Good Evening from a glorious Worcestershire that carries none of the closeness of the previous night, the land basks under a marvelous summer evening.
Today was golf, along the front nine, the overcast conditions and warm air were pleasant and I had plenty of opportunity to explore the full parkland site on which Tewkesbury Park is set. Along the back nine, a few moments that bought a smile, dropping my 7 iron tee shot into the middle of the tenth hole was one. The tee is a good height above the green and it makes for a fun shot. It is a tricky thing dropping mortar fire accurately from height.
I scored badly in the end but was satisfied with the day. Just below the course, which by the way, affords excellent views across to Bredon Hill (a horse as well you know), the Black Mountains and Cleeve Hill, under which our beloved Prestbury Park resides…. is a very significant historic battlefield. The Battle of Tewkesbury, a key fixture in the War of the Roses, was a fifteenth century dust-up between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. The Prince of Wales lost his life along with a few thousand others.
My racing notes are submitted for your delectation, the Lancastrians suffered from a terribly judged ride. Having been ill-used on a hot march the previous day, they failed to cross the Severn at Gloucester and marched up river and camped overnight at Tewkesbury.
By contrast the Yorkists enjoyed a superb toe into the race and arrived at the business end very fresh. Their leaders were mere youths, many teenagers but damned experienced.
The Army of the House of Lancaster positioned themselves with the Avon and Severn at their rear, foolish. York ensured their left flank was defended effectively with a deployment of mounted guards to cover the open woods.
The ground ahead was poor stuff and with some break, the gunners had their chance to make a mark. Since many of Lancaster guns had been left behind for expediency of speed on the previous days forced march, York had several advantages. They used these well, arrows and shot raised panic amongst the Lancastrians and all good order was lost. In an attempt to flee and cross the river, many souls were cut down remorselessly by the Yorkists in the meadow below the golf club, the Bloody Meadow…. now that’s a spot I don’t fancy losing my ball to.
With the prospect of the big game on the horizon (Japan), I am heading straight for the Friday tips. Do you know, Tokyo is on the list of must visit cities… alongside Moscow. Interesting, not really, travel enthusiasts are such a bore.
Friday Ascot Tips
Thursday… ah Thursday. The strike rate dropped, I was more wrong than right but still a profit was returned with Bracelet getting her well-bred 12/1 assets together when it counted. Good but not glorious.
As long as Japan win, my bank has a healthy glow to it. Japan. What am I doing.
The Albany is a head scratcher but I am going to take Wesley ward at his word… If he has better horses over for Ascot than Hootenanny…. and one of them is Sunset Glow then surely… surely is wins the Albany? Now it is a leap of faith and a few throw away words do not a gamble make. Yet, I cannot help but admire, as well as be thankful, how he brings a good string over.
In the Wolferton, I like Dick Doughtwylie but suspect he needs a bit more juice under foot. It is a shame as John Gosden is in fine fettle. I also like Just the Judge but not only does Charles Hills have a poor Ascot record, he is not in the best recent form either.
I like Cafe Society a lot. He will be fine in conditions and given he exchanged hands for a third of a million this week, you would think that the new astute owners would be expecting some early returns.
Yet if you like Cafe Society, you have to be on Bold Sniper, – 5/2,The Queen was perhaps unlucky to lose the gold Cup yesterday when Estimate gave her all and just came short to Leading Light who has an excellent strike rate and is starting to look a touch classy. My tip is a bit lightly raced and has looked awkward at times but has shown superb class handing weight and a beating to Cafe Society. Have a slice.
Then the King Edward VII Stakes – Adelaide is being well supported and you can see why having easily won his race at the Curragh, moving up and commanding well. Western Hymn brings the Derby form which looks good but I am not convinced he will like the ground, I think he has the class mind as he had a shocking fight down the hill, shoulder barging away. Snow Sky was scratched from the Derby following injury and who knows what was expected?
The ground is an issue for a lot of these in my view and the two I am settled on are the Galileo (his can go on anything!) aforementioned colt Adelaide and the selection Miners Lamp who has an excellent strike rate, takes to his racing well and has a Newmarket win which looks very tidy indeed.
The the feature Coronation Stakes. I do like Rizeena, in a funny way she reminds me of Long Run, what possible connection I hear you cry… well it is a physical one, she looks the leggy sort, almost spider-like at times… She likes the firmer conditions enough but I do worry that the way she slaps her legs down, it cannot be the best for her, despite that her form has been excellent, I particularly likes her Prix Morny run.
Richard Hughes won this race with Sky Lantern last year and in many ways Lucky Kristale is a similar sort of prospect and is no 201 shot. Sea The Stars is in full cry now as a stallion and My Titania is sure to win a race in this grade, is this it? Olivier Peslier takes over on Lightening Thunder who has sterling form in behind Miss France in the Guineas.
Christ… it is tough. I am steered by the winners of this race being near the head of the market. My Titania gets the nod at 9/2 with Paddy Power. She has been skillfully handled and can add to the growing stud reputation of 2,000 Guineas, Derby and Arc winning superstar, Sea the Stars.
Hartnell wins the Queens Vase… Although have at least a few shekels on Anglo Irish at 40/1… Gosden second string I know but come on…
Horsted Keynes wins the last with draw and ground on side.
Courage, roll the dice.