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27th May 2024 4:52 am

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

Punchestown Day 2 plus Ascot

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

You will have seen that my sources led me astray and that EMBASSY GARDENS ran like a dog, and not a very well one at that. I am waiting to hear what exactly went wrong. If that had been our only disappointment yesterday, I could have coped, but overall, in financial terms, it was a disaster. We got a fourth in the first, a paying (just) seventh in the 1505, got spanked in the next, calling it wrong in every sense, and lost everything on the 1615 handicap.

I advised No Bet in the Bumper but had a personal moment of insight when I saw them lining up and had a lunge on the 10-1 winner – but to no advantage for you, dear readers – my first consideration. We had a 6/1 winner and a dismal 2nd with Colcannon, and it was just… what’s the word?… bitty? I felt we were scratching around rather aimlessly.

Never mind. Thanks to some very significant pressure on the Puritans (Motto: We can never have enough law to do the work of God and save The NHS) across all parties and their dreadful apparatchiks in the Gambling Commission, the demand to see bank statements and P45s has been severely curtailed. We are now allowed to lose £25k a year before they come knocking. For Raceweb, which is, after all, meant to be fun – or perhaps the phrase is not serious – even if we had said each advised point was £50, we’ve still never lost £25k in a year.

So undeterred, I kick on. Taking a leaf from the Irish “How to change EU laws and conventions” playbook, I am now seeking new legislation to deem Raceweb a safe investment site so that all lost funds can be returned to where they came from. I’m basing this thinking on the brilliant quote from the Tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) Micheál Martin, who was asked to clarify a minister’s claim that 80% of asylum seekers come to the Republic of Ireland via the land border. “Aah No” he said. “… it isn’t statistical. It’s not a data-based sort of evidence base – but it’s very clear that there’s a change in the nature of where migrants have come from“.

Talking of not being based on  data-based evidence but being very clear about where winners come from, here are today’s selections – which incidentally include a couple for Ascot’s Sagaro meeting.

2:30 Adare Manor Opportunity Series Final Hcap Hdl (4yo+ 95-123) 2m3½f 24 run

At a decent price, Jess Harrington’s STRIKING has good and ground course form and caught the eye when he was severely hampered when making headway LTO. She has saddled the winner of this race twice since 2017. I fancy HARSH, but I am worried about his lack of experience. He ran well in the Fred Winter and looks on a decent mark, but I think I’d like him more at 10s. That is the price of COMO PARK, which ran well at Naas four weeks ago after a long break. That will have sharpened him up, and he will like the distance and the ground. HELIKO CONTI’s price is being nibbled at. With the headgear removed, I am expecting improvement and at his best he is serious podium material. The favourite is WALK AWAY HARRY making his handicap debut and looks to have been given a very generous mark. He is only value, plus ca change, if the wins. I can’t lay him, but I won’t back him.

STRIKING and HELIKO CONTI  2pts e/w each six places generally. Add HARSH for 2 x ½ pt RFC with the selections

3:05 Connolly’s RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hdl Series Final (4yo+) 2m3½f 17 run

There is no reason to back OUR GIRLS SAL on either form lines or ability! But Peter Fahey has won this race twice in the last three years with double-digit odds of 14-1 and 40-1, and I can get 125/1 in places. You are bonkers not to have a pop for a small punt.  ANY ROAD was a close fourth to ANSWER TO KAYF at Naas with BLIZZARD OF OZ in fifth and has been placed in several handicaps since. Well overpriced compared to the market leaders.

ANY ROAD 3 pts e/w – OUR GIRL SAL 1 pt e/w (4 places generally)

3:40 Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hdl (4yo+) 2m3½f 16 run

EAST INDIA EXPRESS is probably the first Hendo horse I have tipped for over a month. MISTERGIF is the one to beat, but he’s evens and way too short despite dropping in class. Nicky has now bounced back in top form, and this horse is fresh and aimed at this. He was doing his best work late on when 2nd in a G3 LTO, and it wouldn’t take much more to go one better. Except for a poor performance at Cheltenham in January (hated the first time tongue tie – but has also been off since), ANTRIM COAST has performed well in three previous races over hurdles including a course and distance 1st of 19 in October. Yielding ground should suit and both his Stable and today’s first time jockey are in reasonable form.


4:15 Channor Real Estate Group Novice Hdl (G1) (4yo+) 3m 8 run

Recent Aintree G1 Sefton Novice winner DANCING CITY returns quickly to meet STELLAR STORY (Albert Bartlett) and stablemate BETTER DAYS AHEAD (Martin Pipe) in their last races. The winner is one of those three.


