Good evening from the Major who writes to you from a sticky humid Worcestershire, hot stinking conditions, motorcycles opening up their throttles on the road, a suffocating coat that clings to you. Ah, for a cold shower and sleep.
Tomorrow I ride for London and may well meet a few old friends in the city and imbibe a few refreshing drinks, that might shake the malaise.
It did not help that the blog performed so badly today. We hit a few places at decent prices but it was all a tad soggy chips.
To make matters worse, in a case of atrocious after timing, I had several cover bets as the day progressed and struck gold with a GM Hopkins and Osaila double which swelled funds magnificently.
About this moment, I imagine you are cursing the sermon, Ah Major! Why must you stoop to such low levels….. I agree, I can be a bastard at times.
What an unbelievably complex society we live in. Do you ever sit and wonder about it? I did on Tuesday, in view of the fact that Gok Wan takes up an uncomfortable amount of time, I carried a New Scientist magazine which speculated on what would happen to a hundred human babies on a desert island. As interesting the estimates were, running down the side of the page was a potted history of the earliest evidence we have of humans using various technology and tools.
I shall pose to you know as a thought exercise. Shoes, Art, Jewellery, Cooking, Agriculture and Religion. Go on, write down your order, see how you do, it is only you and me. Answers below.
To the sports.
Thursday Royal Ascot Tips
There is a bit of water going on overnight and a good thing too. I am all for allowing the firmer ground animals to enjoy their conditions but you ideally want enough give that some of the stars participation is not jeopardised. You might think this a bit unfair, surely the firm ground beasts who float across the surface with hooves barely kissing the ground, they deserve their day, n’est pas? Well yes. Yet I want the ground to be as inclusive as possible and so good to firm is as firm as we should get.
I know it is harsh but you cannot reverse rainfall, if it goes heavy, there is no magic bullet to take the moisture out. If there were, I would want it used in the same way. There should be an optimal ground that Ascot aims for.
We kick off with the Norfolk, a Group 2 sprint for the juveniles. I would love to find an alternate but King of Rooks looks an absolute banker at evens for any accumulator. I mentioned on yesterday’s blog that Buratino was the most impressive winner of the week for me so far, he had plenty in hand in winning what looked like a perfectly good Coventry. Since King of Rooks has form tied in, I have to back him while the evens lasts. Bet like you mean it.
The Tercentenary is not as straight forward. Stouts entries have to be noted in this race and Disegno is attracting support tonight. That might partly be due to the presence of Moore up top who is on fire this week. There is still some 8/1 and I would not put you off. The form is OK against some listed types and good ground will undoubtedly suit but the strongest advert for the chances is the vibes, money is coming for a yard that has won this several times in the last decade and it seems, if you trust the money, Disegno’s intended target all along was this. Either that or it is Pricewise and I am too lazy to check that.
He is second-rate anyway, yes he might be more accurate but does he tell you whether humans made jewellery or shoes first. No, a decisive no.
Anyway, I am backing a Dubawi colt, bred from a Dansili mare. Time Test has impeccable blue blood connections to make the Queen blush. He made a mockery of a mark of 93 on handicap debut and looks well set to make it two from two for the punters. 5/2 Paddy Power.
Jim Bolger is generally a trainer I trust and so the fact he plunges Pleascach straight from Guineas success to a mile and a half should be something I can take in my stride. Nothing about her excellent Guineas win would suggest that she cannot make a step up in trip but at Ascot as well, I don’t know, it just seems a lot to ask. She is the class miler, is she the class middle distance horse? Breeding says it is OK but this is a step up.
There are two I would oppose with. Firstly, Curvy has been a different beast this year. She has won a pair of handicaps and took the step up to group company well enough when having a good colt in behind her. O’Brien has his string in excellent Ascot order and I would encourage you, if these were your original thoughts.
My mind though is straying the John Gosden way to the entirely unexposed Gretchen. She is one of five Galileo fillies in the field and is surely a decent sort in the making. There is a lot of assumption but Gosden does not roll that many dice and having plunged her into a good maiden which she won, perhaps this leap in class is not beyond her. 9/1.
The Gold Cup…. Forgotten Rules is unbeaten and is likely to be shorter than the 11/4 about now, particularly if some of the early favourites have gone in at Ascot. The watering has come at the right time for the horse and Weld must have hopes of taking the top race on consecutive days.
Mizzou won the Sagaro here which is reassuring course experience and decent form to boot. He is a Galileo sort and has enjoyed a rattling surface before so makes an excellent each way bet to nothing.
I would think that an accident with the watering is the only thing to bring Simenon and Tac de Boistron into calculations.
Forgotten Rules is a lovely looking sort, so classy and not bottomed out either. It is hard to bet against him but I believe the conditions and the extra experience of Mizzou make the 11/2 with Paddy Power a price too large. I am sorry Forgotten Voice.
The Britannia, 5pm. Portage, the Godolphin ‘god only knows’ string is my pick at 11/1 Betway (if you can hold your nose, 10/1 else). If you watch the three races of his career, all you see is a horse prepared for a major handicap win. I am sure it is true of several others in the field but Godolphin have a very good record in Ascot handicaps and the money is telling. Keep things simple.
The lucky last, the King George V. Dissolution is the Stoute representative and although he has not won this race for a few years, he has a fine record in it overall. I have to back it, although you might find the number of favourites I am suggesting, unpalatable; I cannot help this, I speak as I find. Anyway, his form is tied in with Time Test so you might know your fate early on.
Courage, roll the dice.
By the way, as I recall it goes…
Oldest to newest… Cooking, Shoes, Agriculture, Jewellery, Art, Religion. I might have this wrong and will check for tomorrows sermon!