Tag: Ribchester

Saturday October 21st Champions Day

Posted Saturday 10.45am

Good morning everyone. I am afraid the ground and the weather and the fact this is the third week of October have raised too may doubts for serious punting! How many horses are tip top, spot on for today? Jockeyship could be key!

Looks like it’s SOFT and we will have to stick to that! Wind may be a bigger issue than the rain.

OFFICIAL GOING Soft (GoingStick: Straight: 6.6, Round: 5.4 on Saturday at 08:15)

Stalls: Straight Course: Centre Round Course: Inside

Weather 3mm rain overnight to 6.30am Saturday. Becoming windy with blustery showers today.

 

No Lucky 15 and just a couple of Star selections but we will have a go at the placepot!

May I remind you that races 2-6 are Group 1, race 1 is Group 2 but Group 1 in all but name and surely it is Group 1 form we should be concentrating on! The handicap is a belter, it’s over the straight mile but the first five furlongs are on the far side “half” of the course then it’s the whole width?

 

Star* Selections

Ascot 3.50           POETS WORD                                    Two star** win @ 7/1 general

Ascot 4.30           QASSEM                                              One star* each way @ 16/1 general 12345 1/5

Ascot 4.30           WITHERNSEA                                    One star* each way @ 33/1 Coral 28/1 general 12345 1/5

Placepot (64 bets @20p = £12.80)

Leg 1-     7 & 13

Leg 2-     4 & 12

Leg 3-     7 & 9

Leg 4-     4 & 12

Leg 5-     4 & 9

Leg 6-     18 & 19

and here is why

 Ascot 3.50       POETS WORD I think that Sir Michael Stoute has been itching to get this horse into Group 1 company but the yards Ulysses success kept it on hold, ran excellently in the Irish version and I think this has been THE target. Flying on the gallops.

Ascot 4.30       QASSEM After his run at York’s Ebor Festival I blogged “Over the winter he was gelded, pretty big shout for a €300K yearling, and this season has been fifth in a York 10½F C2 handicap OR94, won at Chelmsford in C2, OR93, dropped again back to a mile and second to Flaming Spear in the C2 8F Clipper Logistics at the York Ebor Festival off OR98. The last run was terrific as he was in the van throughout, the handicapper has put him up just one pound OR99. Why is this horse screaming Balmoral to me? That is the £150K 8F handicap on Champions Day, Ascot October 21st! Can’t desert him now!

Ascot 4.30       WITHERNSEA 8F on Soft ground in a C2 handicap, Hanagan riding. Ideal conditions, third to Stamp Hill at Ascot over 7F and 4th in the BetFred Mile both with cut in the ground.

Placepot

Leg 1-     Order of St. George, two miles on Soft ground, solid Ascot form and he’s Group 1 proven. Just can’t seem him out of the first three. Stradivarius this seasons 3yo’s have been good sprinters, good stayers and Enable. This is probably the best of the stayers, 3rd in Group 1 St.Leger, won the Queens Vase at Ascot and beat Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup on Soft ground.

Leg 2-     Librisa Breeze Promised myself I would back this horse as soon as I could get double figures in a 6F Group 1, loves Soft ground, Ascot form, he is the ultra hold-up horse so hold on tight! Quiet Reflection a filly who is fresh, loves the ground, has Ascot C&D Group 1 form and Karl Burke could currently win the Eurovision Song Contest such is his form!

Leg 3-     Coronet won the Ribblesdale over C&D, Gosden is a star with his fillies and guaranteed to stay, ground the issue? Hydrangea Group 1 filly and the vibes from Ballydoyle are strong.

Leg 4-     Ribchester simply the best miler in Europe in my opinion. Persuasive real improving filly for the man Gosden again.

Leg 5-     Poets Word (See above)

Cracksman desperately needs to lose his bridesmaid tag in Group 1’s for his stud prospects. Won’t be here but I can’t see how he is out of the frame

Leg 6-     Qassem (See above) & Withernsea (See above)

 

The French couldn’t win in France so why in England? Tactically inexperienced and inept jockeys, Peslier excepted?

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Review Qatar Goodwood Festival of Racing 2017

Posted Monday 7th August 6.15pm

“…. one of the most challenging race meetings, one which started in bright sunshine on Tuesday, but deteriorated into a mud bath with 50mm of rain on Wednesday, and ground that was soft or near soft for the rest of the week.” The words of an under fire Clerk of the Course.

The first race of the meeting, a 10F handicap set the tone with the order of the first two reversed in the Stewards room. Goodwood is such a difficult place to punt at. Tuesdays form may well hold up but I’m really wary of the following four days after all that rain and then a fresh strip of ground five metres from the far rail available from Thursday onwards.

What I don’t understand concerning the rain is the CoC didn’t seem to expect that much! Tuesday he said 6-10mm and we should get a couple of races run before it starts. Well it started at 10am and they got five times more than expected!

I will come back to Thursday’s fresh strip of ground more than once as it would seem the Weighing Room had decided it was the ONLY place to race, although some trainers were still choosing high in the draw for the Stewards Cup. Baffling. Mind you was the Stands side definitely slower? We won’t ever know as no horse raced there from Thursday onwards, whereas on Wednesday in the monsoon every horse raced Stands Side! Let’s get more positive!

Stars in my eyes

The two 2yo colts Expert Eye and Barraquerro, who met on debut at Newbury finishing first and third, winning the 7F Vintage and the 6F Richmond respectively. Expert Eye’s trainer Sir Michael Stoute very much gives me the impression that the horse is very much a “now 2yo” whereas Brian Meehan sees Barraquerro as a longer term project, even beyond the 2000 Guineas.

Stoute ‘s reputation is more based around his slow burning middle distance horses, often home bred, and that pipeline was highlighted by an excellent win from the 4yo, Poets Word, and likewise the 3yo Crystal Ocean who is clearly progressive. His victory was in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes which in the past has been won by Stoute horses en route to Group 1. Indeed I would expect both winners to have a go at the top level within the next twelve months.

Winter is a splendid 3yo filly seeing the extra two furlongs out well but this was a soft Group 1.

Battaash is beginning to look the real deal as a sprinter. 5F GF at Sandown to 5F Soft at Goodwood, that is some range. Exciting times ahead for Charlie Hill’s 3yo son of Dark Angel.

Whoops!

If they ran the Goodwood Cup and the Sussex Stakes on decent Good ground or better tomorrow I would still expect Big Orange and Ribchester to win. In the stayers event the Orange dwarved Stradivarius but he could be a useful addition to the division with his next target being the St.Leger and supposedly next season will be a Cup horse.

As for Ribchester, a peculiar effort. Firstly Toscanini looks a total waste of time as a pacemaker. Secondly Ribchester did too much too early, lugged out, then ran on!? The 10F Irish Champions Stakes is being mooted as a possible target. One supposes they are working backwards from the 9F Dubai Turf next March!

sportinglife.com “Richard Fahey is not ruling out a crack at Sunday’s Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois with stable star Ribchester, who despite suffering a shock defeat in treacherous conditions in Wednesday’s Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. “He’s bouncing and has come out of the race well,” said Fahey on Sunday. “I haven’t drawn a line through France yet and I’ll see how he is this week. I’ll make a decision before Thursday.”

Horrible Handicaps

The BetFred Mile was won by Ryan Moore on Master the World for David Elsworth. I say ‘won’ I mean ‘given to’. Going into this race the 6yo was three from thirty eight, often caught in traffic as he made his run. Not here. From the two furlong pole he had a clear run down the inside no less, on that strip of fresh ground. Can’t believe Martin Dwyer hadn’t got leader and Royal Hunt Cup winner, Feng Zhui, glued to the far rail. More on this race in the Looking Forward section.

The 6F Stewards Cup was won by the one horse put down as likely to lead in Saturday mornings Racing Post excellent pace map, Lancelot du Lac. So was this a three furlong dash to THAT five yard strip? After two furlongs those drawn 20+ were six lengths wrong, ignore their form. More on this race in the Looking Forward section.

Did that really just happen?

Breton Rock won the 7F Lennox round the outside coming from last a furlong out, finishing two to everything else’s one. Billesdon Brook did something similar in the nursery but involved some weaving amongst horses as well. My good thing Rebel Streak beaten a short head by a 100/1 shot!

 

Looking Forward

UAE PRINCE- Watch replay! Winner without a penalty! Came to win race before the dodgems in front.
SHANGHAI GLORY- Run well to get fifth considering he was almost over the rail two out as they all came across.

