Battered. Pummelled. Ragged. This is a tough week. Three winners from 24 races is too bad to be true.
Nathaniel was a bright spot in a wet scene yesterday. The only one. Two of the selections actually finished last!
Immortal Verse was brilliant in the Coronation Stakes. Blistering turn of foot. “I declare that this filly is the best I’ve ever had”, said trainer Robert Collet through his lovely interpreter, as well as slapping down interviewer, Rishi Persad for suggesting she had “a temperament”. The horse not the interpreter.
Last day of this marathon meeting today. Racegoers will be pleased to note that the course management have decided to lift footwear restrictions in the Royal Enclosure because of the wet conditions. So strappy Jimmy Choos out and 16-eyelet Doc Martens in, no doubt.
Fantastic card though. Several highlights. Inevitably, I feel obliged to lift my head from the canvas, squint through bloodied eyes and come out fighting one last time. Back for more punishment in some sort of ritualistic test of (mental) endurance and (financial) sacrifice.
And I’m feeling strangely bullish. Hallucinagenically confident. (Too much baileys on the porridge again? Thanks for that one Granny!)
Some of my better list horses are out today. Starting with the Hardwicke Stakes at 3.05, Laaheb although a fraction disappointing on his seasonal return, has winning form on good to soft and should like the ground today. In truth, Await The Dawn looks the one to beat and will be a short price, so my boy is a solid e-w pick.
The Golden Jubillee looks like a belter and Star Witness will be backed to go one better than Tuesday’s fast finishing 2nd in the King’s Stand. Delegator - special when winning at York last time – has just been withdrawn because of the going. I’m on my list horse Hooray who dropped back to 7f in an easy enough win at Epsom and looks well worth a try in this company at 6f on ground she’ll love. Another each way shout.
I would have been much more confident about Mick Easterby’s Hoof It in the Wokingham without the rain. He has some form on soft, but I’m not certain he’ll love it. I’m sticking with him on the basis of his confident win at York in May. Still on the upgrade and they love him at the yard.
Another list horse, Modun, goes in the Duke of Edinburgh. Stoutey’s had a quiet time this week, but here’s a very decent prospect to get him off the mark. Looked all class last time, but needs to oercome a 15lb hike in the weights and trip into the unknown on this ground.
The curtain comes down on the week with the longest race in the flat racing calender, the 2m6f Queen Alexandra Stakes. And I’m going with a jumping stable that knows all about getting one ready for these races. Deutschland from the imperious yard of Willie Mullins will get the trip and should eat up the ground. I’d have loved to watch Overturn try to make all from the front in this , but McCain has taken him out because of going concerns.
So, back to the front one final time this Royal meeting.