York Ebor Festival tips

Hello.

I hope to go to York to see the Juddmonte and Yorkshire Oaks this week. The Ebor Festival is a great four days of world class racing and actually made up my mind to retire. I kid you not. In 2012 I was going to go to York to see Frankel running in the Juddmonte. My superiors saw fit to arrange for me to interview job applicants on the very day, whilst skiving off on their own summer holidays. Like the true professional I was, I did the interviews, missed the Juddmonte and never saw one of the greatest ever horses run in the flesh. I was not a happy bunny and made up my mind to pack in work the following year, since when I have gone racing all year round, seeing future Arc winner Golden Horn lose to 50-1 Arabian Queen and the great Postponed win as a champion last year. York in August is a great treat, with top Group 1 horses at the top of their game in midsummer.

Here are some tips for highlight races this week….

WEDNESDAY
Acomb Stakes….Group 3….7f….FLEET REVIEW….Aidan O’Brien 2yo with potential

Great Voltigeur Stakes….Group 2….1m4f….MIRAGE DANCER….excellent odds, tough to overcome Cracksman but latter may be vulnerable over distance here

Juddmonte International….Group 1 (British Champions Series)….1m2f….BARNEY ROY….logic points to top three in betting but my money may go on outsider Decorated Knight, or even My Dream Boat in first time visor; top class field throughout

THURSDAY
Lowther Stakes….Group 2….6f….HAPPY LIKE A FOOL….Wesley Ward’s filly may have more to offer after her Ascot 2nd

Yorkshire Oaks….Group 1 (British Champions Series)….1m4f….ENABLE….biggest cert of the week; if she has off day Coronet worth a punt

FRIDAY
Lonsdale Cup….Group 2 (British Champions Series)….2m….THOMAS HOBSON….impressed at Ascot, Willie Mullins trained

City Of York Stakes….Group 3….7f….JUNGLE CAT….last ran in Group 1, Gordon Lord Byron still a force

Nunthorpe Stakes….Group 1 (British Champions Series)….5f….LADY AURELIA….the one to beat, fillies allowance, but strategy important, could get reeled in by Battaash if too keen, and Profitable dangerous if recaptures top form

SATURDAY
Strensall Stakes….Group 3….1m1f….SOVEREIGN DEBT….top class for Ruth Carr

Gimrack Stakes….Group 2….6f….BARRAQUERO….tough call but high rating

The Ebor….Heritage H’Cap….1m6f….IVAN GROZNY….yes, a lottery but Willie Mullins will have prepared well, good odds

Good luck to one and all!
Thanks for reading!

Ripon….Great St Wilfrid….Sat 19th Aug

Hello.

Saturday sees one of the top Heritage Handicaps of the season, at Ripon, Yorkshire’s garden racecourse, such a lovely venue.
This year’s 6f sprint looks particularly strong, headed in the betting by Growl who regularly mixes it at Group level. But those highest in the weights rarely take this. Also, the last two furlongs at Ripon is quite undulating and doesn’t suit some sprinters. However, Pipers Note has won several times at Ripon and is expected to go well. Whereas the race is very much a lottery, there are several top class runners at very good odds. Well worth a punt on a couple I feel. The consolation race is equally competitive! And sun and the jazz band would be a bonus for me!

Tips for Ripon are….

2.05….Auction Stakes….Cl5….1m….COSA NOSTRA….ready to win

2.40….Silver Trophy….Cl2….6f….JACK DEXTER….top weight in consolation; class act here but Lexington Times a danger and Singeur interesting outsider

3.15….Great St Wilfrid Handicap….Cl2….6f….PIPERS NOTE….in form and loves the track; same goes for Out Do and suspect the very able Mattmu may outrun recent form

3.50….Ripon Hornblower Stakes….Cl3….6f….LAKE VOLTA….only 3 runners and any can win!

4.25….FilliesH’Cap….Cl4….1m2f….ALEXANDRAKOLLONTAI…. bit up and down but very able

5.00….attheraces H’Cap….Cl3….1m….TWO FOR TWO….Jamie Spencer aboard

5.35….William Hill H’Cap….Cl5….1m4f….SOLO MISSION….William Haggas and Tom Queally

Good luck.
I may need some!

