EAST who missed the whole of last year through injury, ran a fine race LTO on the Rowley course and was clearly much sharper for his comeback run at Newcastle at the beginning of the month. A dual winner on the July course in a highly productive 2018 campaign, he’s only 1lb off his last winning mark. That run suggests he has retained all of his old ability.

GHOSTWATCH e/w

3:35 NEWM (JULY) bet365 H’cap (Heritage H’cap) Cl2 (3yo 0-105) 1m2f 12 runners

Time is now agin us, so trust me I have done the form – no time to write.

OVERWRITE e/w

4:10 NEWM (JULY) Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (G1)(Fillies & Mares) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m 6 runners

TEREBELLUM wins

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