Even I didn’t realise I had that much influence! Last week I write a small ticking off for the Channel 4 racing team, this week they announce the smallest television audience for the Epsom Derby in history – who would have guessed lol? Seriously though, we all have our own opinions over what they have right and wrong (and No, I don’t for a moment think the signing of Frankie Dettori is the answer), but a decent enough Derby field on as day prior to the World Cup (so no excuses there), and a lousy 1.5 million viewers – if we were advertising Postracing in the programme I would be asking for our money back!
Talking of the Derby (how seamless was that?), I happily tipped up favourite Australia who won pretty much as he pleased and could be called the winner a long way from home, though whether he is the world beater they claim is open to question and I will need a lot more proof. Ron disagrees with me but I think he was pretty green throughout (this was only his fifth career start), and the more I watch the race, the more convinced I am that he idled once he hit the front and heard the crowd, suggesting he is better than the bare form of a one and a quarter length margin over runner up Kingston Hill, though only time will see if I have that right – or hopelessly wrong as usual? Sadly, and we have argued this one before, the prize money here in the United Kingdom almost certainly means he is worth a whole lot more at stud than he could even dream of earning on the track, so I rather doubt we see him after this season unless he starts losing and has something to prove of course? Reported to be none the worse for a relatively easy race, he is likely to turn up for the Irish Derby next (why not – name me a serious challenger, it’s easy pickings), after which I would like to see a go at his elders in the Coral-Eclipse or Champion Stakes (good mile and a quarter form goes down well with the yanks), after which I predict a minor injury and we never see him again on the track – but I suppose business is business, and I can’t really blame them as some are rumoured to be down to their last billion!
The other big news this week was the refusal by the BHA to reciprocate the Pat Cosgrave ban dished out by the Dubai racing authorities – and I wonder what ramifications that could have all round? Anyone naïve enough to think the Godolphin boys are not represented at all levels in Dubai also believes in the tooth fairy, and it will be interesting to see if they take this as a personal sleight? I have no strong opinion on the ban one way or the other but do wonder if it will have a knock on effect on British jockeys riding over there in the future, and more importantly, whether I will still get my invite to the Dubai World Cup in 2015? Seriously though, this runs deeper than some think and the racing world needs to either a) reciprocate with fellow members decisions regardless and trust their judgement or b) throw out members they feel are not upholding agreed rules (such as in this case?) – but picking and choosing just makes the whole idea a laughing stock.
Looking ahead to the weekend (one winner out of two again last week and a profit to level stakes), and I have a couple of obscure ones I rather hope the great betting public miss among all the other races. At Bath of all places I am pretty keen on the chances of Cheerio Sweetie in the juvenile sprint due off at 4.20pm. A daughter of Captain Rio I am wary of the ground being too quick (but why enter her at Bath?), but am more taken with her form which saw her overtried in Class Two contests without success after a runaway debut win. I am worried that those experiences may have soured her a little but dropped back in class today to something far more realistic she may well try to make all and burn these rivals off within a furlong, and at a decent price as well with any luck?
For my other bet (more than two would be plain greedy), I will take a risk on Sir Michael Stoute’s Kings Fete, a well-regarded son of King’s Best (out of Village Fete – not a lot of brain power used up with that naming eh?), who ran a race full of promise when fourth to Second Step at Newbury, and only beaten a length. The first three home all had racing experience to fall back on that day which may well have made all the difference but with that race under his belt we should see a different beast in the 4.40pm at Sandown where the stiff finish over this mile and a quarter may be just what the doctor ordered?
Selections this week:
Cheerio Sweetie 4.20pm Bath Saturday
Kings Fete 4.40pm Sandown Saturday
Horses to follow:
Joyeuse – the mile of the 1000 guineas was clearly a step too far for the daughter of Oasis Dream but switched back to six furlongs she won with any amount in hand at Haydock. With her fillies and/or three year old allowance it seems certain that Lady Cecil will place her to good effect for the rest of this season and beyond, and with a bit of cut in the ground she seems certain to win more races.
***No current entries***
Rewaaya – word at the John Gosden yard is that she is better than we have seen so far and certainly Group class – be that here or possibly abroad as the three-year-old options start to run out. She was talked of as an Oaks filly so no great shock to see her win her maiden with ease at odds on but she still showed all the customary signs of inexperience and I am sure there is more to come.
***No current entries***
Horsted Keynes – always seen as a late developer, 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!
***Entered at Newmarket 12th July***
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.
*** Entered Lingfield 14th June***
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 in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Irish Derby ***
Idea – lightly raced three year old trained by Sir Michael Stoute and was said to be flying up the gallops since day one. Won after a poor run at Windsor when seen looking as green as grass and very much one to keep on the right side of – originally nominated by a Post racing reader! Since finished well beaten in a handicap at York before winning at Kempton but surely a bit better than that?
***No current entries ***