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

Saturday’s Tips 10th Aug

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup


The Shergar Cup provided me with a great deal of work, having handled the PR for back in the day. We first dug them out of the disaster that was the first event at Goodwood, when ti was administrated by the great sports agency IMG. Had it been a Golf or Tennis event, they would have nailed it. Sadly IMG were only vaguely aware which end the manure came out – but did know racing was full of very rich people who they would get to meet, on a one-on-one basis. Disaster darling and about as well-received as a drunk vomiting into a pram. When resurrected back at Ascot by Douglas Erskine-Crum, BSQ again stuck their head on the sponsorship block, but perseverance and the retirement of a number of gnarled hacks with a “view” plus Ascot’s determination to create a new platform to attract new racegoers eventually worked. Many of its aspects are now copied by other racecourses and frankly people – it really ain’t that bad. More importantly, it now has a trends record.

The weather is going to play its part across today’s racecards and as I write the TV tracks are reporting as follows: Ascot: Good, G/F in places. Weather deteriorating, high winds, no more significant rain. Haydock is reporting Soft, but heavy rain showers this morning might change going from Soft to Heavy before racing. Very high winds are threatened. Newmarket is reporting G/F Good in places but is haemorrhaging runners making a number of races only good for two places. Remember we back e/w only at 8/1 or bigger.

  • 1:05 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash (Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 5f ITV4
    • CORINTHIA KNIGHT meets all the trends and additionally, all his career wins have been in C2 or lower races with 10 or fewer runners and running off less than 105. He looked well in control at Pontefract LTO and the form of that race is working out well.
  • 1:40 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers (Handicap) Cl2 (4yo+ 0-100) 2m ITV4
    • BLUE LAUREATE ran a blinder in The Brown Jack at Ascot LTO given the absence of pace.
  • 1:55 HAYDOCK Vulcan Village Handicap (London Mile Series Qualifier) Cl3 (3yo+ 0-90) 1m ITV4
  • 2:15 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge (Handicap) Cl3 (4yo+ 0-95) 1m4f ITV4
    • I’m not convinced that MANDARIN is in the handicapper’s grip yet, and the 6lb increase for his last victory might not anchor this progressive nag.
  • 2:30 HAYDOCK British Stallion Studs EBF Dick Hern Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m ITV4
  • 2:50 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile (Handicap) Cl2 (4yo+ 0-100) 1m ITV4
    • I’m not looking past the top of the market and fancy last year’s winner VIA SERENDIPITY and ANOTHER BATT.
  • 3:05 HAYDOCK Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m2½f ITV4
  • 3:25 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic (Handicap) Cl3 (3yo 0-95) 1m4f ITV4
    • If the ground remains as is, VIVID DIAMOND could well go one better this time round for Mark Johnston. I also quite fancy his other runner ASIAN ANGEL, who ran too badly to be true LTO at Goodwood.
  • 3:45 NEWMARKET (JULY) Sweet Solera Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) Cl1 (2yo) 7f ITV4
  • 4:00 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint (Handicap) Cl2 (3yo 0-100) 6f ITV4
    • PASS THE VINO looks very decent value given his recent record under Paul D’Arcy, but JACKS POINT has some terrific form – especially since he is coming back to 6f after a decent 7f effort at Goodwood last week. Good e/w value.

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