Good Evening from the Major who writes from a Worcestershire scene that has eased from a syrupy thick air to a pleasant airy late evening. I sit with the windows wide open, the Goldfinch content, their rapid trills and occasional harsh tone carrying on the breeze, coming in staccato their wondrous communication sweetly fills the ear.
The earlier close turgid weather rather sullied a fine day in our Capital on business. The Major had meetings, those meetings went well, the city looked as glorious as it can in the mid Summer. New construction signals the funeral of our economic malaise; great spires of newly erected concrete and steel, shimmering with confidence and investment, bursting from the ground, propelling themselves skyward with vigorous ambition, it is majestic and imperious. Something about these fledgling skyscrapers; the anticipation of their completion, it thrills me, a childish response and what more could you want dear reader than that? To be taken back to how you felt as a child, we are but sparks from the fire, growing dimmer and to be returned, ah just for that moment, to feel the heart flutter. I had the pleasure of the same feeling later in the afternoon, stopping to buy football stickers for number two sons’ panini album.
Tuesday at Ascot was not that bad, 2 winners from 6 at 13/2 and 6/1. OK, Night of Thunder got beat despite my protestations and I must accept the version of events that my eyes witnessed, Kingman is the best miler of his generation. Accepting error improves your gambling, it is easier to do in defeat than in victory, I shall let you ponder that thought and may return to it at some future Saturday Sermon.
My NAP landed though, 13/2 (advised) The Wow wowed us and was not unbacked, was that the Majors influence, I shall leave that for your own judgement. Toranado was a hugely popular winner with Hughsie steering him later down the outside to clinch victory. Sole Power delivered a power packed performance and was a hugely popular winner having been backed into 3/1. What a great time the people there must have had, the sun shone, the stars delivered. The sad loss of two horses cast a shadow but we shall not linger there, not tonight.
I am going to get straight into the Wednesday Royal Ascot card – I fancy catching some football and some sleep.
Wednesday Royal Ascot Tips
We start with the Jersey Stakes. A race that has in the last two years gone to Ballydoyle but hardly to their top beasts. No, that is not an angle. If you were struggling with the question earlier about whether the Major moved the Coventry market then I submit for evidence the following fact. On Wednesday, Great White Eagle is 25/1 for the Jersey, I held a 5/1 ticket for him to win the Guineas… yes…. let that sink in. This is not the place for refined punting, more blind lumbering desire but even the blind squirrel finds the odd nut and we are feasting of late my friends.
Muwarry looked good and despite not troubling the principles in the French Guineas field, his former work was promising. The Major though is opting for a slightly wilder card in French raider Redbrook – This is a classy looking set of genes and while his juvenile career was a little stilted, he is making progress now, winning a Longchamp listed event latest. They haven’t come for the superior food and drink you know. 12/1, with Paddy, have a serious slice. These Qataris, they really are a tremendous addition to high level ownership. They keep horses in the same yards, spreading the quality amongst the lesser trainers…. They are having a blinding week already and it could continue here.
Then the Queen Mary Stakes. A Group 2 for some of the speedster fillies and I like two near the head of the market. Hannon has two decent shouts but the fact that Hughsie has gone for the more experience Tiggy Wiggy gives her preference in my mind, although Moore has an unexposed type in Dangerous Moonlite who could be anything having won a decent little contest readily. Anyway, Tiggy Wiggy was one of my fancies, the other and the tip is the Lynam runner, Anthem Alexander who is a 4/1 shot and a bit of a hype girl. She absolutely hammered a reasonable field 7l over this minimum trip at Tipperary. Beware the American raider, Spanish Pipedream – We know the yards excellent Ascot record.
Straight after that Treve wins the Prince of Wales at 1/2. Take as much 4/6 as you can and then take as much 1/2 as you can. How much liquidity can you shake? Speak to your money man and free up some of those international assets, this is not a time to mess about. Courage.
On to the Duke of Cambridge – I have always thought that Ascot (especially with the crowd in full cry) is a tough ask for a racehorse. Fillies coming down the straight mile, their jockeys piloting them to the best ground or to track the best horses, you really need a level-headed sort of beast. As such, I have eyes for one girl only, Sky Lantern. She has already won the Coronation Stakes here and despite coming last in the Hong Kong Mile, I think she is in with a tremendous chance. Integral looked an awkward sort in the Dahlia not wanting to work with Ryan Moore but was not far behind Sky Lantern at Newmarket. That was in the Sun Chariot off level weights and Sir Michael Stoutes’ girl gets a 5lb pull here. I don’t care.
The Royal Hunt Cup is the penultimate race on the card. There was loads to like about Abseil at Chester, coming from deep to win well and he looks one of the most interesting runners having his best days ahead. There is quite often a turn up though in the Hunt Cup. Christ, so many possibilities… I want one drawn high, weighted 8-7 to 9-3… It is loose the reasoning but that is not a bad profile to go with. Belgian Bill, previous winner? Sea Shanty for Her Majesty? Field of Dream would have been prepared for this well by Osborne with a stellar record in the race… interesting. In the end, I have sacrificed my high draw requirement for one I really like. I am hoping that Jim Crowley, hero of last years Oaks with Talent, can track nicely across on Niceofyoutotellme, 20/1.
The Sandringham is as much as puzzle. Psychometry is a nice profile but in stall 1, will need some luck. This race normally goes to one at the head of the market and Muteela at 8/1 looks a great bet. Unbeaten, this Dansili filly may well have more to offer and we certainly know she likes a fight. Drawn 22, Hanagan hopefully checks her, tracks across and delivers on the line. I do not know if the Emirates see their racing interests as competitive. I imagine as the ego of man works that they do. Perhaps this will be a chance for Sheikh Al Maktoum to pull one back.
Courage friends, roll the dice.