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25th April 2024 4:58 am

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

The last few Flat races with Aidan’s Whateveritsnameis the possible winner

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

After my suggested advice to Annamarie yesterday, my post box was flooded with the following note from my old friend and former intelligent officer, 006½ who represents a number of senior racing connections:

Perhaps you should have mentioned the disgracefully lazy racecourses. Some now cannot even provide a decent meal for the stable staff who are away all day from an early hour. A sandwich, an apple and a packet of crisps was provided the other day, nothing hot nor substantial. The Owners fare equally badly at some racecourses. The prize for the laziest should go to the HQ of racing, Newmarket, who could not even provide a racecard last weekend. Even one on a sheet of paper, a la France, would have been appreciated.

You are not alone Jimmy Bon. I have heard similar points from dozens of owners and trainers on this very subject. Goodwood officials lost several brownie points for being very overbearing, while Richmond sent a begging letter round to the annual Members, suggesting they “donate” their badge refunds to the Estate, as it has been such a rotten season. At Newbury, Owner’s were bellowed at when daring to wander from their allotted spots in Auchtermuchty, to try and see their horse actually finish. As one Owner put it, “we are in the main, being treated as a dangerous irritant, to be kept corralled and out of sight”. I have however heard great things about York’s treatment of one and all, and one or two of the other courses such as Pontefract. I regard the photograph heading this post, and taken by one of Dan Skelton’s lads at Warwick in 2019, as #Unacceptable.

I refer to some of my past pleas to all those engaged in providing services to the general public. Again I say, please try to be welcoming, kind, considerate and to please remember – in a world with ever-diminishing reserves of dosh – being nice now, might pay a dividend in the future. To put it another way, no owners, no horses, no courses and a new 100-acre housing estate. Not many places there to be an unpleasant bossy-boots.

On the subject of Newmarket, I shall be asking questions in a few minutes, so sit up straight and pay attention at the back, please.

Today is the “Cesarewitch” race – which is the anglicised version of Tsesarevich, the title of the heir to the throne in Imperial Russia. The race was named in honour of Tsesarevich Alexander (later Tsar Alexander II) after he donated £300 to The Jockey Club. (Plus ca change). That was in 1839, the same year as another major handicap at Newmarket, the Cambridgeshire, was created. These two races would become known as the Autumn Double. Only three horses have completed the double and they were all in the 19th century — Rosebery (1876), Foxhall (1881) and Plaisanterie (1885). The absence of more Doublers over the next 120 years, might have something to do with the ability to find the correct date in ones’ diary, because;

  1. The Cesarewitch initially took place before the Cambridgeshire, but the schedule was later reversed and it is now held two weeks after the other race.
  2. The race was formerly staged during Newmarket’s Champions’ Day meeting in mid-October and became part of a new fixture called Future Champions Day in 2011.
  3. In 2014 the Cesarewitch was separated from Future Champions Day, which was moved back a week in the calendar
  4. In 2015 it returned to the Saturday of the new Future Champions Festival.
  5. This should not be confused with Champions Day which is at Ascot.
  6. Ascot’s Champions Day, together with some other races, was formed around The Champion Stakes, which used to be held at Newmarket when they had a Champions Day.

You may by now possibly not care when it is run. Given Raceweb’s disappointing results on mud, I am not surprised. However, as you will by now know, the Master of Ballydoyle runs so large an operation, that despite an equine passport system, a chipping system which is scanned between tard and parade ring, racecourse yard security, a resident UK team of Ballydoyle employees and one assumes an army of Advisers and Trustees of their great and glorious legacy, Team O’B ran my e/w selection, Earth Mother, with the wrong jockey and the wrong number cloth – so whereas my tip was actually third, the result showed him eighth. The BHA’s response was an understatement of reality. “The BHA stewards have been made aware of a potential issue regarding the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket today which may have resulted in the incorrect rider and number cloths being carried by the two horses trained by Aidan O’Brien. A stewards’ inquiry will be held on the racecourse tomorrow to consider all of the relevant evidence and determine the course of events and what action needs to be taken.”

