Yup – it’s racing. After months, and with sobbing flat trainers down to the last dozen of that jolly Burgundy they picked up at Cagnes-sur-Mer; with owners getting sticky with the sobbing trainer, and with Lambourn 90% convinced that social distancing was a binary option, we have 10 races for our edification tomorrow. Unsurprisingly and entirely in line with current decision-making practice, the only racecourse that was ready and convenient for the trainers and their young charges, (who love nothing more than a seven-hour round trip in temperatures exceeding 23C), was that cultural epicentre of Geordie sophistication, Newcastle.
The 10 “ordinary” races are each allowed a maximum of 12 horses. They are not ordinary if they have 16 horses. Then they are Class 1 races and thus Listed or Group races. Simultaneously, over in La Belle France, where the Macron-Johnson competition to mutually shoot the other’s foot off will cause some bloodstock industry grief, they have their 1000 and 2000 Guinea races. This should have been at ParisLongchamps – I am bewildered why we are now sticking Paris at the front, but we apparently do – but the city is back to Defcon 4 on the COVID scale, so the racing has moved to Deauville which is at Defcon 2.
I digress… here are the tips, and not a trotter amongst them…… HUZZAH!DEAUVILLE TODAY
15:25 Prix Des Lilas (Listed Stakes) 11 Runners, 7f 209y
- BIONIC WOMAN still has a decent rating and could win this despite the form of her last race looking suspect in what was a slowly run race. The Timeform + sign besides MISS EXTRA‘s name suggests that any price better than 12/1 would be e/w value
16:00 Grand Prix De Chantilly (Group 2 Stakes) 6 Runners, 1m 4f 94y
- Providing he breaks well – he can dawdle in the stalls – WAY TO PARIS could have this away at around 4/1. The obvious danger is ZIYAD, who had been entered for The Sheema Classic before Dubai was called off in March. There’s no value, however, in dutching the two. Back One or None.
16:35 Prix Du Gros-Chene (Group 2 Stakes) 9 Runners, 4f 213y
- I have this between BATWAN and KEN COLT and at around 8s, the latter gets my e/w vote. I might have a saver on the SFC Batwan first.
14:50 Emirates Poule D’Assai Des Poulains (Group 1 Stakes) 9 Runners, Class 1, 7f 209y
- You may recall I lost money on VICTOR LUDORUM in his prep race LTO at ParisLongchampsnearParis. However, the race was muddling and THE SUMMIT played a good tactical hand from the front. That might not be allowed to happen again – despite both probably improving for the race. Its actually going to be a pretty tactical affair, but my eye keeps being drawn to THE SUMMIT’s price of around 7/1. That is a great e/w bet and consider the reverse forecast.
15:25 Emirates Poule D’Essai Des Pouliches (Fillies’ Group 1 Stakes) 12 Runners, Class 1, 7f 209y
- SIMEEN is a very impressive animal and her two 2yo wins were achieved with the minimum of effort. She can give one the odd flutter as she can take time to find 5th and top gear but put the pedal to the metal, and she appears to have a very high cruising speed. SPEAK OF THE DEVIL could run into a place for decent returns, having got into traffic problems LTO.
Can I recommend for these early days that you play half or even quarter stakes? We don’t know the form, fitness, readiness, in fact we’re quite likely to just get their names and colours right. So softly, softly, I beg you.
13:00 Betway Welcome Back British Racing Handicap 12 Runners, Class 6, 1m 5y
- STONE MASON will probably win, but there are others that catch the eye. My long shot is MY BOY LEWIS who looked decent as a 2yo and then did bugger all last year. I am hoping that there is still some spark of enthusiasm in him. GHADBBAAN looks an interesting e/w shot for Brian Ellison and I am almost certain this was a name given to me back in March, but I was drunk at the time! The main bet, however, will go on TIERCELwho can be tricky to get right – reflected in the price of around 8s.
13:35 Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap 12 Runners, Class 4, 1m 5y
- Can’t be backing any odds-on shots at this meeting so MUTASAAMY is a nono. GEIZY TEIZY, (not a dish one would want to order in a restaurant one suspects), and COTE D’AZUR have both won better quality races and I will back the pair e/w and stick the first named in the combo forecast.
14:10 Betway Novice Stakes (Div 1) 12 Runners, Class 5, 6f
- BOND’S BOY
14:45 Betway Novice Stakes (Div 2) 12 Runners, Class 5, 6f
- ART POWER
15:20 Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap 12 Runners, Class 4, 6f
- An old favourite in BRIAN THE SNAIL and the reappearance of course specialist TATHMEEN make this an interesting race. Dutch the pair
15:55 Betway Casino Handicap 12 Runners, Class 5, 6f
- WHAT A BUSINESS, not the fastest, but consistent.
16:30 betyourway At Betway Handicap 12 Runners, Class 5, 5f
- BHANGRA and EXCESSABLE
17:05 Betway Handicap 12 Runners, Class 3, 1m 4f 98y
- At 2/1 as I write, the handicapper’s biggest mistake of the day ALIGNAK will win this. He went up just 4lbs for his facile Kempton win LTO and he has some good form lines to his credit. Timeform really rates the second favourite, ICE PYRAMID who has a brace of C&D wins and frankly I wouldn’t look much further than those two – the others that I have looked at and tried to fancy, simply look fallible in a C3.
17:40 Betway Maiden Stakes (Div 1) 12 Runners, Class 5, 1m 2f 42y
- FLAMES OF YORK e/w
18:15 Betway Maiden Stakes (Div 2) 12 Runners, Class 5, 1m 2f 42y
- VALYRIAN STEEL, Frankel’s kid and costing £600k, looks like the winner of this opening day.