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York Day 3 – and Alastair Down in love again

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup was the former Racing Correspondent of various BBC regional radio stations and was the gossip columnist on the now-defunct Odds On magazine. He now runs Nick Boyd's large, privately owned reputation, which is widely regarded as a sporting, not-for-profit endeavour.
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The world turns in a curious circle. On the tipping front yesterday, there was the inevitable correction from the excesses of the first day and we had two wins, two seconds and a fourth, shedding ten hard-earned points from our profit. I was distracted, however, by news during the day that one of the KVT owners, who also happens to be a reader of Raceweb, was on-course to support the very-nearly Sir Busker. She happens to be damnably good-looking and was snapped by the RP – and then feted by the award-winning Sir Alastair Down in today’s column. Sadly, I have to tell her, that there is at least one other reader of this column who has a tale or ten to tell of the Fete Galante of the famous scribe.

AD always reminds me of a wartime correspondent, by Churchill out of Kate Adie by Ed Murrow. Each victory described, the result of the eternal struggle between Good and Evil; between the Riders of Rohan and The Nazgul. He comes into his own however when, should you be racing “royalty”, he does your obituary. Not being in that category, I have made it a condition of my will that he is to pen mine for vulgar cash, a medium he understands, and because by the end of it, there won’t be a dry eye in the house. This is one small example:

“Up and down the country, there will be folk this morning with a particular memory of the old so-and-so, whether they saw him in the damp of a winter parade-ring doing his trademark impersonation of a comatose sheep, from the cold, stone steps of the stands or merely heard of his deeds and let their imaginations do the work in the smoke-laden fug of their local bookies.”

AD On Night Nurse, the 1976 and ’77 Champion Hurdle hero – 2nd in the 1981 Gold Cup.

I thought something like:

“As the sun sets over this philanthropic titan, his enviable achievements will only ever be matched by the love and esteem in which he was held by all those who ever met him. The inventor of the perfect horseshoe, creator of the finest Bison Grass Martini, Kneesup rejected his Nobel Cookery prize, asking that the award money go to The Fitzdares monastery. Probably the most etc etc.”

I should die a happy man if I knew AD was doing my obit. Get the book and he might do mine for free!

…….. we have just four power-cuts, it is very windy, and so I am curtailing this and will just give yo…………….. again, you the tips.

1.45 pm 1m4f C2 SKYBET H’CAP

Based on various trends,

  • 23/23 Max 50 DSLR [Days Since Last Run]
  • 23/23 Max 6yo
  • 22/23 ran in H’cap LTO
  • 11/13 OR = 85-98
  • 17/19 drawn 6 or higher

(…I have been liberal with ZABEEL CHAMPION), I suggest

KOEMAN e/w –  ZABEEL CHAMPION win

2.15 pm 2m G2 LONSDALE CUP

Does NAYEF ROAD like York? I fear not, and I can’t tell you why. He just doesn’t perform here. ENBIHAAR won at Goodwood race and looks to have the required finishing speed to give Gosden his hat trick initiated by Stradivarius. However, DASHING WILLOUGHBY trained by Andrew Balding might spoil the party having won Sandown’s 2m Henry II Stakes by 1¼l from Spanish Mission. He’ll like the ground.

DASHING WILLOUGHBY wins

2.45 pm 6F G2 GIMCRACK STAKES

This race I feel is going to spring a surprise. SEVEN BROTHERS makes the shortlist because he is the only entry from the 4-time winner and local trainer Kevin Ryan, (Amadeus Wolf (2005), Blaine (2012), Astaire (2013) & Emaraaty Anna (2018)). He’s won twice at 6f on GF and on soft ground. A winner at 11-4 over this C&D last month, beating Bankrolled by a head, conceding 11 lbs to the runner-up (the fifth has won since). YAZAMAN was unlucky to meet Supremacy in the G2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, and I wouldn’t be too taken by the 4l defeat. A winner at 5f on good ground, he also has a trio of near misses in hot contests – this is far easier.

YAZAMAN Win – SEVEN BROTHERS e/w – Add Minzaal for ½ pt CFC and ¼ pt Tricast

3.15 pm 5F G1 NUNTHORPE STAKES

Possibly the sprint of the year – even if there are only 8 runners. The flying Battaash, the arrivistes 3yos Art Power and A’Ali. A’ALI won three G2 at the age of 2 – the Norfolk Stakes, Prix Robert Papin and the Flying Childers Stakes. He didn’t appear to like Tapeta in the G3 Pavilion Stakes at Newcastle, then won the G3 Coral Charge at Sandown and then the G2 Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh last month. He’ll handle the ground and gets William Buick in the plate. His only G1 race to date was a 5th in the Prix Morny and there may be a reason why only four 3yos have won this in the last 20 years.

ART POWER is 4/5 including a 5l success over C&D last year. I am concerned he has only raced on GS or softer. BATTAASH finished fourth in the race in 2017 and 2018 but hammered it last year breaking the great Dayjur’s track record set in 1990 in the process. Has won 12 races at 5f on ground varying from good to firm to soft. Won the G2 King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood over 5f last month, breaking the track record. Can he be beaten?

BATTASH Wins – A’ALI e/w – ½pt SFC, ½pt RFC

3.45 pm 7F 2YO MAIDEN

For me, it’s a toss-up between NAVAL CROWN and RUSHMORE. Oisin Murphy has been quoted as saying: “I’ve ridden Rushmore a lot at home and we really like him. He was an expensive yearling, £500,000, but he’s shown all the right signs at home. We haven’t taken this fellow off the bridle at all yet, everything he’s done on the bridle, the reason being he’s not the strongest frame of horse and we don’t want to be too hard on him at home. I’d expect him to travel very well through the race and hopefully, he can finish off and win.

If the ground has dried up TAWLEED could be a threat.

RUSHMORE e/w

4.20 pm 1m2f C2 FILLIES H’CAP

VIRGIN SNOW e/w

4.50 pm 1m C2 SKYBET H’CAP

William Haggas could sign the day off with a win from JOHAN who was spanked by the handicapper with 8lbs for a neck win at Newbury. That weight might have impeded his progress, or it was Ascot’s fast ground that placed him 4th of 8 LTO.

JOHAN e/w – MAGNETISED e/w

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