EDDYSTONE ROCK- Denied a clear run in the Wolferton, denied a clear run here, not a lot of room in last fifty yards when sixth in John Smiths. Get Fox off, put a proper jockey on, off OR99 and a decent C2 10F could be his!

SOUL SILVER – Barged as she came to make her challenge. Kept on hands and heels. C2 8F fillies handicap. No higher.

SAINTED – Never got the run when she wanted to. 7F Soft Listed tops.

GM HOPKINS-Slow from stalls AGAIN! Flat course, few bends, 8F. Still on my Cambridgeshire list.

SHYMKENT- 3yo never got a run. Hampered, ran on. OR90 12F O’Meara. May need to get his toe in. York Ebor Festival?

Thursday August 3rd Goodwood

Posted: Wednesday August 1st 5.30pm

 More Downs than Ups! No selections for Thursday for two reasons. Firstly with the ground going surely softer than soft, too many questions such as where will they race, who will act on it etc. etc. and the concern over non-runners and late withdrawls. Hopefully some fancies for Friday.

For what it’s worth in the 3.00 Richmond G2 6F for 2yo’s I had pencilled in Headway and Barraquero. In the Nassau Sobetsu and So Mi Dar to give Winter (?) a race. Tangled in the 7F Nursery at 4.00. My tracker has thrown up seven in the first! Euginio, Good Omen, Leaders Legacy, Addeybb, Archetype, Frontispiece and Society Red. All of them should pick up at least one race each before the season finishes!

 

GOING/TRACK Soft (GoingStick: 7.4 on Wednesday at 09:30)

Rails: Lower bend dolled out to the 3 furlong marker. 7f races increased by 15 yards

Stalls: Straight course Stand side Round course Inside

WEATHER 15mm rain to 2pm. Further rain for today. Tomorrow looks dry.

OTHER Fresh ground last 3.5 furlongs in the straight and the top bend

Going/Weather/Other last updated @Wed 02 Aug 2:06pm

 

What happened to Ribchester? Here’s what jockey William Buick told the stewards.

Race 4 – 3:35pm. THE QATAR SUSSEX STAKES (CLASS 1) (Group 1) (British Champions Series)

The Stewards held an enquiry to consider why William Buick, the rider of RIBCHESTER (IRE), placed second, had appeared to ease for a few strides approaching the final furlong. Having heard his evidence and viewed recordings of the race they noted his explanation that the gelding had lugged right-handed, and being mindful that he may run onto the heels of the winner, HERE COMES WHEN (IRE), he eased for a few strides before continuing to ride when the colt became re-balanced and ran straight again.”

A philosophical Fahey said of Ribchester: “William just felt he was dropping away there two down and then he came back again. It’s extreme conditions out there, I was very worried – it’s not for a Flat horse to be racing on, it’s National Hunt horses. But he’s run a mighty race and he showed good heart to nearly get back up. Maybe he was a bit lonely in front and half-pulled up a bit, but that’s racing, we live to fight another day. If you could back winners today you’d be a genius, that’s why bookmakers love conditions like this. They get results and they’ve got one today. I’m disappointed, you come here expecting to win and you don’t, so you are disappointed. It was a strange race, I’d like to see it again.”

 

BetFred Mile Friday 3.00 Goodwood

EL VIP                                  (Luca Cumani) Dettori rides and they are drawn in stall 12. Personally would have preferred Spencer and is 12 a good draw? Will they come to the stand rail? Fresh six metres on the far rail for Thursday but will it be cut up by Friday? I think it has all the makings of resembling Dodgems entering the home straight.

Earlier on this week on BetPrime website ”….Racing and Football Outlook and the Weekender newspapers, and this week Luca Cumani (gives the impression of a reserved character) talked at length and about his horses and made some very good points. For example when talking about EL Vip’s prospects for the Betfred Mile at Goodwood Cumani said: “He goes for the Betfred Mile next week and granted a decent draw he’d probably be my best chance of the meeting”.

BIRCHWOOD                  (#FantasticMrFahey) Now here is a disappointing 4yo! Won his first two races as a 2yo and David Armstrong sold him to Godolphin. He won the G2 Superlative over 7F at HQ and should have won the G2 Vintage here at Goodwood but William Buick had a nightmare, squeezed, hampered, ran on etc. Then third in the G1 National Stakes at the Curragh and third in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf! To say he was disappointing as a 3yo would be an understatement. Highly tried but the only race he won was a 7F Listed race at Chester but it was on Soft ground and he had a first time visor! At this Goodwood meeting last year he was seventh of eight in the G2 7F Lennox Stakes at just 8/1! As a 4yo he has been midfield in two Listed races and the 6F Wokingham handicap where he wore first time blinkers. His handicap mark has come down from a heady OR114 to OR102. So is this a Musley Bank plot or the last roll of the dice? Fail here and surely it’s the unkindest cut of all!

However he is drawn in stall 2, which under normal circumstances be fantastic, and Jamie Spencer has been booked!

All season it’s been a case of “working well, we’re happy with him”! On course, dismal.

I’ve played each way at 33/1. Is it class will shine through or has he fallen out of love with racing? In Frank I trust!

Wednesday August 2nd Goodwood

Posted: Tuesday August 1st 6.30pm

Never easy on the Downs! I’ll give a brief summary of the Festival each day then a more detailed report post-Festival. Goodwood Tuesday. First race was classic Goodwood. Total mess. Expert Eye looked the real deal in the 7F 2yo Vintage. 50/1 wins Lennox, nuff said! Nice run from Desert Skyline third in the Goodwood Cup.

 

GOING/TRACK Good (Straight Good to Soft in places) (GoingStick: 7.2 on Tuesday at 11:30)

Stalls: Straight course Stand side Round course Inside except 1m 4f which is outside. 2m 5f race flip start.

WEATHER Dry over the last 48 hours. A dry day forecast today. Rain moving into the area late morning tomorrow.

Going/Weather/Other last updated @Tue 01 Aug 12:04pm

 

Ribchester will need to bring his ‘A’ game to Goodwood if he is to give seven pounds to dual Guineas winner and four times G1 winner Churchill in the Sussex Stakes although the 3yo has a few questions to answer after Royal Ascot. Come on #FantasticMrFahey!

Fahey on sportinglife.com “Everything has gone according to plan since Royal Ascot, there haven’t been any hiccups at all and we have no excuses. He was very good in the Queen Anne and I hope he’ll be just as good. He was touched off in the race last season and that means I’m confident he’ll handle the track perfectly well. We’re in a privileged position regarding the ground too – there are no worries on that front. If there’s more rain he’ll handle the cut – if it dries out he’ll be fine too. It’s very rare a trainer can say that about any horse – let alone a top-class one. This is a big test for him though and I have an awful lot of respect for Churchill.”

 

Wednesdays Lucky 15

Goodwood 2.25                     WOLF COUNTRY                     16/1 WH + Ladbrokes               

Goodwood 4.45                     EBBESBOURNE                       6/1 general                  

Goodwood 5.50                     SUN LOVER                             5/1 general                  

Galway 5.35                            SANDYMOUNT DUKE             14/1 PP 12/1 general    

 

and heres why

 

Goodwood 2.25                     WOLF COUNTRY Plenty of horses I’m Tracking run here.

Sofia’s Rock Mark Johnstone/Ryan Moore. I think he wants further and quicker ground although Goodwood is a front runners track. “The third, Sofia’s Choice, remains of interest in any 3yo 14F contest which is run on a flat track that suits front runners. The Melrose Handicap at York would seem suitable, C2 0-105 14F 3yo, as long as he stays on OR100!”

Galactic Prince Andrew Balding/David Probert I’ll bet connections are delighted to have squeezed into this race and although four pounds wrong in the handicap only has 8st on his back. However I think there is a bit too much class in opposition for him in this race. “Back in third behind Bin Battuta was a staying on Galactic Prince. For a 3yo gelding by Dubawi out of Opera Gal (OR105) a Galileo mare, surely Andrew Balding can place him to win another staying handicap 12/14F off OR80. There is an 11F 0-90 C3 3yo handicap that closes the Friday of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.”

