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The horses do need to have a break ....

The tipping competition continues today and Saturday

Friday, 23 June 2017

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."

Russell Baker.

velvet_plus

(L to R) Gee Sixty Six and Velvet Voice

It's much cooler this morning in fact I've got my coat and hat on to keep warm in the breeze. Considering we have  two non-runners, a holiday maker and a poor hospitalised PA, the morning has gone remarkably well. The horses look absolute pictures as our two best turned out in the last two days have proved. We have had no rain as such and thank goodness for the invention of polytrack. 

the_heathman_looking_for_divets_to_repair

The heathman replacing divots

Our runner last night was a complete Jekyll and Hyde. There was a big crowd at Chelmsford last night, in fact the biggest I have seen there, and she was extremely well behaved beforehand. She was good to saddle, quiet in the parade ring and moved to post like a dream, but once asked to enter the stalls she turned into Mrs. Angry. She went in OK with a hood but then tried to get out underneath which caused her withdrawal. It's so frustrating. I will have a stalls test done on her as soon as we can, which is two weeks from the date of the problem.

The_Guvnor_washing_down_true_calling

The Guv'nor washing down True Calling

The gap in the tipping competition widened yesterday when Richard had the last winner. It's a great achievement to be plus after three days, but it's not over yet with two days to go and I only need one good priced winner to get back on terms. Our tips are below. As you know normally we don't do a Daily News over the weekend, but our Saturday tips will be up on this site tomorrow morning.


MHT

2.30  Clemmie  3.05  Crystal Ocean  3.40  Caravaggio  4.20  Winter


5.00  Belgravia  5.30  Wadigor  NAP

RICHARD

2.30  Fairyland  3.05  Permian  3.40  Harry Angel  4.20 Winter

5.00 Haripour  5.35  Sixties Groove  NAP

Yesterday Richard had one winner and is plus £12.50. Mark didn't have a winner and so, despite having placed horses which don't count, he is now minus £82.50.   

owl5

This Little Owl lives near the house at Dullingham 

I don't know if you were watching Ascot yesterday, but if you were a gambling man and seeing how the draw bias that was working earlier in the week, you would not have believed your eyes when it reversed completely yesterday. No matter what anybody tells you it is purely down to the watering and how it is applied. It is very hard to get it right and the clerk of the course is on a hiding to nothing whatever he does. So that is why in my opinion it is always best to let Mother Nature be in charge and then the ground will be what it should be naturally.

paula

Paula, the foster mare, seems to have adopted another foal

phil    Phil onFriday


The splendour of Royal Ascot continues unabated. No wonder the rest of the world envies our traditions, our pageantry, and the quality of our racing.

Two things were particularly intriguing on the first day’s TV coverage at least, though. With temperatures in, or approaching, the nineties, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in their carriage saw fit to cover their knees with a blanket – tartan, I think it was. Another tradition, I suppose. The second fascination for me was the trophies. In themselves they are magnificent, all beautifully designed and hugely valuable, as you might imagine, but they are not very big … for sheer scale they are dwarfed by the historic Kilkerran Cup, awarded for an amateur riders’ race up at Ayr.

Our former amateur Michael Jenkins ended his riding career, aged 58, by winning the cup on Lord Eurolink, a horse he owned himself at least in part. The trophy was so big he had to cough up £60 at the airport for excess baggage. Now that’s not going to happen to winning owners at Royal Ascot, is it. The final insult was that his wife lost £4 backing the beaten favourite! The winner’s prize, allowing for deductions (and travelling expenses), left just about enough to settle up with the airline.

That’s one of the stories Jenko recalls in his booklet An Idiot Aboard which, as reported a few weeks ago, he has followed up by helping fellow villager Mary Fritchley record her own remarkable memoirs in another small volume, Oh! Mary.

When Jenko ‘came from nowhere’, as the course commentator put it, to land that race at Ayr he was almost certainly the oldest licensed flat racing jockey to have won a race this century, and probably most of last. He rode four winners in his 15-year career in the saddle and later a horse was named to commemorate his feat – Four Miracles!

His booklet is full of humour, modesty and charm. “If anyone had said I was moderate I would have considered it a compliment”, he writes at the very beginning.

His first winner was Overpower at Yarmouth on July 1st 1997. It had taken seven rides and seven years to accomplish and came after a dreadful moment on the way to the start.  Jenko was unseated and had owner Michael Bowring and the Guvnor crouching behind a concrete pillar in the stands to hide their embarrassment. But Overpower and Jenko won and, as they crossed the line, the exhausted rider thanked God and told the Almighty “if he wished he could take me now.” 

Happily he didn’t as there were three more winners, and a lot of laughter, still to come Jenko’s way,  

There was the day he put up twenty-two pounds overweight and, confronted by the Clerk of the Scales, blamed his mum’s pies; he was heavily and personally, but quite innocently, involved in the Angel Jacobs scandal; and having been beaten in a Yarmouth race by the width of a cigarette paper was told by lead-up man Dario Jones: “If you’d spat on the back of his neck we’d have won a length!”

Racing does produce marvellous people and Jenko, with determination, ambition and sheer guts few could match, is well up there with them.

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