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22nd July 2024 7:00 pm

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

Parky RIP and Eeh Bah Gum

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Just in: CJM… Bunter… Ken… Thank you. They join: 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

We’re heading for a splendid weekend of sporting action, after a pretty decent social week involving a good mix of work (little), jolly lunches and alcohol (lots). The only real blot on the horizon was caused by opening my mouth to eulogise the chance of Eeh Bah Gum at 6:00 at Windsor on Thursday, to my collected lunch chums. You might not be familiar with EBG, but in brief, he started racing in 2017 with David O’Meara, who passed him on to Tim Easterby who raced him until 2021, when he went to Kevin Ryan, who gave him a wind-op. He then had another wind-op in 2023 and went to Ann Duffield, who ran him once before he went to Ivan Furtado where he currently is. So in six years, he has had five trainers, two wind-ops, 51 races, 9 wins and 8 places and earned an average of about £19k per annum.

My pre-race spiel over the sherry and canapes, involved masses of statistics and figures about 5f on a southern racecourse, the number of days the animal statistically has between wins, the number of mints he gets on Thursdays, the importance of the wind blowing from the SW- ideally with the smell of blanched samphire in the air, blah, blah, blah, blah fishcakes.

Inevitably the horse’s price drifted from 25s to 40s, and he may well still be on course at Windsor with the hope that he complete the race before the next meeting.

Luckily my chagrin was a private affair, the others had merely lost money as opposed to money, face and reputation. Luckily some were too busy to really notice the poor showing, as they had troubles of their own, a combination of an absence of both tickets for the appropriate train, and transport home at the other end, complicated by a few jugs of Rose and Claret. This scenario is often, repeated up and down the land in my experience, after any boys’ lunch. It is nearly always accompanied by wifely instructions, (which are apparently considered vows), along the lines of; “You are never to break bread with Kneesup again.”

I remember a post-memorial lunch that celebrated Mikey Heaton-Ellis, one of the very best and nicest of men. Three of us lunching became six, became a dozen and by 7:00 pm, there was no Kummel to be found anywhere in Chelsea, be it Dan’s, Leonardos, Waitrose, Majestic, or M&S… so we went home. One of our number, passed out in his bath, which given his paraplegia, required hours in a cold bath before he could recover himself. Another, caught his train to Newmarket, overshot Cambridge, and had to take a £90 taxi from Bury St Edmunds or similar, back to Newmarket station to recover his car. He then drove home., but forgot that his rather grand house had a drive and more importantly a roundabout with a fountain in the middle, on top of which he parked his car. His defence was apparently, “I’ve been to church and taken communion with Kneesup.” He is on a long list of those not allowed to lunch with me.

Yesterday, other than the appalling punt, I remained in a state of grace and managed to meet The Hon at the appointed time, sent her off to The Barn Theatre to watch a musical (excellent apparently) whilst I settled down with the dog and watched a wonderful tribute to the genius and humanity of Parkinson. After he had completed the last episode of his show, Parkinson stated ‘If I could save one interview from the thousands I have done, it would be the one-man show with Professor Jacob Bronowski.’ I confess I shed a tear when I rewatched part of that interview, marvelling at Bronowski’s astonishing intellect and absence of conceit. But you could not help but be blown away throughout the whole interview, by the level and depth of Parkinson’s research.

The original broadcast was shortened in line with the curtailed broadcast times of the then three-day week. Below – in case you are interested and I pray you are – is the original interview in its entirety. Here you will see so much lost, and yet so much to be savoured.

Talking of lost things, that cannot be recovered, here are the tips for the weekend


1:50 NEWBURY BetVictor Geoffrey Freer Stks (G3) (3yo+) 1m5½f 8 run (3p gen)

You can make a case for half the field and the top two in the market are ARREST who won The Chester Vase (Soft) and was the Derby and King Edward VII favourite (both GF and he lost a shoe in The Derby); and  KEMARI who won a Listed race LTO. JACK DARCY looked progressive when chasing home the classy Hamish in a Goodwood G3 LTO and could be good for a place. Roger Varian brings back SHANDOZ after almost two years and I’m told has been working well at home.

ARREST 4 pts Win

2:05 NEWMARKET (JULY) JenningsBet Grey Horse Hcap Cl4 (3yo+ 0-85) 6f 15 run (5p Bet365, Skybet, BetVictor, 4p gen)

The only race where The Hon is guaranteed to find the winner. The trends horse is Charlie Hills’ DIVINE LIBRA who won two starts ago at this level and despite a 3lb rise, came 3rd over CD 21 days ago in a 0-100 handicap. I also like Heather Main’s MISTER BLUEBIRD


2:25 NEWBURY Highclere Castle Gin Hcap Cl3 (3yo+ 0-88) 5f 11 run (4p gen)

WHENTHEDEALINSDONE has dropped to 3lb better than his last winning mark and must have a chance. He’s a course winner has three wins over the distance and won’t mind the likely ground. DESPERATE HERO catches the eye with Tom Marquand in the plate and whilst he had no chance with his draw at Goodwood LTO, if he runs up to his Yarmouth form before that, he’d be in with a shout. HARRY BROWN is being backed from 7s to 9/2 and has a viable chance.