4:50 Race & Stay At Punchestown Champion Bumper (G1) (4-7yo) 2m½f 12 run

Champion Bumper winner JASMIN DE VAUX meets the runner-up ROMEO COOLIO, and the hyped WILLIAM MUNNY who missed Cheltenham. HARBOUR HIGHWAY, a JP purchase, after winning a Navan bumper in March, possibly with this in mind. However, in the market, he’s pink all over, so the money may not yet be down.


 5:25 Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup (G1) (5yo+) 3m1f 9 run

What can you say? Any opportunity to watch a dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner should be taken and here is GALOPIN DES CHAMPS having a crack at winning the Irish equivalent for the first time. He finished second to the reopposing FASTORSLOW last year and meets CORACH RAMBLER again, HEWICK and CONFLATED. Exciting, thrilling and almost unbackable. As we saw last year, we know he’s vulnerable at the end of the season over 25f on good ground. I can’t have CORACH RAMBLER, who will surely find this too short. My eye is taken by the fact that Shark Hanlon has taken off HEWICK’s cheekpieces and replaced them with first-time blinkers. I also can’t see that DASTORSLOW has done much wrong regarding winning this on a course he loves.

Lay GALOPIN DES CHAMPS 10 pts – HEWICK 3 pts e/w

6:00 HSS Hire Hcap Chase (G3) (5yo+) 2m4½f 17 run

IDAS BOY won over C&D a couple of races ago and was considered a safe jumper until a cock up in the Paddy Power at Leopardstown in December. The 10-year-old he might be better in single-digit fields, but his form figures returning from a 5-month layoff are 2111 and better ground shouldn’t inconvenience him. HERIDITARY RULE  won this last year off a mark of 129 winning by 8½l and races off 135 today. Only the 4 races since, with this, the likely target and looks each-way appeal.

IDA’S BOY 3 pts e/w – HERITARY RULE 2 pts e/w (5 places generally)

6:35 Weatherbys General Stud Book Mares Bumper (G3) (4-7yo) 2m½f 14 run

SPECULATRIX won on bumper debut here in Feb 23 with a now rated 135 horse 6l behind that day. Ran a blinder after a 400-day absence to come 6th in the Aintree mares bumper. Will strip fitter and sharper. Today’s the day!



1:10 Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial EBF Conditions Stakes Cl2 (2yo) 5f 6 run


1:40 Bet With Ascot Donation Scheme Paradise Stakes Cl1 (4yo+) 1m 5 run

QUDDWAH 4 pts WIn 

2:15 Longines Sagaro Stakes (G3) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m 5 run


2:50 Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes (G3) Cl1 (3yo) 6f 10 run


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David Cameron
25 days ago

2:30 STRIKING 12th 25/1 and HELIKO CONTI 14th 22/1 2pts e/w each -8 Add HARSH for 2 x ½ pt RFC with the selections -2 Tot: -10
3:05 ANY ROAD 3 pts e/w 10th 20/1 -6 – OUR GIRL SAL 1 pt e/w PU 80/1 -2 = -8 Tot: -18
3:40 EAST INDIA EXPRESS 4 pts Win UR 15/2 -4 – ANTRIM COAST 2 pts e/w 3rd 22/1 +6.80 =+2.80 Tot: -15.20
4:15 NO BET Tot: -15.20
4:50 WILLIAM MUNNY 4 pts Win 3rd 6/1 -4 – HARBOUR HIGHWAY 2 pts e/w 12th 9/1 -4 =-8 Tot: -23.20
5:25 Lay GALOPIN DES CHAMPS 10 pts 2nd 1.54 +17.95 – HEWICK 3 pts e/w 3rd 12/1 +4.20 = +22.15 Tot: -1.05
6:00 IDA’S BOY 3 pts e/w F 20/1 -6 – HERITARY RULE 2 pts e/w 10th 40/1 -4 = -10 Tot: -11.05
6:35 SPECULATRIX 4 pts e/w 11th 16/1 -8 Tot:-19.05
1:10 DILIGENTLY 4 pts Win 4th 2/1 -4 Tot: -23.95
1:40 QUDDWAH 4 pts WIn Won 4/1 +16 Tot: -7.95
2:15 SWEET WILLIAM 4 pts Win 3rd 2/1 -4 Tot: -11.95
2:50 GOT TO LOVE A GREY 2pts e/w 7th 10/1 -4 Tot: -15.95

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