Post races comment
Amazing win by Mattmu in the Great St Wilfrid at 28-1 for me, with Pipers Note 2nd.
Great run for 5th by Singeur in the Silver Trophy on the far rail, winning his own race clearly.
Solo Mission loked good, winning at 8-1, and Lake Volta looks to have terrific longterm potential for Mark Johnston, a 2yo to follow. So, big profits today for me.

But, racing can be a cruel sport. Mount Rock lost his life, as did the well loved Jack Dexter. Condolences to all connections, and, in particular, Mick Easterby and Jim Goldie, the latter having bred Jack Dexter and taken him to the heights.

Finally, a word for Tim Easterby, trainer of Mattmu. I’ve watched him for years, a true professional, a brilliant trainer, but so serious looking. He and jockey David Allan make a good pair. But today, well, I’ve never seen Tim smile so much or seem so pleased! He loved it, even making sure he got in a photo with Mattmu wearing the William Hill floral coat!

So, a great day’s racing, but a sad one too. Thanks for reading.

The King George


Hello.

After going to Thirsk yesterday, missing the first race, stupidly not backing Cosmic Sky, and losing lots, my attention turns to Ascot and York.
The King George Stakes may well be the most prestigious mile and a half race in Europe, with the best Group 1 horses at the top of their game in midsummer. Too many horses are ‘over the top’ on dodgy Arc ground in October? However, Ascot may be soft ground today. Because of that it may be a bit much to expect Enable to overturn the older horses today, despite her brilliance. I’ll take HIGHLAND REEL to win for the second year running but may have a punt on outsider MY DREAM BOAT who likes Ascot and, on his day, can beat anything. I’d bet on JACK HOBBS but he alwsys loses when I do! Terrific horse!

Tips today are….

ASCOT

International Stakes….Heritage H’Cap….7f….FLAMING SPEAR….hasn’t run for a while, may be set up by Kevin Ryan for this

King George VI and QE Stakes….Group 1….1m4f….HIGHLAND REEL….tough conditions today so needs tough horse, Jack Hobbs should like the ground

YORK

Sky Bet Dash….Cl2….6f….AL QAHWA…. may like conditions, has won here, Danny Tudhope now aboard for David O’Meara

York Stakes….Group 2….1m2f+….ALGOMETER….will like the ground but expect Mondialiste to go well, 2nd last year to Time Test

Good luck.

July Cup, Newmarket, Sat. 15th 

Hello.

An early blog for Saturday because I’m travelling down to the wilds of Suffolk before a short journey to Racing HQ for the Group 1 6f £500k sprint that is one of the great highlights of the flat season, namely the July Cup.

My money goes on last year’s winner (yes, I always bet on skippy speedster), LIMATO, who will have his work cut out against the 3yo Caravaggio, and Harry Angel, with their weight advantages. Nevertheless, Limato has a great chance if back to his best, as the Diamond Jubilee indicated.

As a gelding, Limato seems to get messed about a lot by both owner and trainer. Henry Candy runs him at anything from 5f to 1m, with his optimum now probably 7f. However, he has a brilliant turn of foot as shown by his 2nd place in the 5f Nunthorpe behind Mecca’s Angel and last year’s July Cup.

So, Caravaggio may carry all before him but the older horses, such as The Tin Man and Tasleet are class acts also.

A fabulous race to enjoy for true fans of racing.

Thanks for reading.

Post race comment

An exciting afternoon!

Limato saw off Caravaggio comfortably but the draw meant that Harry Bentley tracked a horse that slowed early rather than Harry Angel who got first run. He closed the gap to a length by the finishing line and looks back to his best after his recent muscle injury. Where to next, Henry? York would be excellent for me personally, but unlikely. No doubt Limato will look for a Group 1 7f. France beckons!

The Eclipse

Hello.

Today sees the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, named after perhaps the greatest sire of them all. It is estimated that 95% of thoroughbred racehorses are descended from Eclipse, well worth checking out on Wikipedia for race fans.

