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21st April 2024 8:36 pm

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

When news personalities mask a wider truth

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

Forget Nigel Farage and The Couts Bank (I might have misspelt that) and the ludicrous arguments I have seen and heard when Vox Populi is asked to express an opinion.

This isn’t about just rich people or famous people or Politically Exposed People. This is about my Lambourn neighbour. A charming lady in our village who is very kind at offering the odd hand to help out and whose husband has been very good at advising on DIY which as many of you can imagine, I am not a dab-hand at. They have a disabled daughter aged 26 who cannot manage numbers or money or live on her own or manage many of life’s daily issues without Mum’s help. They work around the clock and are straight up and down good people. She has a power of attorney over her daughter’s affairs which the bank knows about, and maintains a small bank account in her daughter’s name, which harbours the daughter’s Christmas and Birthday presents and the odd bit of what I might call “Luck Money”. This vast pool of cash amounts to some £1,500 – sorry to put that into a perhaps more easily understood form, lest you think I am exaggerating the sum involved, that is £550 less than the £2054.80 Dame Alison Rose earns every day, buggering up the lives of Britons.

The very serious alarm that occurs when an entirely innocent, ordinary person receives such a letter cannot be measured or described adequately. What, she asked me, had she done wrong? Why when she spent forty minutes in the local bank trying to find out the answers to her many, very concerned, questions – did the staff treat her so disrespectfully?

Will anything be done about it… of course not. Can she do anything about it? No.

I have nothing amusing to segue her story into tomorrow’s tips – it is just too unfair, unfunny, un-English, greedy and worse of all, it stems from the automated AI decisions of some faceless bureaucrats working to a set of EU algorithms within a company the nation partially owns.  God help us.

I have been asked to put the number of places available in the same place for consistency, so in future, I shall place after the number of runners a note for example [4p Bet 365] or [5p gen) suggesting there are 4places with Bet365 or 5 places generally. I hope that helps

Secondly, do we assume that the rain is going to tip down and that it gets in quickly? At Newbury today the ground was declared Good – GF in places. I have a forecast saying there’ll be nothing serious until 3:00 pm; at Market Rasen, it will apparently rain overnight but really lash down in the late afternoon. The Courses themselves have the following forecasts: Newbury – A damp start to Saturday then light, persistent rain from around 1100/1200. Market Rasen- Saturday’s forecast is changeable, monitoring. Chance of showers all day, likely turning heavier by racing. 

1:50 NEWBURY bet365 Stakes (Registered As The Steventon Stakes) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m2f 6 run

AL AASY 4 ps Win

2:05 MARKET RASEN Unibet Horserace Betting Operator Of The Year Hcap Hurdle Cl4 (4yo+ 0-110) 2m4½f 15 run [4p gen]

CABRAKAN 2 pts e/w – SEA THE CLOUDS 2 pts e/w

2:25 NEWBURY Mettal UK Hcap Cl2 (3yo+) 2m½f 15 run [5p Sky-WillHill 4 gen)

NOVEL LEGEND went into the notebook for his Ascot Stakes run, and while he was slightly hampered, I got the feeling that he actually needed even more rain than the spots he had on the day. I’d back him each way if the ground had the word Soft in it. William Buick gets the ride and he has an entry for York’s Lonsdale Cup. Ian Williams has won this twice before with Reshoun and THE GRAND VISIR does have something of the profile of recent winners. His run in the Queen Alexandra suggested much of his old sparkle was still there – but he is a horse who needs everything to go right for him. I had rather thought he might run over 14f+ at Goodwood – so some thought has gone into this entry. POSTILEO ran out of steam in The Copper Horse at Ascot, but that was largely because he’d try to stay up with Mullins’ eventual winner for the last ½ mile. He actually did well to come 6th and I had him in my notebook as a seasonal winner. NATHANAEL GREENE (there’s a very old-fashioned spelling), gets first-time blinkers and is the favourite, but is probably sharper with no cut. One I quite fancy is CORMIER one of the best dual-purpose horses around at present, and he ran well on his return from a wind operation and 132 days off. He’s 3lb above his last win but is value for a place.

