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Value for money and just 300+ wins to go for the payback!

Just two places from my Ascot suggestions last week but I walk away head held high – it is never the easiest meeting to find winners (unless you are Ron), but sits right next to Cheltenham for me – a challenge that has to be taken on year after year! Looking through the news from this week and those of us with anorexic wallets will have been amused to read of the winning Chantilly debut of Al Naamah who cost a mere 5,000,000 Guineas at the sales (it looks so much more impressive with all the noughts), winning a pocket money busting £14,166.67 which means all she needs to do is add another 370 similar pots to the old bank and her owners will finally be in profit (and that’s wit the better Gallic prize money)! Fact is that “normal” folk like us will always struggle while racing is a rich mans plaything (see football for another example), and that making a profit form owning a horse will never be easy – unless you buy sensibly, enjoy the hobby, and back them whenever they win of course.

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Simon Crisford – starting a new career?

As you may have noticed, Godolphin got in to the news again with the announcement that Simon Crisford is to take up training – which came out of leftfield and caught us all off guard. Previously an assistant to the likes of John Dunlop and Sir Mark Prescott, at least he can now do what I suspect he has always wanted to attempt, though it will be very interesting to see if the Dubai Royal family support him or continue as they are? Fact is the racing press seem to have failed to notice what I see as the demise of Godolphin this season (of course they will be back but this year seems to be a disaster), or perhaps they are too scared of the power they weald in the industry, but as they never shy away from the truth, why should I? Fact is they have only had the 40 winners so far this season in the United Kingdom and although there is a long way to go, last season’s 170 winners must seem a long way in the distance and is a barometer that proves they are NOT having a very good year despite all the changes.

Last week I promised a quick chat about the dreaded whip and I know I will be stirring up the proverbial hornets nest. Despite others arguments (cue e-mails), I sit firmly in one camp – if a jockey gets suspended for over use of the whip, or lifting it too high, then I feel the horse should be disqualified as well – and no, I am not talking through my wallet for a change! If we acknowledge that a breach of the whip rules is “cheating” and thus gaining an advantage not available to the other jockeys (who stuck within the rules), then how can that advantage be allowed to be of benefit? It may be a rare occurrence but it does happen, and with the jockeys percentage for winning a big race potentially more than their losses via suspension, the temptation must be there – all I am saying is why don’t they remove it?

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Tim Easterby – not in top form but a great chance with Short N Sweet?

Rant over, and looking ahead to the weekend and I can’t see past Australia for the Irish Derby – he won at Epsom like a good horse and has more improvement to come and although he has scared off most of the opposition, that’s what often happens when a class act comes to town. His odds make him pretty much unbackable for us normal folk so it’s off to Newcastle for both my suggested options. Interestingly, the Tim Easterby yard are hardly on fire with just the five winners from 66 runners in the past fortnight (correct at the time of writing), but I do like the form of Short N Sweet ahead of the maiden at 1.35pm. Clearly unfancied by her shrewd yard when sent off at odds of 20/1, the daughter of Showcasing was a length and a half second to the odds on Pres Rapide at York on her debut and I can tell you that the winner is held in some regard by trainer John Quinn who has her entered in the Nunthorpe! If that confidence is even remotely justified then a simple repeat of that run ought to be good enough here.

Personally, I think the Group Three Chipchase Stakes at 2.40pm is well below black type standard and won’t take as much winning as last year when the 110 rated Jack Dexter landed the odds. Saayerr is the highest rated contender this year off of 108 and with his three year old allowance looks to have been found a pretty straightforward opportunity by trainer William Haggas and based on his two year old form (he won the Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood), then he really ought to take this, though I would have preferred a better return to action than his fourth in the Free Handicap and perhaps another run since for full confidence?

Next week – the Durban July Cup from South Africa – guess where I am?

Selections this week:

Short N Sweet 1.35pm Newcastle Saturday

Saayerr 2.40pm Newcastle Saturday

Horses to follow:

Flat:

Toronado – could be absolutely top class and looked to ease up in front at Ascot in the Queen Anne Stakes for a cozy victory. Bound to improve again for the run he will be aimed at the top all aged mile events this season and will hopefully mop up and boost our profit margins!

*** Entered Sussex Stakes 30th July***

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.

***Entered Nunthorpe Stakes 22nd August ***

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!

***Second at Royal Ascot last week, 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. Beaten in to a place every race so far – surely a win is just around the corner?

*** Entered 3.55pm Chester Saturday***

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.

***Second at Royal Ascot last week, no current entries ***

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? Lost at Royal Ascot but that was a tough handicap, could add another win to the CV soon.

***No current entries ***

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