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Coventry Stakes preview

The race to the breeding barn starts here, with the earliest stallion-maker race of a colt's career in prime time at Royal Ascot. Recent winners making a mark at stud include Caravaggio, The Wow Signal, Dawn Approach, Canford Cliffs and Henrythenavigator.

Unsurprisingly, a Coolmore colt heads the market but is he the best of their four-card hand?

Coventry Stakes
£150,000. Group 2 for 2yos
6 furlongs.
1505 BST, 0005 AEST

Arizona - the latest boom colt from Coolmore who bolted in by 8L in a Curragh maiden three weeks ago. Not convinced there was anything of note behind him but you have to trust that 'the lads' can sort the wheat from the chaff by now - they've won this race eight times. 

Coase - won very easily on soft at Carlisle when seemed to cash in on being on the best ground. Handy enough but not at the level required to succeed here.

Fort Myers - nosed out at Newbury last time when copped interference just as jockeys were getting serious. Knuckled down well after that wh…
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Queen Anne Stakes preview

For the second year running, this is a pretty weak edition of the opening race of the week. The trends nerds will highlight that 6yos (and up) haven't won this race since Boris Johnson last kept his word, but it's a) a small sample size amplified by usually being a target for stud prospects, and b) a weak edition. There are holes in all of these, hence a wide open market.

Queen Anne Stakes
Group 1, One Mile. 4yo+, WFA.
1430 BST 2330 AEST

Accidental Agent - winner last year at 33/1 after being tipped up by the Racing Post's Paul Kealy. Ran better in this year's Lockinge than in 2018 so who's to say he can't win it again? Would be close to favourite if in one of the major stables.

Barney Roy - won the St James's Palace Stakes in 2017 then was a dud at stud and copped the big snip. Two runs back from long spell, both decent runs but still a few lengths short of his best. Will have been primed for this, capable of returning to his best or even exceeding that…

The new football season can't come soon enough...

No, I haven't gone mad. If you've read enough of my rantings you'll know that I consider football the most over-rated sport on the planet (it's a sport, not the sport), and this wish for August to get here quickly has nothing to do with watching even more of the sport which is live on TV somewhere every minute of every hour of every day of the year.

Something wonderful will happen once the new football season begins - the in-play advertising ban in the UK will commence. Wall-to-wall ads featuring Ray Winston for Bet365, that American comedian for Coral, Dizzee Rascal, Chris Akabusi and that Inbetweeners twat for Ladbrokes, and all the other annoying as hell bookmaker ads during every break in proceedings will be gone, at least during the live broadcast.

I don't think betting advertising should be banned, I just don't want it at complete saturation level. When your 7 and 9yo children can recite the name of at least five different betting firms, it's fairly o…

Investec Derby preview

A rant yesterday seemed to bring the luck with a winning tip in the Oaks so I'd better throw in another one.

Racing has a big problem in the UK. It's becoming irrelevant to the general population, being seen as a sport for the elite, especially a race like this. There are no battlers' syndicates here, no local champions the public can get behind. The John Ryan-trained Hiroshima, who cost 28,000 gns for owner G Smith-Bernal, is as close as it gets. If a horse outside the big stables suddenly developed into a Derby contender but hadn't been entered (or paid up through every entry stage), the cost of a late supplementary entry is £85k, more than winning prizemoney from any of the lead-up trials apart from the Dante (£93k).

How does that enamour itself with the general public and make it a race of the people? We need to see a few automatic qualifier races (Win & You're In) to provide a chance for the golden ticket to the big race. It would boost numbers in those tr…

Investec Oaks preview

So it's that time of year again when the lah-dee-dars come out in their top hats and expensive frocks to watch (mostly) expensive thoroughbreds compete for the right to charge a squillion for eternal breeding rights. But best of all for these career-defining races, they run it at a goat track. Up, down, left and right with reverse camber on some of the bends - you've got more chance of ruining a good horse than creating a champion. Yet somehow the worst phrase in business "But we've always done it that way" prevails and we're stuck with this place which is responsible for the biggest annual get-together of middle-aged South Londoners getting blind and sunburnt in the car park.