THE GRAND VISIR 3 pts e/w – CORMIER 2 pts e/w

2:40 MARKET RASEN Unibets Zero% Mission Summer Hcap Hurdle Cl2 (3yo+) 2m½f 14 run [5p Skybet – 4p gen]

If EARTH COMPANY has been given some sensible schooling back home and picks his feet up better, he looks overpriced. EVERYONESGAME is on a hat trick and I am not convinced he is in the grip of the handicapper. He seems to defy penalties and he has a chance here.


3:00 NEWBURY bet365 Hackwood Stakes (G3) Cl1 (3yo+) 6f 12 run [5p Skybet 4p PP-BF)

COMMANCHE FALLS  takes another rung on the ladder having been successful in Ireland LTO in a Listed race and was 3rd in the G2 Clipper Stks at York. But I really don’t rate his form lines terribly strongly. DILIGENT HARRY makes the trends but again I’m not that enthused.  Karl Burke’s COLD CASE had a strong 2yo career, with a third in the Gimcrack, followed by a victory in the lucrative Weatherbys Scientific £300,000 2yo Stakes. He then won Redcar’s Listed Two Year Old Trophy beating Holguin. He had an early season success at Ascot when landing the Group 3 Commonwealth Cup Trial on his seasonal debut, with the King’s Stand winner Bradsell 1½l behind. Then he ran like a dog in The Sandy Lane – and I suspect it was a combination of draw, track and the ground. All his wins to date have had some indication of cut either in the going description or in the times produced.  If the forecast rain turns up,  hit Newbury, he will appreciate an easier surface on Saturday. I also fancy SHARTASH who is another with a decent history gone slightly astray. He failed to do himself justice on his seasonal debut in the Navan race won by Ocean Jewel, and was fifth LTO but looked to be coming back to himself. He was a smart juvenile who won the G2 Railway Stakes and made the frame in three small-field G1 races. This is theoretically a drop in class.

COLD CASE 3 pts e/w – SHARTASH 1½ pts e/w

3:15 MARKET RASEN Unibet Summer Plate Hcap Chase Cl1 (4yo+) 2m5½f 16 run [6p Skybet – 5p gen]

I think by this time of the day I want some soft-ground runners on my side, and the first of those is GLOIRE DATHON who is capable of defying the handicapper whose chasing mark has risen 24 lbs since June last year. KILLER CLOWN looked to be on the march LTO, a close 3rd of 12, beaten 2L in a competitive race. He’ll handle all the rain when it comes.


3:35 NEWBURY Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes Cl2 (2yo) 5f 21 run [5p Skybet 4p gen]

RELIEF RALLY and BOBSLEIGH appear to be the obvious selections based on current form – but this is a tricky race and the prices are slight. However, even I can understand that because of the race conditions RELIEF RALLY who is rated 106, gets into the race off just 9-00 and gets 3lbs from Eve Johnson-Houghton’s BOBSLEIGH and 6lbs from EJH’s next best JUNIPER BERRIES. So for the sport, I’m going to have a couple of points e/w on ROSARIO who Roger Teal has been talking up.

ROSARIO 1½ pts e/w

3:40 Newmarket – The Lettergold Handicap (C2) NOT ON TV

You might remember last week I selected HAVANA BLUE who was a non-runner. He’s here today – the same course same distance and again I am backing him. He also meets one of my early-season handicap runners for a ten-to-follow competition. He might surprise.

HAVANA BLUE 4 pts Win – BO PEDRO 2 pts e/w – ½ pt RFC

3:45 CURRAGH Juddmonte Irish Oaks (G1) (Fillies) (3yo) 1m4f 8 run [3p gen]

I am not convinced by many of these. I might try and find it for you next time when my mood has improved, but there was a very interesting RP examination of the 2000 Guineas that came to the conclusion that essentially it was the worst ever. It also concluded that the French three-year-olds are probably better.


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