The one I like is Godolphins Wolf Country. Went on my “2yo’s to follow as 3yo’s list” when he hacked up in his maiden on easy ground at Yarmouth last backend. He was fifth in the 13F G3 Bahrain Trophy at HQ, fifth in the G2 10F Dante at York and opened his 3yo season with a Listed 10F win on Good to Soft at Saint Cloud. As a front runner he has the plum draw in stall 1. Adam Kirby has an excellent record in Goodwood handicaps, won this year’s Festival opener albeit with the assistance of the stewards! This is Wolf Country’s trip, he’ll act on this slower ground and this stoutly bred son of Dubawi makes his handicap mark off OR103. Every post a winning post please Adam.

One star* each way @ 16/1 with WH + Ladbrokes

Goodwood 4.45                     EBBESBOURNE Lightly raced, home bred daughter of Teofilio out of an Oasis Dream mare who has won two of her four starts and as a 2yo who won on debut for this yard makes her of particular interest. Not the biggest but a talented filly who sits off the pace and finishes strongly. Won well at York in a C3 10F fillies handicap in a first time hood and was a tad unlucky when she had her run checked when second to Newbury in a fillies listed race over 10F. She goes back into handicap company for an all aged fillies C2 10F handicap with Jim Crowley riding and they come from stall 2. That’s an awful lot to like.

Two star** win @ 6/1 general

Goodwood 5.50                     SUN LOVER £360K yearling out of Tatts Book 1 by Oasis Dream out of an unraced dam, herself bred in the purple albeit US influenced,and now owned by Obaid. Lightly raced, twice as a 2yo then moved from Cumani to Varian, then twice as a 3yo. Gelded then twice second this season, he may have only won once but he’s consistent, 62-21-22. He started handicapping off OR85 and is currently on OR89. He is a barrel chested, enthusiastic unit and seems to be strengthening up. Ground doesn’t seem a concern, C3 7F seem within his scope currently so no surprise to see him entered in the 5.50 at Goodwood on Wednesday in a C3 7F 3yo+ handicap (3yo’s get 6lb), Atzeni is jocked up. He doesn’t do anything quickly, when he won he made all, so ridden prominently from a low draw would be ideal.

Two star** win @ 5/1 general

Galway 5.35                            SANDYMOUNT DUKE This is a fantastic race over a tough track, last two fences close together in the dip on the home turn and none in the straight! I am going for the class angle with sandymount Duke who thrives in the summer, has won on his last three visits to the racecourse, he’s won a novice hurdle at Galway, he was good enough to finish third to Bellshill in the G1 3m hurdle at the Punchestown Festival, he’s won four of his seven chase starts, this is his best trip and Danny Mullins rides. Here’s what mercurial trainer said after his prep race win in a Flat maiden!

“Jessica Harrington has set her sights on the Galway Plate with Sandymount Duke after he claimed a third win on the bounce at Leopardstown on Thursday evening. The eight-year-old, who races in the colours of owner-breeder Ronnie Wood (Yes, that one! Ed.), made a successful switch to the Flat to win in the hands of Harrington’s daughter Kate, supplementing recent chase victories at Punchestown and Down Royal. Sandymount Duke triumphed by five lengths and Harrington is now looking forward to the feature event at Galway on August 2. She said: “I thought a mile and seven (furlongs) might be a bit short for him and the only way to ride him is to bowl along. I think he got such a fright coming out of the stalls that it took a little while to get in front, but she said he was super all the way. He loves that ground and bounces off it. It’s the Galway Plate now and we’ll see what happens. He won’t mind if the ground is a bit slower. He’s won 10 races now – a flat race, bumper, hurdles and chases. He’s become a part of the furniture. I think Ronnie is going to come to Galway. I was talking to him there (by phone) and he’s thrilled.”

One star* each way @ 14/1 PP 12/1 general

 

TOOMER            (Richard Hannon) In my Newmarket July review “The one going into the notebook though is the Richard Hannon debutante for Chelsea Thoroughbreds, Toomer. Travelled fine, last 2F out but stayed on really well under hands and heels for eighth but only four lengths off the winner.” Runs in the 6F 4.10 fillies maiden and @ 16/1 general is worth one star* each way.

Monday July 30th Galway 

Posted Monday July 30th 2.30pm

What a feast of racing we have ahead this week with Galway and Goodwood! This blog will be brief with two of interest in Ireland. However I can’t go on without reflecting on Saturday. So close to a big pay day but boy is Stamp Hill “one that got away”!! Had all his conditions plus blinkers on for the first time but he hadn’t lifted a hoof all season. Frustratingly in my notebook I had actually typed “Love him to have a go at one of those big 7F handicaps at Ascot that will feature Heavens Guest!” Doh!! Hanagan riding was perhaps the biggest clue. Withernsea is still improving and what a cracking run from the 3yo Mjjack for Karl Burke. Those two each way eased my pain.

That’s #FantasticMrFahey’s second big handicap of the season. In the first Eastern Impact set it up for Mr Lupton and here it was Heavens Guest for Withernsea for Stamp Hill. Obviously Team Musley Bank needs to have a chat beforehand, seems to work!

Indeed Team Fahey had a good weekend. The Feathered Nest came from last to first to win the 3yo 6F handicap at Newmarket, a race I had put up the yards other one, Private Matter, at 50/1 who finished seventh! Check the replay out because he is murdered 2F out but then still ran on. Would have been close on that softer ground he prefers! Wins for Miss Puddles (a Club horse!!) and the impressive Dan Troop at Chester made it a good Saturday. Gabrial drifted from 13/8 to 11/4 in the Listed race at Pontefract on Sunday but #FantasticMrFahey still collected the prize with Another Touch for whom Custom Cut set it up nicely. That’s probably it for handicaps for Another Touch as his mark will probably be OR110+ tomorrow. Boy was he a good thing for that Ayr nursery off OR85 as a 2yo?? Darkanna finishing second in Deauville G3 for 2yo fillies on Sunday added to their pleasure.

Goddwood isn’t the happiest hunting ground for #FantasticMrFahey although he usually sends a decent 2yo here, who runs poorly! Ribchester will be the major interest and then it will be all eyes on York’s Ebor meeting in three week’s time!

Let’s go to Galway!

5.20 TWOBEELUCKY (de Bromhead) Can we kick the Festival off with a winner? I’ve been impressed with this ex Mark Johnson 4yo in both his hurdle races to date. He jumps slickly, travels and has a turn of foot. Indeed on his first run as a gelded 3yo in a 10F maiden at Doncaster he was second to El Vip no less, who I hope is going to do this blog a favour come Friday! Twobeelucky was blue on Oddschecker this morning, 5’s to 4’s but now they have taken the second favourite, Nessun Dorma, out he’s currently top priced 5/2. He’s already turned over Mullins hotpots Super Bowl and Royal Hawk so let’s see if he can bring up the hat trick by beating Le Richebourg of JP O’Brien and JP McManus! Two star** win

 

7.40 LAGOSTOVEGAS (WP Mullins) I happened to be in a betting shop when I caught sight of this fella winning. He could be called the winner 5F out. He won hard held by 4¼L and 9L and he didn’t hit the front until two out and idled in front! The handicapper had his say and put him up seventeen pounds but it gets him in this 59K handicap and Patrick Mullins does the steering in this Qualified Riders race. He’s won three of his last five Flat races and this is only his third run in Willie Mullins care! At 17/2 with PP he’s surely worth a one star* win!

Wednesday June 20th Too Short?

Continuing a look at next week’s quality racing at Royal Ascot and I’m intrigued with the Racing Post and the bookmaking fraternity whipping up a five-fold frenzy with Ribchester and Churchill on the Tuesday, Order of St George on Thursday and Caravaggio and Winter on the Friday. SkyBet are offering that bet at 22/1. As all five are too short for me it’s time to find something at a price that could grab a place.

This may be helpful for us placepot players and also if you are getting involved in the Daily Telegraph Fantasy Racing competition where three times a place will get you more points than ten times the winner!

Tuesday 2.30pm Queen Anne Stakes 4yo+ 8F – RIBCHESTER

Nothing would give me and I expect Team Godolphin more pleasure than to see Ribchester win and give #FantasticMrFahey another Group 1. Ribchester is currently ranked number three in the world with only Arrogate and Winx rated higher. He won the G1 8F Lockinge in imperious style and although with the benefit of the run and faster ground could see 2016 Queen Anne third, Flaming Spear, get closer Ribchester deserves his place in the market, top priced 4/5. Although Ribchester is no all-conquering champion there is little opposition in Europe aged four or older.

