Having been to the theatre again last night, back to The Bodleian, to see The Globe’s “Comedy of Errors” touring production, I was wide awake at 11:30 pm on what was still a dry night. I did the form for today, retired and awoke to find course inspections changing everything. Curses! Not only has this scuppered my work, but also undone a couple of greedy early morning price grabs. Double Curses!
I have reworked the runes – but be careful, dry ground and rain always make for slippy, loose surfaces which can undo a confident brute and frighten a cautious one – and that’s just the punters.
1:50, Ascot. Hard to come away from SUMMER ROMANCE, but the price is very skinny and likely to get worse as the grey filly has won on soft ground. A small e/w on AROHA might provide a better return, having been placed on G/S at Ascot before in The Albany. She stayed on from a low draw to grab third and led home the far side group by some way. The ground and distance suited her and while this might be a bit of a stretch in quality terms, she could again be value for money. Diligent Deb was also in the Albany and broke very badly and was detached by some way. She made up ground to come 9th and might alter a few perceptions today.
2:05, York. LOVE DREAMS and MEDAHMIM have this between them I think and as Mark Johnston has the King of the Front Runners in the plate and with Soft ground form, I’m siding with LOVE DREAMS
2:25, Ascot. I suspect this might turn out to be a battle between FLASHCARD and PRINCE OF HARTS. The rain has helped both of them and Sam Hoskins, who runs Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds the owners of Flash told me that Andrew Balding couldn’t be happier with him and believes he will go well here in this smallish field. Much as I admire Sam, I’m afraid I have always rather admired Rod Millman who often gives the impression of being a bit of a handicapping scamp. There was a tiny hint of hold-up last time out, and I was surprised to see Prince of Harts make 3rd. Still 7lbs wrong of his previous victory, I have a feeling today might be the day.
2:40, York. I think by now the ground will have gone to Soft and horses like Gulliver will be grievously disappointed. Michael Dods has three in the race, and all of them will like cut, but only CAMACHO FIELD has won on the Soft. However, I’m going to suggest that TOMILY can take this, as he seemed to have plenty in hand winning LTO and as I write Sylvestre de Souza has just taken the ride. I’m getting excited about this one!
3:00 Ascot: These four trends narrow the field instantly down to just a handful. 16/16 – Less than 36 days since the last run (DSLR) 16/16 – Had raced at Ascot 15/16 – Aged 5yo or less 13/16 – had won over the distance. Further work reduces that list to just four: KAESO – ALEMARATALYOUM – RIPP ORF and a marginal VALE OF KENT. I think I fancy KAESO most because whilst this would be a shock and a career-best, the signs all suggest he is capable of doing it. In 6-7½f Handicaps, when he is racing within a 60 day period of his last run, he has had eight wins, and 2 placed form 12 races under those conditions. He likes Ascot (have a look at his Victoria Cup run – less than ½l behind Cape Byron). I might do those four and KIMI FIVE in a full tote perm for the Trifecta and Exacta.
3:15 York: REGAL REALITY has had a distinguished career to date and is capable of winning this G2, especially in rain-sodden ground. ELARQAM will provide the challenge.
3:40 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. What’s there to be said… except Enable has to overcome a couple of contrary trends – which may or may not be significant. They are All the last fifteen winners had between two, and four seasonal starts and fourteen of them were 3yo or 4yo. The only horse that makes all the trends is ANTHONY VAN DYKE, and his current generous odds of 9/1 allow us to back him e/w to return almost the same as a winning bet on ENABLE. Mad not to, as The Derby form is working out well producing a couple of G1 winners and a G2 plus several decent placings.