Bulldoze the place and run classic Flat races on a course which has a half-decent claim on being declared 'flat'.

There have been some genuine star fillies win the Oaks over the years - most recently Enable, Minding, Taghrooda, Snow Fairy and Ouija Board, but there are more than…

Marygate Fillies Stakes preview - York 17/5/19

Fabulous race here with a big field of flying fillies. Some of them have started their careers in fine style, others will step big steps forward from their debuts. That's the beauty of 2yo racing, it's far more than just the bare form on the board.

Langleys Solicitors British EBF Marygate Fillies Stakes
5f, 2yo, Listed, GBP50,000
York, 1350 BST

Baileys in Bloom - unfancied on debut and quite erratic leaving the gates, but showed a good turn of foot when asked, to score at Beverley. Doubt that form is particularly strong but showed enough to believe she will get better with more racing. Very early foal (Jan 12) which is beneficial in early part of the season.

Chasanda - 25/1 winner on debut then beaten by a couple of today's rivals at subsequent starts. More exposed than all bar one of these, and trainer known for hitting the ground running, rather than steady progression. Will be a big price.

Companion - won by a nostril at Yarmouth on debut against a Godolphin runner who was be…

Westow Stakes - York 16/5/19

The sun was out for a glorious opening day of the meeting, and races down the straight appeared to have no concerns about draw bias. Thursday's card has a few higher profile races but this 3yo sprint is worth watching closely, tomorrow and for future form.

British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes
£50k, Listed & Class 1, 3yo, 5f
York 1605

Soldier's Call - flying machine, winning four of six starts in Britain last season, running third in the Prix L'Abbaye, beaten a neck at WFA then finished sixth as joint favourite in the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint. Has plenty on these on ratings, but life's rarely that simple with unexposed 3yos early in the season.

Broken Spear - more exposed than most of these and well beaten by Garrus first up. Missed Chester last week, probably due to the rain (or a poor draw). Pass.

Charming Kid - won at this meeting last season but has been a little erratic ever since. Well beaten on AW Championships Day, appears to be a few lengths off these.

Garrus -…

Clipper Logistics Stakes - York 15/5/19

The day to call time on this blog seems to be approaching, but I'll breathe life into it for just a little bit longer to keep my eye in...

York is one of the great racecourses of the world. A lovely spacious track, without the pomposity of Ascot or the drunken busloads of morons that turn up at Goodwood. This week forms a key lead-up to Epsom and Royal Ascot so it's important to do your form for the present and the future.


Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes
Group 2, 6f, £125,000
York 1500 BST

Limato - probably peaked two years ago when he won the July Cup and Prix de la Foret but still classy. Won three of his last four and wouldn’t have appreciated the soft conditions on Champions Day. Two starts here for a small field win and a second in the Nunthorpe. 3lb penalty irrelevant, big show.

Brando - rated the same as 12 months ago when beaten two lengths by Harry Angel. Hasn’t won in seven starts here, always thereabouts but can’t see him winning.

El Astronaute

SuperBowl LIII prop bets preview

Been a bit quiet on the posting front, but time to spark it up again with a SuperBowl preview from the sharpest of NFL pundits, Ian Steven @deevo82. Forgive him for not posting last year, he was too busy partying in Philadelphia for his beloved Eagles!

Super Bowl XXXVI again
Americana descends on the world tonight in all its slightly-obese glory as the pinnacle of the Stateside sporting calendar bursts onto our screens with all the traditional glitz and glamour one would expect from the nation that incubated Hollywood.
Equally as majestic and crass as the Queen’s coronation with Ronald McDonald playing the part of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Super Bowl LIII attracts viewers of a non-sporting disposition as a contest to determine the best team in the NFL morphs into a burlesque show with your inebriated father wearing a corset appearing as the star act.
Atlanta is the host city with 75,000 fans in attendance, paying an average of $4,600 for a ticket to th…