However I’m looking for something at a price, who will act on quick ground and has some G1 form. I’m drawn to AMERICAN PATRIOT from the US trained by the legend Todd Pletcher, won a firm ground 8F G1 on Turf at Keeneland and goes well after a break. Here is an article I found on-line.

American Patriot Confirmed for Royal Ascot June 7, 2017 11:52 AM Thoroughbred Racing, International

“WinStar Farm’s homebred American Patriot, winner of the April 14 Maker’s 46 Mile Stakes (G1T) at Keeneland in his previous start, has been confirmed for the £600,000 Queen Anne Stakes (G1) June 20 at Royal Ascot. The 4-year-old son of War Front worked five furlongs around the dogs in 1:00.55 June 3 on the inner turf at Belmont Park. He will travel to England June 13 for trainer Todd Pletcher. “American Patriot breezed exceptionally well Saturday, and came out of the work good,” Pletcher said. “He’s doing really well, so it’s all systems go. It’s an honor to have a horse good enough to compete in one of the biggest races in the world like the Queen Anne, and on a stage like Royal Ascot. We are very much looking forward to it.” Frankie Dettori will have the mount in the one-mile turf event.”

Plenty of plusses especially the War Front angle and Frankie Dettori doing the steering. I have seen the video of American Patriots last victory and Ascot’s stiff finish would seem to suit.

Quite happy to suggest American Patriot one star* each way @ 25/1 ew with WH 123 1/5

Tuesday 4.20pm St. James Palace Stakes 3yo colts 8F – CHURCHILL

Churchill is ranked five in the world just a pound behind Ribchester and their “Duel on the Downs” in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood this summer is eagerly awaited. Churchill is a dual Guineas winner and seems to be one of those horses that just does enough without setting the pulse racing. At most he will have just ten rivals and Aidan O’Brien trains four of those! The obvious danger is Barney Roy who took a false step in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket just as he was organising his challenge but he and Churchill currently trade at top priced 9/4 and 4/6 and I’m looking for something bigger. This may be a bit repetitive but Royal Ascot, fast ground, son of War Front is a tasty recipe and LANCASTER BOMBER may have been beaten in five of his starts by Churchill but his two best runs have been on fast ground, he was second in the Breeders Cup, and Coolmore seem happy to put him in with Churchill even if only to ensure a solid gallop.

Let’s try Lancaster Bomber one star* each way @ 25/1 ew with WH or Coral 123 1/5

Thursday 4.20pm Gold Cup 4yo+ 20F – ORDER OF ST GEORGE

Since Order of St George won the Gold Cup on Soft ground last season he has won just two of his six starts although you can’t take anything away from his excellent third in the Arc de Triomphe! One of those defeats was over Ascots two miles on good ground on Champions Day when fourth behind Sheikhzayedroad, Quest for More and Simple Verse and although Order of St George is a class middle distance performer who stays this extreme trip, on quicker ground many will fancy their chances and top priced even money looks really skinny. Indeed that price is only available on the High Street with Irish bookmakers Paddy Power which I find revealing. Last season Order of St George beat a selection of “Cesarewitch” horses but this year looks like having two G1 St.Leger winners as well as winners at G2 & G3 level in opposition. With fast ground specialist Big Orange in the line-up this race will be run at a relentless gallop and class may not be enough as stamina will need to be copper bottomed.

So I’m after a guaranteed stayer, has won on Good to Firm and has a touch of class, Oh and is a double figure price!

Surely the key race is the Long Distance Cup last October over 16F at Ascot that I mentioned above. Order of St George may have had an excuse in fourth as that race was less than a fortnight after his huge run in the Arc, however I think a case can be made for the first two home. I think Simple Verse just lacks a kick running for the line. QUEST FOR MORE gets the nod over Sheikzayedroad because he’s a 50% bigger price but we are going to have to forgive his dismal last run behind Big Orange in the Henry II, a race I’m surprised he ran in considering what his trainer Roger Charlton, who is having an excellent 2017, said in his ATR stable tour back in April. “He surprises us each year and just kept on improving. A couple of years ago he was struggling to win off a mark of 92 and is now rated 117. I think Dubai just didn’t suit in the Dubai Gold Cup and he didn’t run any sort of race in the ground. The ground was soft and a bit uneasy under his feet and it didn’t suit. He is a fragile horse in that he doesn’t want too many races and races like the Ascot Gold Cup, which he would have run in last year if it had not gone soft, would be obvious targets for him. He is a fun horse and races like Ascot and the Goodwood Cup would be on his radar. He has a Group 1 penalty this year so there is no point in running in a Group 3 at Sandown.” So he will enjoy the quicker ground, he’s a 20F Group 1 winner, does he stay that extra half mile is the issue.

At a general 16/1 Quest for More is a one star* each way 123 1/5 selection, that says he will.

Friday 3.40pm Commonwealth Cup 3yo 6F – CARAVAGGIO

3yo sprinters, probably the hardest category to win with. This is the most difficult of the five to find a selection at a price as Caravaggio, Blue Point and Harry Angel are most likely to fill the first three paying places, indeed it’s 12/1 bar the three.

Could the fillies gate-crash the party? Lady Aurelia isn’t in the Kings Stand, is she coming here? #FantasticMrFahey has the flying Frankel filly and if stepping back to 6F and sprinting saw her return to her G2 Lowther win she would be over priced at the 25/1 PP are currently offering. Big ask.

So can’t back Caravaggio but right now I can’t oppose him.

Friday 4.20pm Coronation Stakes 3yo fillies 8F – WINTER

If Winter strolls in here to collect her third Group 1 of the season having strolled the two Guineas and David Wachman says he has no regrets at packing in, I simply don’t believe him. So looking to oppose Winter you have to look outside those two 1000 Guineas. Indeed I see that the fourth at Newmarket, Talaayeb, and as low as 12/1 for the Coronation Stakes, runs in a Listed 10F contest at Newbury tomorrow (Thursday).

The man with the fillies this season has been John Gosden and surely he trains the only viable alternative in Nell Gwyn winner Dabayh. She’s been effective on quick ground, looks like this extra furlong will help and still has improvement in her. Taking 8/1 general 123 1/5 on Dabayh now seems a bet to nothing as I can see this race cutting up badly.

 

If I had to rank the five big shots in order of best chance of being beaten I would go Order of St George, Caravaggio, Ribchester, Churchill and Winter!

Plenty of others on-line have had a look at these Famous Five, this is what they had to say.

Timeform

ROYAL ASCOT PREVIEW: FIVE HEAD-TO-HEADS FOR THE WEEK By Jamie Lynch — published 13th June 2017

In the first of his sweeping summaries of the biggest meeting of the Flat season, Jamie Lynch picks out the five head-to-heads that get the blood pumping ahead of Royal Ascot.

Every day at Royal Ascot, before racing, there’s the traditional procession, where the supreme ruler, with accompanying entourage, makes their noble way up the straight, admired, appreciated and applauded; and only when Aidan O’Brien has completed his walk can the Queen climb into her carriage.

There are due to be several equine processions at Royal Ascot, none more so than the aptly-named Coronation Stakes for Winter, a true head of state: a feminine head on a state-of-the-art engine. But two heads – or more – are better than one, as it’s the conflict that makes the tension, and it’s the tension makes the drama, and it’s the drama that makes Royal Ascot. Here are the top five head-to-heads for the week:

CHURCHILL v BARNEY ROY

As far as head-to-heads go, this is about as good as it gets. If there’s one thing better than a rivalry then it’s a rivalry renewed, the Guineas more a comma than a full stop, Newmarket the stage and the lines delivered more like the end of an act, rather than the end of the play, Churchill the winner but reason for Barney Roy celebrating like Labour.

There was a length between them in the Guineas, yet there’s only 1 lb between them on Timeform ratings for the St James’s Palace Stakes, the race, or the ride, that almost beat Frankel. The run of the race, and the ride on Churchill, was what did for Barney Roy at Newmarket, compounded by his immaturity, and it’s a good bet he’ll run to nearer 130 around a turn to help the turnaround. The question is, at odds-on, is Churchill a good bet to cash whatever cheque Barney writes, like a champion high jumper who joins in late to unflappably clear the requisite height.

Ratings say they should be closer in the market, but Churchill isn’t a ratings kinda horse, giving all that’s needed and not all he’s got, his force far more than a figure, and there’s something about the way Ryan Moore speaks of him that reinforces the idea that Churchill is different for the on-boarder than the onlooker.

