Showing posts from June, 2016

Chasing losers

In an avalanche of follow-them-over-a-cliff misguided loyalty, my early season flat profits have been largely eroded. Royal Ascot was a shocker. The one bright spot was Profitable about whom I have been on the right side of the argument in his three wins this season. He obliged on a stunning opening day in the King’s Stand. That was it. Nothing else. Part of the trouble was backing a few near misses in the preceding weeks. Encouraged by selections that ran well on the undulations of Epsom Downs, I pretty much blindly backed Architecture in the Ribblesdale (left her race behind in The Oaks), Haalick in the Jersey (outclassed at that level), and Make Fast in the Sandringham (possibly unlucky). Other ill-judged Ascot allegiances included sprinter Suedois in the Diamond Jubilee on the basis of a good run in the Duke of York; Muntahaa in the King Edward VII after an impressive maiden win; and most woefully, Pallasator in the Gold Cup after his Henry II Stakes win on good ground

Four blokes at the Oaks

I’ve now been in every enclosure at Epsom racecourse. Granted, as bucket list-ticks go, this would rank a little below hang-gliding down the Grand Canyon or slamming a Ferrari around Silverstone. But then again I’m not very good with heights and I don’t drive.   Ladies Day at the Derby meeting is a favourite day out and one with a rich history for the lads. Catching the Oaks card from the Lonsdale Pedestrians completed the nap hand at this fine track. The enclosure was a right bastard to find though. None of the stewards had a clue. First I went under the track via a foot tunnel, then sent left past the funfair and into a gravelly coach park. That was clearly all wrong. I retraced my steps and struck determinedly right, which was right. Eventually I snaked my way round the back of various pavilions and found the entrance that was no more than a gap in the chain link fence, policed by a steward with a cash apron round his middle. Very low tech. I put away my contactless credit card

Awtaad joins illustrious entries at Royal Ascot

With next week’s events at Royal Ascot already looking likely to feature one of the highest quality fields in recent history, with a record number of overseas entrants taking part, the further announcement that Awtaad will be joining the list of names will certainly only increase expectation among race goers. The Irish 2,000 Guineas winner will take part in the St James’ Stakes, with trainer Kevin Prendergast hopeful of further success, 40 years on from his Irish Guineas victory with Northern Treasure. Awtaad will be joined in the race by Zonderland who is fresh off the back of an impressive victory at Sandown, and the duo will be looking to cause an upset by finishing ahead of current race favourite The Gurkha. As shown by the odds at, the Aiden O’Brien trained horse is ahead of Galileo Gold and Massaat in the racing odds, having won the Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Deauville in only its third ever competitive race. With over 160 international entries desce


I’ve been watching rather more flat racing in recent weeks than I might normally expect at this time of year. (Where have all those Summer jumps fixtures come from the last few weeks? Bizarre!) This culminated in a rather splendid four-timer on Temple Stakes Saturday which included Profitable in said feature race at 9/1, followed by Mobsta over in Ireland on his favoured soft ground, whom I screamed home at 16/1.   Don’t give me that aftertiming twaddle. This is not a tipping site. You’ll just have to take my word for it. If you want provenance, Profitable was put up in a handy little guide of 60 unexposed types I purchased from Picks From The Paddock  in April. I shortlisted a few that I liked the look of. Profitable aside, the rest have either run like dogs or started at 5/4 and ridiculously shorter still. I’m ahead here though. Together with the Palace House Stakes win at the end of April, the Clive Cox improver has paid handsomely for the guide and a few other bets as we