The Group 1 British Champions Series race itself is over 1m2f and brings together the Classic generation three year olds versus the older horses for the first time this season. For me, there is, as yet, no standout 3yo, except perhaps Barney Roy who won so well at Royal Ascot. However, whether he’ll stay the trip is unknown. For that reason my money goes on DECORATED KNIGHT who remains very progressive and who ran such a good 2nd to Highland Reel at Ascot.

My only other bet today goes on GOLDREAM who drops down a level to the Group 3 Sprint. He didn’t get a good run last time out but before that had run well, and progressively, this season.

Both bets each way.

Good luck.

Post races comment

First, good run from Goldream for 3rd after getting slowly away out of the gate.

Second, I think people will make too much out of the Eclipse. Ulysses is a good horse but…Barney Roy should have won if an outstanding 3yo. And, the race was messy, with Decorated Knight and, in particular, Cliffs Of Moher, suffering interference early on.
So, a brilliant finish to a close race, yes, but a great race that tells us lots, no.

Royal Ascot Day 5….tips

Hello.

A better day on Day 4 but just missed out on lucrative treble with Alpha Centauri losing by a neck. Onto the final day, with highlight of skippy speedster Limato in the big race. Henry Candy messes him about quite a lot. Hopefully, he’s recovered from injury and is 100%, although the July Cup may be a bigger target at Newmarket.

Tips are….

Chesham Stakes….Listed….7f….MASAR….sensible each way chance

Wolferton Stakes….Listed….1m2f….KHAIRAAT….worthy favourite

Hardwicke Stakes….Group 2….1m4f….IDAHO….classy performer at his best, only one prep run this season

Diamond Jubilee Stakes….Group 1….6f….LIMATO….the best but only one run in Meydan, after rain, muscle problems; needs to be fully fit, may be too soon, Tasleet a danger

Wokingham Stakes….Heritage H’Cap….6f….EASTERN IMPACT….fantastic race of usual suspects, Duke Of Firenze and Poyle Vinnie big prices; Danzeno a Group performer!

Queen Alexandra Stakes….Cl2….2m5f+….US ARMY RANGER….has the class, by far, if stays

Good luck.

Royal Ascot Day 1….tips


Hello.

Described by some as the Olympics of the glorious Sport Of Kings, Royal Ascot is five days of fantastic Group quality racing.
And five days of me glued to the box, betting copiously!
Being just in profit for the season so far, Ascot betting is crucial to my wellbeing!

Here are some tips….

Queen Anne Stakes….Group 1….1m….RIBCHESTER….the sensible bet but Deauville may well outrun his big price eachway

Coventry Stakes….Group 2….6f….BROTHER BEAR….favourite at good odds but open race

King’s Stand Stakes….Group 1….5f….GOLDREAM….on top form of late, good each way odds, with Lady Aurelia and Marsha obvious market leaders

St James Palace Stakes….Group 1….1m….BARNEY ROY….Newmarket rough ride and may overturn the impressive Churchill; suspect Thunder Snow could be top class and is well priced

Ascot Stakes….Cl2 H’cap….2m4f….YORKIDDING….very difficult race, excessive distance; he is in form and very tough

Windsor Castle Stakes….Listed….5f….DECLARATIONOFPEACE….worthy favourite, Black Orange huge odds

Good luck!

The Derby….Best Solution

Hello.

Well, with most of my bets going pear shaped recently….I blame it on the weather!

The Derby looks very open to me, no stand out star as yet among the colts.
For me, the best solution is BEST SOLUTION, impressive winner of the Lingfield Trial and a horse that should progress further.

Tips are….

Diomed Stakes….GABRIAL….any of the field could win
The Dash….DUKE OF FIRENZE….lightning quick at York, should go close; Caspian Prince enjoys Epsom and is big odds
THE DERBY….BEST SOLUTION….Cracksman should improve, and Permian will try to tough it out from the front early.

Good luck.

Post races comment

Another brilliant run from Gabrial, 2nd to Sovereign Debt for Ruth Carr.