I’ll be backing Barney Roy, but this has all the hallmarks of a double negative, for the money lost on the bet then the money lost on plasters for the cuts when I’ve spent five minutes kicking myself after Churchill does what Churchill always does.

BRITISH AND IRISH CUBS v WES WARD

The British and Irish Lions look set to be the maulees rather than the maulers in the tests against New Zealand, and the British and Irish Cubs – racing’s two-year-old branch – likewise look at the mercy of one nation, through one man, Wes Ward. The myth may be outgrowing the reality with Ward’s juvenile juggernauts, but the reality is fairly fearsome, with seven Royal Ascot winners in the last eight years.

Without knowing much beyond the videos of various spins around Keeneland, we’ve got a fair idea of their make and shape, always big and usually clever, and the pertinent point this year is the relatively low standard of the youngsters on either side of the Irish Sea. It says something about the colts that a filly is top of the class, Alpha Centauri already at a level (106p) that would have won her every one of the last seven renewals of the Albany, though that’s the target for Ward’s Fairyland, and he has market leaders in the Queen Mary (Happy Like A Fool), Norfolk (McErin) and Windsor Castle (Nookta Sound), as well as a co-favourite in the Coventry (Arawak). Bookmakers are well aware of his speed machines, but there’s a fine line between running fast and running scared.

CARAVAGGIO v HARRY ANGEL

When Harry met Carry.

If there have been two ‘wow’ moments on the Flat this season, this pair provided them. ‘I knew he was good but I didn’t know he was that good’ was the general reaction in both cases, probably more so with Harry Angel, given his lower-key approach. Caravaggio did what even Wes Ward couldn’t by winning two races in one, in last year’s Coventry, in which he beat those he raced with in the middle group before going over to the far side to gobble up Mehmas.

Royal Ascot was a 7, but his turbo-boosted comeback at Naas had a magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale. But just six days later, in the Sandy Lane, Harry Angel hit 8.9. And that’s the crux of the Commonwealth collision course: Caravaggio is a confirmed heavyweight, but so too is Harry Angel now, all the data around his Haydock performance suggesting he’s every bit as good as he looked, and every bit as good as the one who’s so much shorter than him in the betting.

I’ll be backing Harry Angel, but I refer the honourable gentleman to the answer I gave some moments ago about taking on a Ballydoyle high-roller.

KING’S STAND v DIAMOND JUBILEE

They’re individual races to be won, but there’s also competition between the two premier sprints for top billing, and the dividing line is one of sex and not just speed this time. The Diamond Jubilee consists of the usual suspects, and mostly male, but the fast and fiery fillies are all in the King’s Stand. The head-to-head, ladies and gentlemen, are the ladies and gentlemen.

On the average of the first five in the ratings of the likely runners, the Diamond Jubilee comes out marginally ahead (125.6 plays 125.4), but the sexy ones in this battles of the sexes are all in the King’s Stand, including the UK beauty queen and the US brawn machine, Marsha and Lady Aurelia. Add in another Queen Mary winner in Acapulco and the Temple winner in Priceless, and the King’s Stand is like ladies day brought forward by 48 hours.

The King’s Stand may be the better race, but it’s also the harder race, and the reason the Diamond Jubilee outscores it narrowly on pre-race ratings is all because Limato brings a hefty 129 to the party, and he should be clear favourite for his task, the cold runs excusable since his hotspots of last summer.

GOOD ORDER OF ST GEORGE v BAD ORDER OF ST GEORGE

The grey areas are the goldmines of Royal Ascot, or any major meeting for that matter, but the Gold Cup is a black-and-white matter, with a black-and-white horse: you either trust the Dr Jekyll in Order of St George and think odds-against as a gift, or you only see the dark Mr Hyde and the other opportunities that his short price brings. It’s a trust issue.

The game is the game, and if George brings his A-game then it’s game over, like in this race last year, but he’s been beaten four times since, three of those at odds-on, and that’s understandably once too many for many.

You’d have thought, given the miles on their clocks and the circles in which they mix, that the Orange-Order shootout would have happened before, but George has never faced Big Orange, not until now. The time has come for Big Orange to flex his stamina muscles to the full and tackle the marathon distance of the Gold Cup, and, in theory, he’s the stuff of nightmares for Order of St George, being so aggressive. Single-minded and strong-willed are the very qualities of Big Orange, and the very pressure points of Order of St George. This head-to-head is all in the mind.

sportinglife.com

 Royal Ascot Big Race Bankers: Sky Bet offer 22/1 June 13 2017, 16:32

Sky Bet have priced up the five ‘big bankers’ at Royal Ascot at 22/1 and Ian Ogg and Ben Linfoot ask whether they are bankers or blowouts. Royal Ascot starts with a bang on Tuesday with three Group One races. There are hot favourites for both the Queen Anne Stakes and the St James’s Palace Stakes on that first day and victories for favourites Ribchester and Churchill could put the layers on the back foot. Sky Bet have gone out on a limb in offering an industry best of 22/1 about Ribchester, Churchill, Order Of St George, Caravaggio and Winter all justifying their positions at the top of the market.

Last week, Value Bet columnist Ben Linfoot and Ian Ogg assessed gave their view on whether the big five were bankers or blowouts and this is what they had to say:

Ribchester – Queen Anne Stakes, 4/5 (Non Runner No Bet)

Ian Ogg: Top class three-year-old who won the Group One Jacques Le Marois as well as placing in the Guineas, Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Slightly disappointing when only third at the Dubai World Cup over nine furlongs but impressive back over a mile in the Lockinge at Newbury. A winner of the Jersey Stakes at last year’s Royal meeting and hard to see what’s going to beat him in the curtain raiser. BANKER.

Ben Linfoot: Ribchester’s superb win in the Lockinge was a clear hint that he’s ready to win more Group One races in the Godolphin blue this summer and he could well do so in a Queen Anne Stakes that is lacking star quality beyond himself. Perhaps Lightning Spear could reverse the Newbury form on faster ground, but he has been beaten on four occasions by Ribchester now, while Qemah might be better going around a bend. BANKER.

Churchill – St James’s Palace Stakes, 8/13 – (NRNB)

Ian Ogg: Undefeated in seven races since finishing third on debut, adding the Irish 2,000 Guineas to his victory at Newmarket in the English version this season while last year’s run included victory at this meeting in the Chesham Stakes. The horses that chased him home in both Classics are likely to re-oppose and although Thunder Snow looks to have something to find, connections of Barney Roy will be more than hopeful that they can bridge the gap. BLOWOUT.

Ben Linfoot: It took me a while to believe in Churchill but it seems to me he’s one of those top-class Ballydoyle horses that just gets the job done without doing anything spectacularly. His last win in the Irish 2,000 Guineas was a career-best and the way he finished off his race powerfully suggests those that followed him home off a slow pace in the Guineas might have just as tough a task if the gallop is stronger at Ascot. He’s versatile when it comes to ground, he has the course form from the Chesham. I’m a believer, now. BANKER.

Order Of St George – Ascot Gold Cup, Evens (NRNB)

Ian Ogg: Sent off at 10/11 when winning last year’s renewal, the seventh time that Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner in 11 years with Yeats making the race his own between 2004-09. Order Of St George was beaten on British Champions Day but that came just two weeks after he had finished a fine third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He lost again on his reappearance but obliged at cramped odds last time and he’s a fair price to better old rivals that he has the beating of. BANKER.

Ben Linfoot: A resolute stayer going for his second consecutive win in this contest, Order Of St George will be a banker for many but there is word of caution for those having a go at skinny prices. He sweated up markedly before two of his four consecutive defeats at the end of 2016 and the start of the current season, while he proved vulnerable off a steady gallop in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Champions Day when only fourth. Vazirabad would be a very interesting rival should the ground (wouldn’t want it fast) be deemed okay for him to take his chance, too. BLOWOUT

Caravaggio – Commonwealth Cup, Evens (NRNB)

Ian Ogg: Brilliantly fast juvenile who steered an unusual path to victory in the Coventry Stakes last year. Suitably impressive in winning two starts since and could be a sprinter out of the very top drawer. Has a couple of likely looking sorts in Harry Angel and Blue Point snapping at his heels but that does mean that his price has held up and it’s one worth taking advantage of. BANKER.