2:40 RIPON William Hill Silver Trophy Hcap Cl4 (3yo+ 0-80) 6f 19 run (6p Skybet, PPower, 5p gen)

COOPERATION is a CD winner (2021) has finally been eased below 80, just 2lb higher than when winning at Thirsk in May. This will be easier than his last Goodwood run. MARKS CHOICE has super Ripon figures on this likely ground.

MARKS CHOICE 3 pts Win – COOPERATION 2 pts e/w

3:00 NEWBURY Heart Bingo Summer Sizzler Hcap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 7f 14 run (5p Skybet 4p gen)

Clive Cox targets this race and is 7R – 2W – 3P which draws the eye to LETHAL NYMPH and SCHOLARSHIP. On his best form you could not rule out SPANGLED MAC and Richard Hannon has always held CLASSIC in high regard with his fantastic bloodlines and undoubted abilities.

SPANGLED MAC 3 pts Win – LETHAL NYMPH 2 pts e/w – SCHOLARSHIP 1 pt e/w

3:15 RIPON William Hill Great St Wilfrid Hcap Cl2 (3yo+) 6f 20 run (7p Skybet, 6p Bet365, PPower, WHill, Betfair, 5p gen)

HYPERFOCUS ran at Goodwood in the Stewards Cup which you might remember was run in monsoon conditions. He’s dropped 2lb for that so he’s back to his last winning mark. MONSIEUR KODI must have a chance on his LTO form but is being backed and seems too short. LIVE IN THE MOMENT was 4th to MONSIEUR KODI at Goodwood LTO in the Stewards Cup consolation. Officially Heavy after the race, I think the first time visor mght make a difference. CAIRN GORM’s mark has been coming down, allowqing him to win at York on GS 3 weeks ago. He’s got 4lbs, but that’s possibly not beyond him.

LIVE IN THE MOMENT 2 pts e/w – HYPERFORCUS 2 pts e/w – Both with CAIRNGORM and MONSIEUR KODI for 12 x ¼ pt CFC

3:35 NEWBURY BetVictor Hungerford Stks (G2) Cl1 (3yo+) 7f 10 run (4p Skybet 3p gen)

MOSTABSHIR doesn’t get a tough race here against the likes of Paddington or Nostrum who he;’s had on his last two starts and he’s dropping down to 7f. The York novice he won three back has produced 3 winners since. CHINDIT was noted in The Queen Anne and has decent form, and NEW ENDEAVOUR has been knocking on the Pattern-class door quite hard this season. Bearing in mind that York runs the G2 City Of York Stakes, over the same trip, and for much more dosh next week, I’m bound to say that this has probably made it easier perhaps for JUMBY to retain his crown.

MOSTABSHIR 3 pts Win – NEW ENDEAVOUR 2 pts e/w



Australia to win. Last time these two teams met was one year ago and Australia beat Sweden 4-0 in that match. Australia will have the home advantage and they’ve won ten of their last twelve games at home.
I think it will be over 2.5 total goals and two of the last three games between these teams have gone over 2½ total goals – both teams have gone over 2½ total goals in three of each teams last five games. Both teams have averaged 2.67 goals per game at this World Cup.

  • Sell the 1st Sweden Goal 51.5 – 54.5
  • Sell the 1st Australian Goal 53.5 – 56.5
  • Buy Headed Goal Minutes 21 – 24


The Spaniards have been strong in the attack with nine different players scoring goals and Jennifer Hermoso picking up three goals and two assists. In a 5-0 win over Zambia, she scored twice and added an assist on five shots, including three on target. On the other side of the equation we have Lauren Hemp who has scored a goal in three of her last four games, and had a goal and an assist in Wednesday’s semifinal win over Australia. She took three shots, including two on target. She also had a goal in the 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Colombia. England gets Lauren James back after serving a 2-game suspension for a red card she received against Nigeria. England are coming off a dominant 3-1 performance against co-hosts Australia in the semis, while Spain secured a spot in the final behind a 2-1 victory over Sweden. All three goals in that match were scored in the second half, and that’s where I think the real battlefield will be.

  • Sell the time of the 2nd England goal 80 -82.5
  • Buy headed goal minutes 23 – 26
  • Buy shirt numbers 25 -28



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