A lunch party in Lambourn for a dozen or so; a TV on the blink thanks to the WiFi failing to connect correctly to the Sky Mini. This small box is theoretically attached to the Sky Q. This is attached in every sense, to my wallet on a permanent, albeit only half-working, but always charging way. Why does nothing work properly anymore? Never mind – the sun was out, the food worked well, we had enough hooch, The Hon did a new semifreddo pud of real merit, and house guests sang for their supper. Midnight and Alls Well as the nightwatchmen used to say.
We’d had a good day’s racing and the pleasure of seeing Their Majesties delight and joy in their first Royal Ascot winner. We could say Huzzah for Frankie taking over the Gold Cup show and smile at seeing Sir Mark Prescott entertaining HM with a series of anecdotes throughout the procession. But please ITV – at least get the commentary for The Royal Procession right. Just reading it out and not using your eyes is wrong. One of the Qatari Royal Family, the Al Thanis was patently not Lady Sarah Chatto.
There’s no point in getting angry anymore. I now know of three individuals, who have sent truly blistering letters to The Ascot Authority that, should the postman spill tea on them, or rain touch the envelope, I imagine will transform – like some Harry Potter special effects crew on unlimited budgets. The letters would metaphorically dissolve in fumes of acrimony, followed by the fires of hell breaking out, whilst the terrible impact of brimstone would be felt across Berkshire.
Perhaps because I can write the replies to “Angry Letters” in my sleep, is the reason I see no point. “Thank you so much for your very kind interaction and guidance following your visit to His Majesty’s Racecourse. It’s only thanks to people like you, who take the trouble blah di blah… As soon as we have had a chance to examine your proposals in more detail and to see how they align with our current blah di blahs….
I think as I get older I prefer the slow, cold stalk, in place of the angry letter. Thus you might imagine my pleasure at seeing Francesa Cumani on TV today, playing the role of Agrippina The Younger, as she stood by smiling pleasantly as Ed Chamberlain did his impersonation of everyone’s Big Brother and gave Hayley Turner a series of hugs, whoops and cheers for doing her job properly on the favourite. But even Ed “Gosh, Really, Fantastic” has to put the cliche down sometimes and let one of the others in.
“You don’t get that many “rides” here do you?” said the stiletto. I don’t think I’m exaggerating where the emphasis went.
Friday 23rd June
14:30 Albany Stks (G3) (2yo, C1, 6f, 18 run)
A fairly reliable set of trends and I fancy two here – it’s just how to play them. Dutching them I’m getting 2/1 about my money.
CARLA’S WAY and JABAARA 10 pts Dutch
15:05 Commonwealth Cup (G1) (3yo, C1, 6f, 13 run)
Jessica Harrington’s OCEAN QUEST is certainly the wrong price when compared to the single-digit priced horses after LITTLE BIG BEAR in the market. I want her on my side. Sadly I also fancy the two Charlie Appleby runners as well and somewhere I have a stat that suggests his application of first-time cheek-pieces is around 40%. That makes NOBLE STYLE’s 20/1 look too big as well. Charlie’s MISCHIEF MAGIC is also wearing a first-time tongue tie. Based on the current prices of 16/1, 20/1 and 33/1 I will dutch all 3 each way to get 7/2 about my money as follows:
NOBLE STLE 3½ pts e/w – OCEAN QUEST 2½ pts e/w – MISCHIEF MAGIC 1½ pts e/w
15:40 Duke Of Edinburgh Stks Hcap (3yo+, C2, 1m 3f 211y, 19 run)
Hughie Morrison’s STAY WELL has merit, as does MAKSUD and AL NAFIR – but he has been off for eight months.
MAKSUD 3 pts Win – STAY WELL 1½ pts e/w
16:20 Coronation Stks (G1) (3yo, C1, 7f 213y, 7 run)
TAHIYRA is too short and there are too few runners to make a go of it. For the sport and to keep my bookie honest I’ll back Jess Harrington’s
SOUNDS OF HEAVEN 4 pts Win (Betting w/o Fav 9/2)
17:00 Sandringham Stks (Fillies’ Hcap) (Str) (3yo, C, 1m, 30 run)
Remember with most bookmakers offering 6 places and 8 with Skybet and 7 with Paddy Power, backing a 66/1 shot at SP will return you 6/1 about your money.
DREAM OF LOVE might easily surprise off top-weight MA BELLE ARTISTE – NOVUS – BALALAIKA is too big with Hayley Turner piloting.
DREAM OF LOVE 4 pts e/w – MA BELLE ARTISTE 1½ pts e/w – NOVUS 1½ pts e/w – BALALAIKA 2 pts e/w
17:35 King Edward VII Stks (G2) (3yo, C1, 1m 3f 211y, 6 run)
ARREST 4 pts Win – RELENTLESS VOYAGER 1½ pts e/w
18:10 Palace Of Holyrood House Stks Hcap (3yo, C2, 5f, 28 run)
BRAVE NATION 1 pt e/w – KERDOS 2½ pts e/w – WALBANK 2½ pts e/w – EXECUTIVE DECISION 1½ pts e/w