Ben Linfoot: This is a really tough one. I’m very much a big fan of Caravaggio but I really like Harry Angel as well and Blue Point shouldn’t be dismissed, either. This is shaping up to be the race of the week and I just hope the big three all get there fit and healthy as this could define the sprinting division for the rest of the year. You fancy the winner of this could easily go and beat his elders in the July Cup. On balance, I tend to agree with Ian that the depth of the race is holding up Caravaggio’s price quite nicely, so, for that reason… BANKER.

Winter – Coronation Stakes, 4/6 (NRNB)

Ian Ogg: Like stablemate Churchill, Winter completed the Newmarket / Curragh Guineas double and it’s hard to see why those behind her on either occasion should reverse the form. However, French handler Jean-Claude Rouget has saddled the last two winners and the runners from the Poulains could pose the main threat. Winner Precieuse could be supplemented (she also has the Prix de Diane as an option) while runner-up Sea Of Grace is in the mix along as is Fred Darling Stakes winner Dabyah who was Group One-placed last season. B…, just hold your horses until the opposition is clear!

Ben Linfoot: With Rhododendron likely to go the 10-furlong route in the Pretty Polly and the Nassau the door has been left open for Winter take this before perhaps taking on the colts in the Sussex Stakes or QEII, or both. Highly impressive on fast ground in the Guineas and yielding conditions in the Irish version at the Curragh, she can light up Ascot in the Coronation Stakes just as her dam, Laddies Poker Two, did when landing a huge gamble in the 2010 Wokingham. BANKER.

racingpost.com

 Big-race banker or short-priced shirker: who can you trust?  Maddy Playle 12:36PM, JUN 14 2017

Royal Ascot is often either the punter’s playground or a downright disaster. Eight favourites triumphed at last year’s meeting, including four of the names listed below, and here we profile six of the stars set to grace the turf, ranking them down from shaky favourites to bona fide certainties.

Order Of St George Gold Cup, Thursday (Best price: Evens)

Pros: There are few things Aidan O’Brien can do better than ready horses for the Ascot Gold Cup and Order Of St George has already proved he is up to the task after defying a troubled passage to score last year. He is a very classy animal on his day, as he proved when winning the 2015 Irish St Leger by 11 lengths and finishing third in last year’s Arc over a trip shorter than ideal.

Cons: Doesn’t always deliver on the big stage and there were no excuses when Wicklow Brave beat him in last year’s Irish St Leger or indeed when he flopped as favourite for the Long Distance Cup at the track on his final start last season.

Conclusion: Has least to prove of all the runners but there may not be much value left in his price. Simple Verse, who looks to have more to offer at this trip, could give him a run for his money.

Ribchester Queen Anne Stakes, Tuesday (Best price: 10-11)

Pros: Has improved no end since winning the Jersey Stakes at this meeting last year, including when claiming the Jacques le Marois last August. He proved he was more versatile than ever when storming to victory from the front in a tactical running of the Lockinge Stakes on his return.

Cons: Hasn’t always been the most straightforward. He can pull hard and the pace-making tactics with Toscanini – whether intentional or unintentional – didn’t work out last time.

Conclusion: The older milers don’t look an outstanding bunch this year and Ribchester looks as if he can capitalise once again, but it may not be a walk in the park for him as many suspect, with American Patriot a credible contender if arriving in peak form.

Churchill St James’s Palace Stakes, Tuesday (Best price: 4-6)

Pros: Outstanding dual Guineas-winning miler who has been beaten only once in an eight-race career. A redoubtable, versatile performer who won the Chesham Stakes at this meeting last year, Churchill will be prepared to perfection by connections.

Cons: Doesn’t always win by very far, which gives the impression he is potentially vulnerable. Had the perfect trip in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, where Barney Roy met all kinds of trouble, and he didn’t beat a strong field in the Irish equivalent.

Conclusion: This may well be his biggest challenge to date but he is beautifully straightforward and his professionalism can help him record a fifth Group 1 success.

Caravaggio Commonwealth Cup, Friday (Best price: Evens)

Pros: Has looked nigh-on unbeatable in his five starts to date, including when overcoming a bad draw and unsuitable ground in the Coventry Stakes last year. Aidan O’Brien has said they have “never seen one quicker at home” following his faultless return in the Lacken Stakes.

Cons: Harry Angel was equally as impressive in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock last time and he arguably beat better opposition than Caravaggio did at Naas. Blue Point also looks a cracking sprinter and Wesley Ward is keen on the chances of his Bound For Nowhere.

Conclusion: Caravaggio is one of the most naturally gifted horses in training and the suspicion is may well emulate Muhaarar and make up into this year’s champion sprinter. For all the Commonwealth Cup could be the race of the meeting, his position at the helm of the market is thoroughly deserved.

Winter Coronation Stakes, Friday (Best price: 4-6)

Pros: Contemptuous in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, Winter improved to give her rivals a stunning four and three-quarter length beating in the Irish equivalent. She is only the third filly to complete that illustrious double and looks a class apart from her contemporaries.

Cons: The likes of Dabyah and Talaayeb are still unexposed and may well have come forward since their last runs. Precieuse also brings Classic form to the table and is speedy enough to pose a threat in a race in which French fillies have a great record.

Conclusion: Hard to oppose. She brings the best form to the table – the three-year-old fillies look just as good if not better than the colts this year – and has given the impression she is a superstar. The prospect of further improvement is enough to get anyone excited.

Lucky 15 Wednesday June 7th update

6.10pm Tuesday. Prices for Wednesday and todays Lucky 15 updated.

John Ferguson has announced his resignation as Godolphin chief executive following Monday’s revelations that his relationship with the operation’s longest-serving trainer Saeed Bin Suroor had broken down.

Ferguson told the Racing Post his parting with Sheikh Mohammed’s global racing and bloodstock superpower was “best for everyone”, admitting his employment within the organisation had become “untenable”.

My CV is on its way!

Royal Ascot: Are these favourites Bankers or Blowouts? sportinglife.com June 06 2017, 13:40

Ian Ogg and Ben Linfoot look at five of the hottest favourites for Royal Ascot and ask whether they are bankers or blowouts.

Ribchester – Queen Anne Stakes. 10/11 (NRNB)

Ian Ogg: Top class three-year-old who won the Group One Jacques Le Marois as well as placing in the Guineas, Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Slightly disappointing when only third at the Dubai World Cup over nine furlongs but impressive back over a mile in the Lockinge at Newbury. A winner of the Jersey Stakes at last year’s Royal meeting and hard to see what’s going to beat him in the curtain raiser. BANKER.

Ben Linfoot: Ribchester’s superb win in the Lockinge was a clear hint that he’s ready to win more Group One races in the Godolphin blue this summer and he could well do so in a Queen Anne Stakes that is lacking star quality beyond himself. Perhaps Lightning Spear could reverse the Newbury form on faster ground, but he has been beaten on four occasions by Ribchester now, while Qemah might be better going around a bend. BANKER.

Churchill – St James’s Palace Stakes 4/6 – non-runner no bet

Ian Ogg: Undefeated in seven races since finishing third on debut, adding the Irish 2,000 Guineas to his victory at Newmarket in the English version this season while last year’s run included victory at this meeting in the Chesham Stakes. The horses that chased him home in both Classics are likely to re-oppose and although Thunder Snow looks to have something to find, connections of Barney Roy will be more than hopeful that they can bridge the gap. BLOWOUT.

Ben Linfoot: It took me a while to believe in Churchill but it seems to me he’s one of those top-class Ballydoyle horses that just gets the job done without doing anything spectacularly. His last win in the Irish 2,000 Guineas was a career-best and the way he finished off his race powerfully suggests those that followed him home off a slow pace in the Guineas might have just as tough a task if the gallop is stronger at Ascot. He’s versatile when it comes to ground, he has the course form from the Chesham. I’m a believer, now. BANKER.

Order Of St George – Ascot Gold Cup, 5/4 (NRNB)

Ian Ogg: Sent off at 10/11 when winning last year’s renewal, the seventh time that Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner in 11 years with Yeats making the race his own between 2004-09. Order Of St George was beaten on British Champions Day but that came just two weeks after he had finished a fine third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He lost again on his reappearance but obliged at cramped odds last time and he’s a fair price to better old rivals that he has the beating of. BANKER.

