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Showing posts from June, 2023

Royal Ascot Saturday preview

 Here we go - the final day and come on the Folio! CHESHAM Lightly raced 2yos again, virtually all of them stepping up to their first try at 7f.  La Guarida won nicely at Goodwood at her second start, running away from the field in the latter stages. I'm a big fan of the New Bay breed, she's more likely to sit up on the pace than some of her rivals. Matnookh was a big run on debut, she completely blew the start and then rattled home late. This is a considerable step up in class but there's underlying talent there. Pearls And Rubies and Nemonte were both impressive on debut, running on fron back in the field. They won't be far away. VERDICT La Guarida, Matnookh, Pearls And Rubies JERSEY Covey looks a very good prospect but I'm not diving in to take the price given the number of favourites that have crashed and burned this week. Not convinced the form of his last win is that flash, those behind him aren't winning anything special in their careers.  Quan Shamar

Royal Ascot Friday preview

A complete wipeout on Thursday with the day bookended by 150/1 and 50/1 winners. Bookies in clover! ALBANY STAKES Some very fast fillies in here, with quite a few unbeaten from one or two starts. On figures from UK races, Carla's Way, Jabaara and Soprano set the standard with a trio of Irish fillies - Matrika, Navassa Island and Porta Fortuna, representing a strong visiting contingent. Of that group, it's the one runner who hasn't yet won a race that I most like. Navassa Island was a huge run at Naas, motoring home late to just be denied against Porta Fortuna. She is a half-sister to the G1-winner Lazoo who runs later in the Commonwealth Cup. Like Carla's Way, she was an expensive breeze-up purchase who has been aimed at early success. Jabaara really knuckled down well at Newmarket when given full rein while Flaccianello might be yet another Amo Racing juvenile with talent. She didn't have much idea what she was doing at Catterick and still won, despite being rid

Royal Ascot Thursday

Rogue Millennium made day two a better day... onwards and upwards! NORFOLK STAKES I think we can narrow this one down to the two favourites - American Rascal is a son of Lady Aurelia, a dual Royal Ascot winner and probably the best horse Wesley Ward has brought to Europe. On debut at Keeneland in April, he sat just off the pace and careered away, winning by a very easy 10.5L. The Yanks are off the mark with Crimson Advocate on Wednesday, and could easily make it two here. Elite Status is the best of the local hopes. He's two from two winning his maiden at Doncaster followed by a 5L romp at Sandown in the National Stakes. Sheikh Mohd Obaid Al Maktoum had two winners at juicy prices on Tuesday, but this is the one they'd have come into the week expecting to be their best hope. One at odds to consider for exotics - The Fixer . This French colt struck a dry track for the first time at Chantilly a fortnight ago and won the Listed Prix la Fleche easing down on the line, ahead of a

Royal Ascot Wednesday preview

Close but no cigar for me on day one. I did flag a couple up in the placings (including Bradsell), well done if you backed any of those. QUEEN MARY Tricky race to start with 28 lightly-raced fillies and most of the favoured runners are drawn the grandstand rail, which seemed to be the slower side on day one. Balsam, Beautiful Diamond, Bundchen, Crimson Advocate, Cynane, Got To Love A Grey, Juniper Berries, Midnight Affair and Relief Rally are all drawn 14 and above. It might mean nothing (the last nine editions have had winners drawn high) but I'd at least want to back one or two in the lower half of the draw. Born To Rock , drawn here in 12, won sweetly on debut at Yarmouth but the form hasn't amounted to much, with disappointing next runs from the three immediately behind her, while Gaiden , drawn 10, has run nice placings behind Relief Rally and Got To Love A Grey, and it wouldn't take a big step forward (or better luck) to overturn those placings. At 28/1, she's wor

Royal Ascot Day 1 preview

The money will be for Frankie Dettori all week in his last Royal Ascot meeting - will he scare the hell out of the bookies with the accas liability, or just make a lot of horses far too short in the betting? QUEEN ANNE Angel Bleu - been around awhile, better on soft ground, not up to these. Berkshire Shadow - strong Royal Ascot record, won the Coventry as a 2yo (11/1) and beaten less than 2L in the St James' Palace last year (28/1). Has more race fitness this season than most, winning twice in lower grade then ran third in the Lockinge behind Modern Games. Goes well here, place chance at big odds. Cash - beaten 3/4L by Chindit when resuming last month then stepped out to 1m2f in the Brigadier Gerard and was beaten almost 6L behind Hukum. Back to his right distance here but would need a big step forward. Chindit - flying this campaign, winning first up at Ascot six weeks ago then ran second in the Lockinge. Record at Ascot is 14511 with the two defeats both at this meeting. Hone

Derby preview

Yeah, I know, rather late... (Getty Images) ========= Betfred Derby 1m4f, Group 1, 3yo Epsom, 1330 BST approx £1.5m. Going - good to firm Adelaide River - named after a small town in the Northern Territory, about an hour south of Darwin. Winner on debut at Dundalk, but only placed in remaining four starts, over 6L behind Dubai Mile and Arrest at most recent starts. Has only raced on wet tracks when on turf, but his sire won his pair of Derbys on good and good-to-firm ground. Not hopeless.  Arrest - won the Chester Vase by an eased-down 6.5L last month ahead of Adelaide River. There's concern over his alleged preference for soft ground and a high-knee action. Not overly bothered about that, the bigger query for me is the depth of that Chester race. Frankie's last Derby - can he do the double after winning yesterday? Artistic Star - by Galileo out of star Australian mare Nechita, he has won both starts to date, a maiden and a novice. Will stand out in running with his three wh

Oaks preview

It's Classic weekend at Epsom and as always, the fillies' version takes place on the Friday. The fun and games of this meeting will be how to keep out the deluded twats from Animal Rising, who freely admit to wanting to see the thoroughbred breed made extinct. "I have no doubt pretty much everyone who works in the industry loves the horses," "Thoroughbreds are beautiful creatures, but we can't escape the base point that the very reason they exist is fundamentally unethical. There is a future where perhaps the thoroughbred isn't around, but we have wild horses whose beauty we can love and appreciate in the countryside and forests." They share the air we breathe... Anyway enough oxygen wasting, let's get onto the real action. ================================ Betfred Oaks 2023 Epsom, 1m4f, Group 1, £550k Friday 1630 BST Expected Going - Good/Good to Firm Be Happy - sat up on the lead in the Lingfield Oaks Trial which was run on the synthetic tracks

Oaks and Derby week

Race previews to come over the next couple of days... In preparation for the big weekend at Epsom, I asked ChatGPT to write me a teaser article about the Oaks. It's pretty good, except for at least one glaring error... 'Write a short article about the history of the Oaks, a horse race run at Epsom every year. It should highlight the most successful jockeys and trainers, and mention the pomp and ceremony of the occasion.' And this is what I got back, unedited. The Oaks: A Storied Legacy of Horse Racing Excellence Every year, amidst the rolling hills of Epsom Downs in Surrey, England, a captivating spectacle of equine grace and power unfolds. The Oaks, one of the most prestigious horse races in the world, traces its origins back to the late 18th century and has since become an integral part of British sporting heritage. As the fillies thunder down the historic course, they embody the culmination of a rich history steeped in tradition and adorned with the names of legendary jo