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Home / Racing / Yet another successful Ramsden, rain almost stops play, and an apology from me to you……..

Yet another successful Ramsden, rain almost stops play, and an apology from me to you……..

Apparently, I need to start this weeks ramblings with an apology as some people (well, one person) saw last week’s article as “condescending”, which is the absolute opposite of who I am as anyone who knows me will tell you – so if it read that way (and I can’t see it myself), then please consider myself scolded, though my writing style is part of me after all these years and I suspect, impossible to change.

Looking back at the week there was very little of earth shattering interest I could find to report though the fact that even Dubai had heavy rain really says it all about the weather and clearly not just in the United Kingdom. Meydan possibly provided the most informative entertainment this week to be fair and I was delighted to see Variety Club take the Group Three Firebreak Stakes by a comfortable two lengths. Anton Marcus rode the six year old for South African based trainer Joey Ramsden, who I was lucky enough to meet on a trip to Cape Town a couple of years ago.  If he was any more laid back he would fall over, but Joey clearly knows how to train given the right ammunition of course, and as a champion of both their racing and their breeding (Ron – it is so cheap to keep a horse in training over there, maybe one day, Post Racing -Cape Town branch eh, I’ll volunteer to be the manager lol?), it felt rewarding to see their champion mix it with the rest of the World and come out on top, and it will be interesting to see where they head with him next, and perhaps then we will get to see just how good he really is?

Looking ahead to the weekend and we have two fascinating days, but for very different reasons. Saturday sees the “real” racing from Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton (as things stand), while on Sunday the Kempton all-weather bumper card could see half the Cheltenham favourites out for a run to keep them race fit!  Although I will be watching with interest, I won’t be opening my wallet on Sunday (and if you do, best of British), but I will be having a couple of bets (at least) on the Saturday cards, and being a soft Southerner, they will both be at Ascot. Looking through the Sporting Life tissue to gauge some idea of early prices, and I am wondering if there is too much hype surrounding the ludicrously expensive Un Temps Pour Tout, currently suggested as the odds on favourite for the opening novice hurdle at 1.30pm?  We all know a hefty price tag is no guarantee of success in this game (ask some of the Sheiks!), and at the prices I prefer a small bet on 4/1 shot Irish Cavalier who has done nothing wrong all season with three wins from three starts. Admittedly, the clock suggests he has it all to do but as a front runner, those figures were chosen by his jockey if you see what I mean, and as dictating a sensible pace before kicking clear has worked so far, I can see no reason to try and fix it today with the excellent Barry Geraghty in charge of the steering.

David Pipe – has high hopes of Gevrey Chambertin

One horse I really like (if only the David Pipe yard were in slightly better form, though there have been signs of a recovery in recent weeks?), is Gevrey Chambertin who has a one from one record over hurdles this season but is expected to be even better now he tries fences for the first time. Backing a novice is risky, and a first time out one all the more so, but he has schooled brilliantly at home by all accounts, and as a full brother to Grands Crus high things are expected as he can add his brothers undoubted talent to his own more laid back temperament, and make his way near to the top of the chasing tree with the next stop the RSA Chase at the Festival if all goes according to plan.

Lastly for today, and I can’t call it a bet, how about a closer look at Two Rockers each way in the big handicap hurdle at 3.15pm. I agree with the odds makers that Heath Hunter has the best chance on paper but Alan King has had a torrid season and this now seven year old could still go close on his favoured heavy ground. Fitness is the obvious worry as it is for all the yard’s horses, but the facilities at home are more than good enough to get one ready if they need to, and at a double figure price I may well be tempted each way, depending on earlier results as always!

Selections this week:

Irish Cavalier 1.30pm Ascot

Gevrey Chambertin 2.05pm Ascot

Horses to follow: No recent amendments in this weather.


Lily Mars – one run in a bumper was enough to catch my eye and I feel she caught a tartar at Wincanton on her debut when she looked in need of the run. With that experience under her belt she ought to be placed to pick up a race, which should be enough to make us a profit.

***Entered at Kempton Sunday 2.00pm***

Rolling Star – a well-regarded young hurdler who won with any amount in hand at Haydock and seems certain to come on again for the run as per the Henderson yard this season

***Entered Newbury 2.35pm Saturday***

African Gold – a classy hurdler expected to be even better over fences, he rather let the side down on his chasing debut but is I am assured far better than that – he will win races over fences.

***No entries at present***

Opera Og – hopefully well handicapped off a rating of 117 (when last seen), the seven year old looked all over the winner at Bangor before fading badly to finish third. The lack of a run was clearly his undoing and with that run under his belt he should win next time out provided connections keep their sites lowered to a sensible level.

***No entries at present***

Champagne Fever – on target at home for the Arkle Chase, held in the highest regard and schooling well for Willie Mullins, likely to have Ruby Walsh in the saddle, what more can a punter ask for?

***No entries until Cheltenham at present***

Sire De Grugy – won as he pleased on his return and sure to improve considerably for the race for Sussex trainer and ex jockey Gary Moore.

***No entries until Cheltenham at present***


Mutakayyef – trained by William Haggas I had a quandary this week – do I or don’t I back the son of Sea The Stars? As with all the stable juveniles he was a shoe in to improve for the run but he is spoken of in glowing terms by gallop watchers in Newmarket. Fact is he ran as expected – slowly away, green as grass, and hampered as well, he will learn plenty from the experience and can be ignored at your peril.

***No current entries***

Freemason – a once raced juvenile owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing – Harbinger (a posh syndicate), he cost a whopping 150,000 Guineas so ought to be half decent – word is he is all that and more, so one to stay on the right side of.

***No current entries (unless you include the 2014 Derby!***

Idea – twice raced two year old trained by Sir Michael Stoute and said to be flying on the gallops. Won after a poor run at Windsor when last seen looking as green as grass and very much one to keep on the right side of – originally nominated by a post racing reader!

***No current entries***

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