Ben Linfoot: A resolute stayer going for his second consecutive win in this contest, Order Of St George will be a banker for many but there is word of caution for those having a go at skinny prices. He sweated up markedly before two of his four consecutive defeats at the end of 2016 and the start of the current season, while he proved vulnerable off a steady gallop in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Champions Day when only fourth. Vazirabad would be a very interesting rival should the ground (wouldn’t want it fast) be deemed okay for him to take his chance, too. BLOWOUT

Caravaggio – Commonwealth Cup, Evens (NRNB)

Ian Ogg: Brilliantly fast juvenile who steered an unusual path to victory in the Coventry Stakes last year. Suitably impressive in winning two starts since and could be a sprinter out of the very top drawer. Has a couple of likely looking sorts in Harry Angel and Blue Point snapping at his heels but that does mean that his price has held up and it’s one worth taking advantage of. BANKER.

Ben Linfoot: This is a really tough one. I’m very much a big fan of Caravaggio but I really like Harry Angel as well and Blue Point shouldn’t be dismissed, either. This is shaping up to be the race of the week and I just hope the big three all get there fit and healthy as this could define the sprinting division for the rest of the year. You fancy the winner of this could easily go and beat his elders in the July Cup. On balance, I tend to agree with Ian that the depth of the race is holding up Caravaggio’s price quite nicely, so, for that reason… BANKER.

Winter – Coronation Stakes, 4/6 (NRNB)

Ian Ogg: Like stablemate Churchill, Winter completed the Newmarket / Curragh Guineas double and it’s hard to see why those behind her on either occasion should reverse the form. However, French handler Jean-Claude Rouget has saddled the last two winners and the runners from the Poulains could pose the main threat. Winner Precieuse could be supplemented (she also has the Prix de Diane as an option) while runner-up Sea Of Grace is in the mix along as is Fred Darling Stakes winner Dabyah who was Group One-placed last season. B…, just hold your horses until the opposition is clear!

Ben Linfoot: With Rhododendron likely to go the 10-furlong route in the Pretty Polly and the Nassau the door has been left open for Winter take this before perhaps taking on the colts in the Sussex Stakes or QEII, or both. Highly impressive on fast ground in the Guineas and yielding conditions in the Irish version at the Curragh, she can light up Ascot in the Coronation Stakes just as her dam, Laddies Poker Two, did when landing a huge gamble in the 2010 Wokingham. BANKER.

Lucky 15 Saturday May 20th  

Friday 6.10pm Tough to find winners with Wednesdays deluge causing havoc with the ground conditions especially when one is trying to find winners at the 48 hour declarations stage. So I’m passing on tomorrow’s Lucky 15 and will post another Monday night for Tuesday when the Goings may have stabilised.

Fridays Lucky 15

Simply hopeless!

Newbury 2.35            SCRUTINEER                                   11th Last! 8/1      (14/1PP 12/1 general)

Effort 1F out, weakened just beating the ambulance home!

York 4.05                    GIBBS HILL                                      3rd 15/8 Fav      (2/1 PP 15/8 general)

Slow away, progress at top of straight but an impossible task in this ground.

Newbury 4.45            WASATCH RANGE                       8th 5/2 Fav        (11/4 general)

The Stewards considered the running of WASATCH RANGE, ridden by Frankie Dettori, and trained by John Gosden, which started favourite and finished unplaced. The Stewards noted the trainer’s representative’s explanation that the colt was unsuited by the soft, good to soft in places, ground and would prefer it faster.

York 5.35                    BEDOUIN                                        4th 9/1                             (6/1 PP 5/1 general)

Friendless in market. Held up. Progress 3F out, never competitive.

 

#FantasticMrFahey Saturday runner’s courtesy of sportinglife.com  May 19 2017, 13:59

It’s a busy Saturday for our star columnist Richard Fahey, including Ribchester’s bid for Lockinge glory at Newbury.

I’m very happy with Ribchester going into Saturday’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury. He did great over the winter and ran really well in Dubai. His preparation since has gone without a hitch, he’ll handle the ground and I just hope he runs his race as he’s in with a real shout.

We also run Toscanini who is primarily in there to make sure they go a nice even gallop. That said if he handles the ground he wouldn’t be without a chance of grabbing a place.

Private Matter will love the ground in the Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes – the slower, the better for him. He’s in good form but has a 3lb penalty to contend with and that makes things tougher.

I was disappointed with Andok at Newmarket on his reappearance. We’re stepping him up in trip for the Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap and hope that does the trick as he’s a horse I like.

Withernsea is what he is and didn’t run badly in the Victoria Cup last week. A mile on decent ground will really suit him in the Toronado Handicap. I’ve said before I think he’s going to pop up and win a nice pot one day but I’m struggling to predict when with him at the moment.

We’ve three runners at Newmarket.

Queen Penn never rose a gallop at all first time up at Nottingham which was very disappointing. We don’t know what happened but she never took part. I hope she’ll bounce back in the Betway EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes as she’s quite nice. We like her.

Seven furlongs in this ground will be absolutely ideal for Ballymore Castle in the Betway Download The App Handicap. I’d love to see him get his head in front again for the owners.

I fell out with Paddy Power some time ago. He’s the definition of a morning glory and has been very disappointing. We’ve decided not to over-race him now and he ran okay at Newcastle on his reappearance. He’s been freshened up since and on what we see at home it wouldn’t be a surprise if he won the Betway Handicap but he just keeps disappointing on the track.

We run three in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Thirsk. Ajwan goes well at home, her work is good, and she’s ready for her debut. Collateral Beauty probably needs to go down the handicap route but is ready to run now as is Foxxy Brown, for whom similar comments apply.

Carnageo doesn’t have a great draw in the Marion Gibson Brown Memorial Handicap and doesn’t have much in hand of the assessor which means he’ll find it difficult, for all he’s in good form.

Full Of Promise has been disappointing. He works as though he should be winning more races and on ability would be capable of landing something like the Book For Ladies’ Day – Saturday 9th September Handicap but needs to put his best foot forward.

Monaco Rose worked extremely well this week. She’s got stronger and won well at Catterick last time. She should run a big race in the opening crownhotel-bawtry.com Apprentice Handicap at Doncaster.

Flo’s Melody hadn’t shown a lot at home prior to her debut at Ripon but ran well to finish third. She seems to have come forward for the experience and is one of three runners for us in the Howcroft Industrial Supplies Ltd Novice Auction Stakes. Jedi Master has been disappointing on both his starts as he shows ability at home. Hopefully he’d have place claims here. Our final runner is Mabo, a newcomer who should improve with experience. He could be one for handicaps later on.

Imshivalla hasn’t really hit form yet. She runs herself into it every year. She’s always been like it, she decides when she’s going to fire and we’ll see what happens in the EBF Breeders’ Series Chase Medical Fillies’ Handicap.

Party Tiger has been a little disappointing, as he has always gone nicely at home. On his best form he’d have a chance in the sunbets.co.uk Bet 5 & Get 10 Handicap but needs everything to drop right. We also run Lady In Question who has been working extremely well. She’s really strengthened up over the winter and I’d expect to win races this season – and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her go very well here.

Our final runner is Khelman in the closing Bet & Watch At sunbets.co.uk Handicap. He is what he is and it’s all there to see in the formbook. He’s another who decides when and where he does it but he likes the track here which offers hope.

 

I know he is not everybodies favourite but Jamie Spencer’s blog with 32Red is always worth a read. May 19, 2017

2.20pm Newbury Visionary I wouldn’t read too much into the fact that he has been racing on the all-weather of late and, being a Dream Ahead, I think conditions will suit him here. I rode him when he won on his debut at Brighton last season on good to soft ground and, although it will be more testing here, I have ridden him at home in more testing conditions and he is a big, strong horse who will go through it. It’s a competitive race and Koropick and Private Matter are the form horses, but my colt is improving on the evidence of his good second at Lingfield last time and he doesn’t have that much to find to have a winning chance in an open contest.

2.55pm Newbury Glorious Forever He has won on good to soft but, on pedigree, I am not sure about him in ground this testing, and he could be badly drawn in 13. But, while this is obviously very competitive, this is not as strong a race as we have had in the past – Al Kazeem, Time Test and Cannock Chase have won this in recent years – and my colt comes here on the back of a good second on his return at Doncaster. He has chances but I think Century Dream could prove tough to beat. He raced too keenly on the lead at Sandown last time and, if he proves more amenable, I think he has the potential to progress a fair bit in ground that may suit him.

