What a tardy state of affairs, the Major is unable to wish you a good morning as following an evening of debauched entertainment, I arose later than usual and stopped for a hangover-busting breakfast in Cheltenham.
Thankfully, the co-op sold me the last of their Racing Posts and sitting now in Cheltenham, I am able to bring you a few selections for the Saturday Service.
Yesterdays 14/1, 5/1 and evens selections finished down the field, 2nd and 1st respectably, not too shabby an effort. The 5/1 second traded as low as 1.17 on Betfair which shows just how close we were…
I hope your war chest is brimming, let us take the fight to the enemy who is reeling like the Nezs Perces, being driven under our heavy barrage. Draw up the heavy horses, go in tight formation and let us see the whites of their eyes as we run him through with our lancepoint, expertly poised. Let not the blood drip to your glove young charger.
The King George
You never get too big a field in the King George and what this card lacks in quantum, it more than makes up for in quality. Richard Hannon suggested that the winner of the Sussex next week between Frankel and Canford would decide on the best miler in the world. The MAjor feels a little the same here, are we not deciding on the best middle distance horse on the planet?
The contenders all have their own fantastic back stories. Regular readers might be wondering why this is not a shoe in selection for Workforce who the Major has backed religiously, let us start there.
I think Workforce will be beaten today. Why? I am not sure small fields are his thing and if he has to lead again, I suspect he will be mown down in the way that So You Think managed in the Eclipse. Workforce was last years beaten favourite and was the first BF in this race for many years. On paper I think he is the best horse in the race but I am just not convinced race conditions, in which I suspect he will be left to lead when Debussy fades, will suit.
St Nicholas Abbey is starting to show why AP O’Brien held him in such high regard early in his career. While the classic year may have been bitterly disappointing, his return as a four-year old has been impressive. On straight form, the Major thinks he has something to find with the other main protaganists though and this was one for the line.
Nathaniel is very well bred and did well to cause Treasure Beach trouble at Chesters tight course. Treasure Beach went on to frank the Chester Vase form at Epsom with a one paced but staying on 2nd to the brilliant Pour Moi in the Derby. His Royal Ascot win was exceptionally eye catching and in receipt of 10lbs from the four year olds, this colt who missed the derby may play a big role. The fact he was supplemented at a cost of £75,000 is a tip in itself, given that Gosden is not one to take speculative punts. Highly regarded at 7/1.
Rewilding is a Godolphin star and seems to be getting better and better. Mowing down So You Think over 1m 2f was no easy feat and if in that spirit, I think he might be the one to beat. It is some time since Godolphin were dominating the King George but this is exactly the type of horse that they can do it with. He has really improved with age and in Frankie, you have a jockey who is cute enough to control the pace to his favour in these small fields. When you have over 100 Group 1 victories, it is not often a younger jockey (Buick on Nathaniel or JP Obrien on St Nic) will challenge too early.
There you are, the Major fancies 10/3 Rewiliding and 7/1 Nathaniel and overall I am going to side with Nathaniel. I advise you to take Bet365 up on their 7/1, go each way and they are paying a third odds for second spot, well done chaps!
I just think that this was the Derby winner who never ran in the derby. He has improved tremendously to Royal Ascot so we know he will go on this. In receipt of a handy allowance, I am willing to chance that Nathaniel has the gears to get the job done.
Should be an absolute cracker.
2.40 Ascot Princess Margaret Juddmonte
The first two in the market are where all of the early betting is at. Russelliana was a runner up in the Cherry Hinton which is clearly the tightest form on offer, I do wonder if this evens shot is vulnerable though.
There is no doubt she is a super filly for Sir Michael Stoute but there are a couple of maiden winners here that look eye catching themselves.
Second in the betting at 2/1 is Regal Realm, set to be ridden by the excellent Jimmy Fortune. Her Newmarket win has been franked by plenty of good form from the horses she had in behind and this Cheveley horse can play a part.
My selection though is the less fashionable sort, Angels will Fall for Hills and Winston. The way in which she won her Windsor debut was superb. Needing racing room, she muscled her way out and had enough in the tank to burn the field off. That looked very credible as a piece of form and on debut it showed a real willingness for the fight.
This is a complete hike in class but at 7/1 (Sportingbet), I suggest a slice.
Lastly, from the heights of group racing, I take you to the Class 5 Maiden at Salisbury.
Best in Show is a horse that has been strongly backed on both maiden defeats. Clearly the stable think something of this Exceed and Excel colt but we have not seen it yet. Would not be a surprise if the penny dropped on the third time out but not for the Major.
The current joint favourite catches the eye, 7/4 shot Gerfalcon. Entitled to improve beyond debut, this Hawk Wing colt is likely to be involved. That said, I suspect the best from this one will be over further and probably next year so ruled out. This despite the fact that Martin Dwyer makes the trip from Ascot for just this ride, interesting.
Loxton Lad at a huge 14/1 is of some interest. The progeny of Lawman are running well and although the debut run was poor, he might be a different proposition here.
The selection though is Dutch Rose. Dutch Art colts love this sort of race and Ralph Becketts charge came second in a warm debut overcoming a tough draw. 7/4 is a tasty price, have some.
Tonight may your dinner be exotic. Take an interesting sort who can hold a decent conversation. Allow the wine to flow, a nice Chablis should do it. At carriages be civil, watch for that hint of recklessness in her eye.
Good luck and roll those dice……