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24th July 2024 11:39 am

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

The 243rd Derby Day

These Donors Are AMAZING Thank You

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

I have captured a photograph of the great tipster Prince Monolulu who would stand on the Downs by the rails and shout to the crowd “I Gotta Horse” as he sold his tips. In the world of Low Life, it is almost impossible not to find the steps of Jeffrey wondering through and indeed Graham Lord’s biography of Jeffrey Bernard describes how Jeffrey went to interview Prince Monolulu who was in the Middlesex Hospital. In those unwoke days, it was OK to take a box of Black Magic chocolates to your racing gentleman of colour and Jeffrey offered the Prince a strawberry cream. Allegedly, Monolulu choked to death on it and Bernard thought it best to leave.

Having been so uplifted by all the magisterial celebrations, I was bought back down to earth with a bang, by a set of dismal Oaks Day racing results. They were compounded by Frankie’s misfortune at stumbling out of the stalls; and added to by young Alex Zverev’s semi-final accident over at Roland-Garros which looked incredibly painful.

I thought the Service of Thanksgiving was pretty decent and the Bish did an amusing sermon, which sounded genuine, rather than the self-righteous and oft-patronising guff Welby puts out. I did just wonder whether Cantab had been “ordered” to have Covid along with various other potential headliners. The Sussex Show never got off the ground, although I might suggest to them that they open accounts with several bookmakers, then follow Kneesup’s tips and within weeks they will be greeted like long-lost relatives. Unlike the crowds outside St Paul’s, my rails bookmakers are always reliably enthusiastic when they see me.

Perhaps they’ll be less so when they see today’s wonderful selections.

2:00 Cazoo Hcap Cl2 (3yo 0-100) 1m2f 15 run

I know it’s a tricky handicap, but MR BIG STUFF was virtually pulled up twice during his last race and still came 5th under Hollie Doyle. Now he’s got an extra 5lbs off as well with Tyler Heard in the plate, and favouritism doesn’t seem so unreasonable. BOX TO BOX also benefits from Harry Davies and his 5lbs, and that makes 10/1 for 5 places seem like value.

MR BIG STUFF 3 pts Win – BOX TO BOX 2 pts e/w

2:35 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Cazoo) (G3) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m½f 10 run

I can easily narrow this down to five, maybe six, possibly seven. In the end, I’m going for the top-rated on Timeform and Raceform, but I’m also sticking in a proven G3 performer MAJESTIC GLORY who won the Sweet Solera last year.


3:10 Cazoo Diomed Stakes (G3) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m½f 6 run

I had backed MUTASAABEQ in the Bet365 Mile LTO at Sandown when he went done by a neck to Lights On and beating Andrew Balding’s favourite Alcohol Free by 2½l. He got caught in dreadful traffic and the engine stalled for a few seconds, so his neck loss was better thought of as a length plus in my book.


3:45 Simpex Express ‘Dash’ Hcap Cl2 (3yo+) 5f 20 run

I think I want a double-digit draw, some sensible speed figures, a handicap mark within 4lbs of the last winning mark and some similarities to the trends profile for the race. I have reduced the field to the following selections:

LIVE IN THE DREAM 4 pts Win – MASTER MATT 1 pt e/w – KING OF STARS 2 pts e/w 7 places with Skybet – 6 in many places.

4:30 Cazoo Derby (In Memory Of Lester Piggott) (G1) (No Geldings) Cl1 (3yo) 1m4f 17 run

It’s very hard for me to put you off DESERT CROWN who should win. But then so should The Oaks favourite have won. Could Ryan win this on STONE AGE? Of course, he could and well might, but for punters like me, when I see that 11 of the 17 runners have been marked by Timeform as capable of improvement – including the top three in the market, I start looking elsewhere. Bearing in mind the extraordinary start Charlie Appleby had this year with his Group 1 entries, I think there is a really easy solution to this year’s Derby conundrum and that is to back all three of Charlie Appleby’s horses in the following manner.

NATIONS PRIDE 4 pts Win  – WALK OF STARS 1½ pts Win – NAHANNI 1 pt Win, Add PIZ BADILE to the other three for a 12 x ¼ CFC (if any two of the four selections are placed 1st or 2nd, you win). You’re getting approx 4/1 about your money and you have the winner of The Fielden Stakes who has been supplemented for the race and selected by William Buick as his ride; you have the winner of the Epsom Blue Riband Trial, and you have the 2nd in The Lingfield Derby trial ridden by Adam Kirby – the same prep and jockey as won this race last year. But by adding PIZ BADILE to the mix, I think we’re in with a sporting chance of getting a decent priced forecast.

5:15 World Pool Northern Dancer Hcap Cl2 (4yo+ 0-105) 1m4f 12 run

SOAPY STEVENS – BOSS POWER Dutch the pair for 5 pts

5:50 JRA Tokyo Trophy Hcap Cl2 (4yo+ 0-105) 6f 14 run


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