3.30pm Newbury Aclaim The fact that he has won over Ascot’s stiff 1m, albeit on fast ground and only off a mark of 97, gives me hope that he can see out this trip in this company. And he will handle the ground. He lost his way a little bit in the middle of the season but he won well for me at Ascot and over 7f here in the soft for me in September, and ended off his campaign strongly with a defeat of Lumiere in the Challenge Stakes. He needs to have progressed 7lb over the winter to make himself competitive in this company, but soft ground is a big plus and I give him an each-way chance in a race in which a few won’t find the ground ideal. Lightning Spear may be one of those, for all his Queen Anne third came in the soft, and while Somehow has won on heavy her most impressive performance to date came on fast ground last time. I definitely think Ribchester is the one to beat. I’ve always rated him and he has form on course and on the ground, and his second to Minding, after proving keen early on, in the QEII on Champions’ Day makes him the one we all have to fear.

 

The Epsom Derby 2017

Racing Post Lee Mottershead and Lewis Porteous 8:20PM, MAY 18 2017

O’Brien’s comments came after stablemate Exemplar had finished eighth in the Dante Stakes at York on Thursday, the last key trial before the Classic in 16 days’ time. O’Brien has Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial principals, Douglas Macarthur, Yucatan and Capri, Chester Vase 1-2-3 Venice Beach, Wings Of Eagles and The Anvil, plus Dee Stakes winner Cliffs Of Moher, in the mix for the Derby, in addition to the exceptional Churchill.

“The lads will decide,” said O’Brien of his possible Epsom team. “We’ve got the seven horses from the trials – the three from Leopardstown, the three from the Chester Vase and Cliffs Of Moher. The eighth would be Churchill, but there’s a big chance the lads will keep him at a mile. He has a lot of speed and is very comfortable at a mile. He relaxes so well you’d think he would have no problem getting a mile and a quarter, but you never know about a mile and a half.”

While Churchill still heads some Derby markets, stablemate and Dee Stakes winner Cliffs Of Moher is a shorter price elsewhere and O’Brien did nothing to dishearten his supporters. He added: It’s going to be very interesting, especially if the lads decide to keep Churchill at a mile. The way I saw it, the three Leopardstown horses progressed from their first run to their second. The three Chester Vase horses were horses we always thought would stay very well. Going into Chester, Cliffs Of Moher was probably the rawest of ours. He was just ready to start and we felt if he did win we’d be very happy. Although he was very green that day he went to the line really well and probably learned a lot. Ryan [Moore] felt there could be a lot of improvement to come after Chester. He’s started working again and everything looks lovely. I don’t think there’s any doubt there’s great room for improvement with him.”

Lucky 15 Friday March 24th

Friday 6.30pm Looking forward to the weekend racing from Scotland to Dubai, the start of the Irish turf Flat season and please a couple of winners on the Lucky 15!!

Amused to see what I suggested we discuss in last night’s blog was a major article on the subject, Mullins v Elliott, in today’s Racing Post. Glad they took the hint.

Saturdays Lucky 15

Newbury 1.50                        VIEUX LILLE                             6/1 general       

Newbury 3.35                        HYGROVE PERCY                    11/1 general 9/1 PP       

Newbury 4.10                        SIR ANTHONY BROWNE        7/4 general 

Bangor 4.35                            THREE WAYS                          13/2 Ladbrokes 6/1 general       

and hopefully this is why

Newbury 1.50                        VIEUX LILLE Ever since Vieux Lille was a running on second albeit at a respectable distance to Yala Enki in the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock I’ve had him down to win a decent 3m+ staying chase. Good to Soft on fresh ground should be ideal and the Hobbs yard are flying post Cheltenham, four winners and five seconds, and a trade mark creepy, creepy ride from Richard Johnson should do the trick.

Newbury 3.35                        HYGROVE PERCY Keeps cropping up in form lines as I looked back at Cheltenham. Could easily have won five out of the last six but twice he got the final flight wrong. Has a racing weight and the peerless Noel Fehily in the saddle. The trainer seems fairly bullish.  Neil Mulholland blog http://www.jumpsracing.co.uk “We were pleased with Hygrove Percy on his re-appearance last time out and he wouldn’t have to improve much to be in the mix at Newbury on Saturday in the juvenile handicap hurdle.

Newbury 4.10                        SIR ANTHONY BROWNE Disappointing to be beaten last time at Fontwell, probably didn’t see out the extra 3f but steps back to two miles here on a galloping track on better ground. At the start of the season Sir Anthony Browne was expected to be a leading novice at Barbury Castle but not everything has gone to plan and this is an ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways.

Bangor 4.35                            THREE WAYS Possibly the best horse in Jamie Snowdens yard but he just missed the cut in the Pertemps eight days ago so he should be as fit as a butchers dog and he goes to Bangor for a C3 instead of Kelso for C2. Ms Page Fuller, who rode him to victory last time, takes off 7lb giving him a racing weight. From his blog it is implied that he had a chance at the Festival and his owner, Mr David Brownlow (Made his money through the Huntswood Recruitment Agency then “In 2013 David founded Havisham Group, an investment and trading group that invests in both new and established business in the UK and overseas” and according to his website is “Philanthropist, mentor, friend”. He is apparently on the Rich List.) forked out £190K for this son of Flemensfirth and Jamie Snowden won’t have too many of those in his yard! Three Ways stayed on well to win at Doncaster last time and can take this en route to a successful chasing career.

Jamie Snowden News on Website “Having been placed in a Grade 2 at Chepstow and a Class 2 novice at Cheltenham earlier this season, I was delighted to get Three Ways into the winners enclosure in a competitive handicap at Doncaster last week. Page Fuller took 7lbs off top weight and gave him a terrific ride as he stayed on genuinely to the line when the second horse came to him. They pulled a mile clear of the 3rd horse home, who in turn was a mile clear of the remainder – so it was a decent performance. He will now go to the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival.”

 

Across the cards there are a few others worth considering. Considering what I’ve said about Vieuyx Lille a solid run would be expected from Yala Enki in the televised 3.15 at Kelso. At Newbury it’s notebooks at the ready for the valuable bumper at 4.45 with plenty of lightly raced types from big yards. Meanwhile over in Ireland there is a reappearance from a horse that’s been in my tracker for372 days, Open Eagle, a wide margin November handicap winner before sent hurdling with Willie Mullins. It’s a watching brief as I’m sure he’s being prepped for Punchestown. However Ruby Walsh does ride so maybe he’s a trier? “I’d rather be starting him off over a shorter trip but the conditions of the race suit him and we’re hoping for a good performance

Talking of Irishmen and horses off a long break, Aiden O’Brien saddles Kingfisher in Meydan after 508 days off! Ryan Moore rides looking to make amends for the nightmare he had in the Ascot Gold Cup. Would be some training feat. Meanwhile back at Thurles at 3.55 there is a Listed novice chase with the likes of Great Field and Diamond King taking apart.

The Irish turf Flat season starts at Naas on Sunday. Paul Hanagan rides four for Richard Fahey. That’s all I’m saying! Fahey is in Dubai on Saturday hoping to see Ribchester and William Buick pocket a cool £2.8million for winning the Dubai Turf. Nice work if you can get it.

 Fridays Lucky 15

Doesn’t get much worse! No tea tonight, sitting on the naughty step, must do better!!

Newbury 2.30                        MIDNIGHT MONTY                PU 9/1             (8/1 general) 

I can only apologise, that was awful!  BHA Stewards Report “Nico de Boinville, the rider of MIDNIGHT MONTY, which was pulled up, reported that the gelding was never travelling.”   

Newbury 3.05                        SCOOBY                                              PU 7/1             (8/1 general)   

Opened on course at 11’s and backed in to 7’s. didn’t even make two out!   BHA Stewards Report “Kielan Woods, the rider of SCOOBY (IRE), which was pulled up, reported that the gelding was hampered by the faller.”

Newbury 3.40                        VINNIE RED                            PU 7/4F           (10/3 Lads + BetFred)

Has an engine but jumping went to pot again and pulled up top of home straight. BHA Stewards Report “Paddy Brennan, the rider of VINNIE RED (IRE), the beaten favourite which was pulled up, reported that the gelding jumped poorly. The gelding’s trainer, Fergal O’Brien, added that VINNIE RED (IRE) had a breathing problem.” Back to the drawing board and probably a wind op?

Newbury 4.10                        I’M A GAME CHANGER          4th 13/8F         (7/4 Lads + BetFred) 

Every chance from two out but well beaten. Looks a chaser in the making.