Saint Anthony and Velvet Vision run today and True Calling tomorrow ...

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The last day of Royal Ascot

Saturday, 23 June 2018

"In time of test, family is best."

Burmese Proverb.


It's the last day of Royal Ascot and neither Richard or I have done too well in the tipping competition. Let's hope we have saved the best until last. I am still slightly ahead but Ian, our resident bookmaker, will tally up the scores on Monday. Here are our selections for today.

2.30  Natalie's Joy    3.05  Crystal Ocean    3.40  Kessaar    4.20  The Tin Man    5.00  Growl    5.35  Fun Mac

2.30  New Winds    3.05  Cliffs Of Moher    3.40  Junius Brutus    4.20  Merchant Navy    5.00  Gilgamesh    5.35  Pallasator

We have two runners today and one tomorrow

Friday, 22 June 2018

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t."

Blaise Pascal.

Four Fifty Three and Roof Garden on the Cambridge Road Polytrack

It’s a blue sky morning once again with very little wind. It looks set fair at least for the next few days and that is what the forecasters are telling us. It might go right through until July. It’s certainly good if you are on holiday, although who needs to go away to warmer climes when it is just as hot here. With two lots of runners today we are a bit thin on the ground, but we have managed to work some on the Cambridge Road polytrack, which all went well, and the rest are getting a varied exercise. We have help from the stud in the yard which has been a good boost.

Topalova and Ginger Lady working second lot

We have two runners today, one on the flat at Redcar and one over hurdles at Market Rasen. Our runner at Market Rasen is Saint Anthony  who has shown very little so far on the flat and we have decided to give him a run over hurdles to see if that can inspire him in any way. He is a sound, lovely looking horse but, as yet, has not put his best foot forward. Whether it will be today or not we will have to wait and see. Alex Chadwick, who takes the ride, is very capable and I think will be turning professional shortly. Our other runner is Velvet Vision at Redcar in the 2.20, the mile and a quarter novice stakes. She has had a couple of runs so far, finishing second first time out then going on to win second time of asking. She has had a few little things which have held us up since, but she is ready to go again now and I expect a big run from her today. You can never tell how good the Godolphin runners are and the Mark Johnson horse won well on its only start, but he has had a long time off

We have one runner tomorrow here at Newmarket when True Calling runs in the 4.00, the one mile novice stakes. She has not run for quite a while, but is ready to have another outing. Her first effort was very encouraging but this is a much stronger race. I expect her to run well and improve greatly for the outing.

Walking back home

Day four of Royal Ascot sees me still ahead on the tipping front, although we have not starred once again in what has been a very tricky week. I think the only winners have been the bookmakers who must be living the 5 star lifestyle at present. Our tips are below.


2.30  Just Wonderful   3.05  Delano Roosevelt   3.40  Sioux Nation  4.20  Billesdon Brook   5.00  Broadway    5.35  Thundering Blue


2.30  Stillwater Cove    3.05  Wells Faarh Go    3.40  Main Desire    4.20  Threading    5.00  Betty F    5.35  Sir Chauvelin

Standings so far: MHT minus £87.50 and Richard minus £180.

Statue of the Queen in the sunshine

We are very lucky to have some real star jockeys riding today, although over history I am sure our jockeys of old could stand up in today’s world. With both Frankie Dettori and Ryan Moore achieving milestones yesterday at Ascot we have been able to witness history actually being made. They both have top yards to ride for and are usually on the best horses, but you have to be in the right place at the right time and have the strength, brain power and calmness to finish the job. Both these two have it in abundance and although Frankie is a PR man’s dream, and will be sadly missed by them when he eventually retires, we have, in Ryan Moore, a jockey nearly as good as Lester Piggot. I am not too sure where the next ones are coming from as the younger ones seem to me to be much bigger and struggle with their weight. I was delighted to see our champion jockey Sylvestre ride a winner yesterday as he is such a great example of what can be achieved.

Phil on Friday

Royal Ascot – such pageantry, such Britishness, such racing.

It’s reckoned that Royal weddings, watched by billions worldwide, give a huge boost to our tourism industry and inspire international admiration. Ascot does something similar every season and is doing so again this week.

 It was only a few years ago that the Guvnor and Mrs. T  rode in a carriage in the Royal Procession. What a day that was for them.

Queen Anne began the whole thing in 1711.  She was taking a carriage ride through Windsor Great Park, thought a clearing she had spotted might be ideal for racing, and it was bought for £558.

The present Queen, of course, is as much a lover of horses and of racing as Anne appears to have been. She was once quoted as saying, ‘If it were not for my Archbishop of Canterbury I should be off in my plane to Longchamp every Sunday.’ Apocryphal? Possibly, but still believable. Such enthusiasm was not always present with reigning monarchs however. Queen Victoria once wrote to her son, the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII:

“My Dear Bertie. Now that Ascot Races are approaching I wish to repeat earnestly and seriously … that I trust you will confine your visit to the races to two days, Tuesday and Thursday … Your example can do much for good and a great deal for evil …”

The Prince of Wales replied: “I fear Mama that no year goes by without your giving me a jobation [reprimand] on the subject of racing. The Tuesday and Thursday at Ascot have always been looked upon as the great days ... The other days are, of course, of minor importance, but when you have guests staying in your house they naturally like going on those days also and it would, I think, look both odd and uncivil if I remained at home … I am past 28 and have some considerable knowledge of the world and society … You will, I am sure, allow me to use my discretion in matters of this kind.”

He went to the meeting, with his full entourage, every day.

Good on ‘im I say.


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