And 3rd for Duke Of Firenze after winning last time at York.
But Caspian Prince does it again in the Dash at Epsom at 25-1!
What a sprinter! Thanks to Caspian and Tom Eaves who did brilliantly from the worst draw. So well deserved for an excellent jockey.

Staggering win by Wings Of Eagles at 40-1 in the Derby. Stunning last furlong ride by Padraig Beggy for Aidan O’Brien to sweep to comfortable victory. Fast run race. Perhaps stamina won over speed. Good prospect for St Leger.

York Dante Festival


Hello.

I head to York on Wednesday to see the Musidora, the trial for Oaks fillies, for the first time, but will probably, annoyingly, miss the Dante on Thursday, as I go south to visit my mother-in-law. Such is life.

Here are a few tips for the Festival.

Wednesday

Logistics Stakes….Group 2….6f….GROWL….such a top class field of sprinters; I hope Richard Fahey’s charge continues to progress, good price, many dangers including Brando

Musidora Stakes….Group 3….1m2f….SHUTTER SPEED….let’s see how good she is!

Thursday

Middleton Stakes….Group 2….1m2f….SO MI DAR….classy filly, should get back on track even though first time out

Dante Stakes….Group 2….1m2f….CRACKSMAN….chance taken, needs to progress after narrow win over Permian, Rekindling perhaps the danger

Friday

Yorkshire Cup (British Champions Series)….Group 2….1m6f….SIMPLE VERSE….top class filly who won St Leger, so consistent at top level

Good luck.

My 2016-17 jumps season

Hello.

So, how have I done with my betting over winter, compared to previous flat and jumps seasons? Well, I’ve been keeping week-to-week spreadsheets, alongside my tipping blogs, for several years now, with results as follows for all bets placed.

2014-15 Jumps season….2% profit
2015 Flat season….25% profit
2015-16 Jumps season….10% profit
2016 Flat season….5% profit
2016-17 Jumps season….17% profit

So, my best jumps season to date. Other trivia for 2016-17….

Race meetings attended….8 (Catterick 4 Kelso 2 Cheltenham 2)
26 winners picked including Cue Card and Special Tiara (both twice)
Most profitable winners….Arctic Fire 25-1 and Special Tiara 18-1
Favourite race live….shouting Arctic Fire home up the Cheltenham hill from the rail at the winning post
Favourite TV race….screaming Special Tiara home to win the Champion Chase
AND….any race with Cue card in it, though so nerve racking! What a star he is!
Other favourite horses….Menorah, Theatre Guide, Alvarado, Saint Are, The New One, Zarkandar

So, for anyone who reads or follows these blogs, thank you and I hope you love the sport as I do and that you don’t lose money!

But, I’d like to finish my last blog of the jumps season with a serious word or two.

The jump jockeys deserve huge respect and credit. On average, they fall from a horse, travelling at 30mph or so, once in every ten rides, with the possibility of tragic consequences to themselves and their families. They go to work each day followed by an ambulance and paramedics. That’s how dangerous the sport is!

The heros of the sport, for me, are the beautiful and athletic horses that give us so much pleasure. Watch them and appreciate them – they too love the sport and love jumping and competing, but at great risk. Every season we lose horses to the sport and I salute them all but would mention three special horses….

MANY CLOUDS….who battled to beat Thistlecrack before collapsing….a great Grand National and Hennessy winner
SIMONSIG….who was so keen to jump after a long lay off….a great loss of such a beautiful white horse with the potential for greatness
REVE DE SIVOLA….who jumped for fun, in the lead as usual, at Kelso before collapsing…. I went to Kelso especially to see this marvellous hurdler for the first time….a hugely upsetting loss

The brilliance of jumps racing is that we can follow marvellous horses for many years and we can imagine the greats running against each other….Denman versus Millhouse, Arkle versus Kauto Star, Sprinter Sacre versus Masterminded, Sea Pigeon versus Monksfield versus Night Nurse….yes, we saw those three greats, if you haven’t, try Youtube!

So, now, on to the flat season but….

I’ll relish the thought of Thistlecrack versus Sizing John, Altior versus Douvan and all the other stars next season!

Thanks for reading!