Actually BHA, it isn’t “…potential“; it happened. And it isn’t “…may have“, it happened. I know it unequivocally happened because you were told it had by Aidan O’Brien before anyone had worked it out on course. The Four COVID Horsemen ride again…

Talking of disappointing results, here are today’s tips:

1:45 NEWMARKET Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (2yo) 1m2f

LONE EAGLE showed a good attitude LTO, battling on well and eventually finishing comfortably on top. The Zetland Stakes has been the target since his Goodwood win, and while more is needed, the extra 2f we’ll certainly help.


2:00 YORK Rockingham Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (2yo) 6f

HARMONY LIL has won her last two races and was noticeable in her last a Chester Nursery Handicap having been overused at the beginning in seeking position – but then staying gamely on to take the face. A really nice attitude. Might not win, but is super value e/w


2:20 NEWMARKET Emirates Autumn Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (2yo) 1m

MAXIMAL is a beautifully bred colt who started his career as a two-time bridesmaid finally got off the mark LTO. He kicked on 2f out and won effortlessly. The race before that, a Sandown maiden in August, was a very strong affair, and his Sandown with the winner going on to win a G2. ONE RULER was third in that race, and also looks to have ability. There are other obvious threats such as VAN GOGH, but the pin has to land somewhere. I suggest dutching the first two.


2:35 YORK Coral Beaten By A Length Free Bet Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m2½f


CHATEZ is down from 104 to 90 since June and he will love the conditions. He caught my eye at Newbury LTO with a staying on performance that made me think he was coming back to his best. ICONIC CHOICE won well LTO on soft and appears leniently treated by the handicapper. He lost a shoe in his prior race, and still managed to turn in a decent performance. The wrong price.


2:55 NEWMARKET Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) Cl1 (2yo) 7f

This looks a decent Dewhurst with the unbeaten duo CHINDIT and THUNDER MOON heading the market. The former’s sire won on the Soft and his Mum is from the Motivator line who liked cut and he even has a bit of knee action, but his form and it is decent form, is all on faster ground. Plenty of chat about his outstanding gallops work, so there should be no surprises. THUNDER MOON had dreadful traffic problems in the G1 National Stakes but battled gamely through. Elsewhere Jessy Harrington’s CADDILAC won the G2 Champions Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown last month and he’ll handle the ground and he has proven stamina. I also quite fancy The Middle Park Stakes 4th TACTICAL. This is a proven horse, and his price seems too long Then there is a strange one and I have had a small punt with Bet365 at 33/1 for 7 places and that is the total rag, Brian Meehan’s DECISIVE EDGE. Brian mentioned him to a mate, so I leave backing him entirely up to you because my tip recommendations however are…


3:10 YORK Coral Sprint Trophy Handicap (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 6f

I really like the look of MR LUPTON, who was 3rd in The Ayr Gold Cup, 3rd in the Great St Wilfred’s and winning a decent Irish sprint handicap. On the balance sheet, there are plenty to beat him but on 105, he is still 5lb lower than his G2 Irish victory in 2019! He benefits again from 5lb claimer Billy Garrity who gets on well with him. MAGICAL SPIRIT hosed up in the Ayr Silver Cup by 3l going away, but he is up 10lbs and that may be too much. The ones that headed up my trends were LAHORE, GULLIVER and APLOMB and of those I fancy GULLIVER most. Trickier than the Cesarewithch.


3:35 NEWMARKET Together For Racing International Cesarewitch Handicap (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+) 2m2f

As always trickier than a tricky thing. GREAT WHITE SHARK bids to give Willie Mullins a hat-trick of straight wins, Possibilities but fails on some of the trends. COLTRANE is also vying for favouritism and has possibilities, given his 4l victory in the Melrose over 14f in August. Of course, he has a chance to make it a four-timer, but his age is against him on the trends. RAJINSKY and has ground form and looks like he enjoys a stamina test. NOT SO SLEEPY is in good form at present and will have conditions to suit again, and having been 4th in this last year has e/w possibilities.  TRUE DESTINY looks super value, given his track record in big field handicaps. FUTURE INVESTMENT meets many of the trends and is highly regarded at home. Hmm… the pin says…



I’ve heard good things about FISHABLE in the 4:55 at York. Back him e/w at around 8s.

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