An imperfect set of betting selections from me last weekend (A fourth and a third so sorry, but it’s certainly never my intention to let anyone down), but that is the nature of the beast and why they call it gambling I suppose? Whether we saw above average Guineas winners last weekend is very much open to debate and will remain so until the form is tested (first stop the French 2000 Guineas when Guineas fourth Shifting Power is all set to take part), but I can’t say it looked that good from the stands. When you can throw a blanket over the first few home they are either a) all top class or b) al as bad as each other – you do the maths lol! In my opinion I am one of the few refusing to find excuses for runner up and 2000 Guineas favourite Kingman who had every chance and looked to hit a flat spot a quarter of a mile or so out, and as the winner came from the same side of the track and forfeited a couple of lengths or so veering across the track, he may well be the better animal on the day at least.
On Sunday it was the turn of the ladies as the fillies fanned out across the track in the 1000 Guineas but again, did we see a class winner in Miss France I wonder? She did quicken up nicely I suppose but with some of the better fancied horses disappointing big time I am even more worried about the form (the time was a good deal slower than the 2000 Guineas as well), and I will be looking to lay some of these at silly prices in the months ahead until something tells me otherwise.
The other big news this week had to be the appointment of Kieren Fallon as joint stable jockey to Saeed Bin Suroor aka Godolphin. I have no beef whatsoever with Kieren and have been told by many pundits wiser than me that he is the best there is (leaving nothing to chance in the big races), but it would be fair to say he has a chequered past in the sport. Why the Dubai ruling family would follow up the steroid scandals with what many will see as a risky appointment (allegedly) is beyond me, or perhaps he is a 100% reformed character – we can but hope so for the sake of the sport we all love? Poor Silvestre De Sousa claimed to have found out he was affectively job sharing via the television which is very unlike the well oiled Godolphin machine and if they are reading this, I will happily chuck my hat in to the ring for any PR work to make sure everyone knows what is really going on before us media do!
Finally before we look at this weekend coming, I have just been watching the Oaks and Derby trials from Chester before heading off to the Far East for their racing (more of that next week) – so what did we learn? The betting certainly suggested that Bright Approach and Terrific were the ones to be on ahead of the Oaks trial on Wednesday but third and fifth were the best they could manage though it has to be said the Gosden filly took a place after a kid gloves ride from William Buick and I am positive she will improve for the race, and with a bit more assistance from the saddle when the chips are down. As for the Chester Vase, I would be equally amazed if that has much bearing on the Derby after Ballydoyle scored with Orchestra who is clearly a nice sort (Ryan Moore was pretty gentle with him in my opinion even if he did only just hold on), bit with Australia and perhaps Geoffrey Chaucer in the same stable I would be taken aback if we even see him round the twists and turns of Epsom – so not a lot learnt to be honest
Looking ahead, we do have a couple of other trials to look forward to from Lingfield Saturday afternoon, though Ron and I cover them both in the podcast so why not have a listen to see if we can find the winners, but my bets will be elsewhere to avoid duplication. At Ascot the rains appear to have arrived in time for Harris Tweed ahead of the 2.40pm where he can use his liking for the underfoot conditions and fitness advantage over some to score for trainer William Haggas. His last run over two miles was simply too bad to be true and if we ignore that race he comes here with every chance where he could outstay most of his rivals– a risk I am willing to suggest taking in the circumstances.
Secondly (and lastly – I hate being too greedy), have you noticed yet that Kieren Fallon heads to Thirsk Saturday evening for five rides with Famous Kid for his news boss in Saeed Bin Suroor. A son of Street Cry, he looked worth following when fourth behind Basem in the Wood Ditton at Newmarket and with that run under his belt he ought to prove too good for these even though his Derby entry could be a touch optimistic!
Selections this week:
Harris Tweed 2.40pm Ascot Saturday
Famous Kid 8.10pm Thirsk Saturday
Horses to follow:
Horsted Keynes – always seen as a late develop connections hope he will be even better as a four year old. He started well enough with a comfortable victory at Yarmouth last Tuesday but was blowing hard enough after the race to suggest there is improvement to come despite the fact that the seven furlongs that day were covered in an impressive 1.m 23.44 seconds, 0.16 quicker than standard!
***No Current entries***
Between Wickets – ran a blinder at a big price when runner up to the impressive and well backed Provident Spirit, and just like all Tregoning horses the son of Compton Place looked certain to improve considerably for the run. I doubt he is special but he ought to be more than capable of picking up his maiden if well placed by connections as seems most likely.
***Runner up last week but sure to win a maiden soon ***
Tominator – back in training at the Jonjo O’Neill yard they are very happy with him and he looks a picture – expect a few wins this season with the Chester Cup very much on the agenda.
***No current entries***
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.
***Entered Dante Stakes 15th May Saturday***
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 ***
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!
***Entered York 14th May***