Diary: July 1 2006


Well old Further Outlook completed his three timer, not bad for an old boy of 12.  I am penning these notes before the evening racing but we had at least one list winner through Greek Renaissance.  It was good to see Marcus Tregoning get a winner after the tragic loss of one of his best horses during the week.


Dandy Nicholls used to train Further Outlook and the sprint king has two runners in the 2.45 at Newcastle.  I cannot choose between Ice Planet and Indian Trail.  The latter was extremely unlucky I felt in the Wokingham.


I do not have any really strong views on the Pitman’s Derby at 3.20.  Odiham and Dorothy’s Friend are the two that strike me as worth a second look.  Odiham does not actually win too often though and I will have my 10p each way on Roger Charlton’s Dorothy’s Friend who goes well on fast ground.


Coeur Courageux (3.55) was an expensive purchase for the D Nicholl’s yard and was considered group class at one stage.  Has shown little this term and has looked a bit of a tricky customer.  You can never rule Nicholls out in a sprint though.

  In Full Cry won his only start last season at Ripon and did enough on his reappearance at Sandown to indicate that he can win the 4.55.  

Trafalgar Day represents our list to follow in the 2.40 at Chester. His dam is related to Bandari.  He has had 3 runs to qualify him for handicaps and makes his bow in that sphere.  The fact that he has left Luca Cumani’s yard is a slight concern to me.


Compared to Further Outlook Ionian Spring is a mere whippersnapper at 11.  He has every chance of striking another blow for the veterans though in the 4.20 where he is well treated by the conditions of the race.


Silver Hotspur was 3rd at Sandown last time and should not be too far away at Lingfield in the 6.30.

  The 1.30 at Newmarket looks the sort of race that could go to one of the newcomers.  The two most likely are Mesbaah and Shmookh.  There was plenty to like about Indian Ink’s win the other day and I fancy her to follow up in the listed race at 2.25., mainly at the expense of Fairfield Princess.  

There are two from our list to follow in the 3.00, Hard Top and Ouninpohja.  Hard Top is dropped in class here.  He ran in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot where he was much too free early on and ran out of gas.  If he settles here he has to go close but the consistent Ouninpohja, twice a course and distance winner will give him plenty to think about.


New Seeker was only beaten by a late surge from Quito last time and looks the one they have to beat in the 3.35 where Philip Robinson will no doubt try and make every post a winning one.

  Down at Windsor Zowington is a runner from our list to follow, in the 3.10.  He is probably better with a bit of give in the ground.  If you want a real outsider Cyclical at 16/1 has an each way chance.  

If you want a topical world cup bet you could always try Freddy in the 3.45.  He used to be trained in Argentina where he was 4th in their 2,000 guineas.  If he wins this handicap he will of course get a penalty!


At Wolverhampton I am hoping that Sweet Emily can notch a win for my list to follow.  She is trained by James Fanshawe and carries top weight in the 8.15.  She was a rather disappointing beaten favourite at Leicester last time.

  There will be a separate bulletin on Saturday evening covering Sunday’s racing.

Continue reading “Diary: July 1 2006”


Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off?
Six days of the week it soils
With its sickening poison -
Just for paying a few bills!
That's out of proportion.
Lots of folk live on their wits:
Lecturers, lispers,
Losers, loblolly-men, louts-
They don't end as paupers;
Lots of folk live up lanes
With fires in a bucket,
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines-
They seem to like it.
Their nippers have got bare feet,
Their unspeakable wives
Are skinny as whippets - and yet
No one actually _starves_.
Ah, were I courageous enough
To shout, Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that's the stuff
That dreams are made on:
For something sufficiently toad-like
Squats in me, too;
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,
And cold as snow,
And will never allow me to blarney
My way of getting
The fame and the girl and the money
All at one sitting.
I don't say, one bodies the other
One's spiritual truth;
But I do say it's hard to lose either,
When you have both.
        -- Philip Larkin


Continue reading “Toads”

Diary: June 30 2006


Further Outlook is one of the elder statesmen of the flat racing world and has a win for every one of his twelve years.  He still retains some ability and is on a hat trick in the 3.30 at Folkestone.  This grey has made all in both his last two outings and obviously gets on well with talented claimer Danny Tudhope.  He will be short enough here and is probably not a betting proposition as his recent wins were over the minimum trip with give in the ground.  I hope he wins though!


The sprint handicap at 7.15 up at Newcastle features many of the usual suspects such as Cape Royal, Pieter Brueghel and Sierra Vista.  We have a couple from our list to follow in Fullanby and Gregoravitch.  Our pair have each way chances at big prices but I suppose Sierra Vista is as good a tip as you are going to get.  She has been running well in decent company and has a couple of wins at this track on her CV.


In the 8.50 Colonel Cotton, Trojan Flight and Throw the Dice are all horses with ability that have slipped down the weights.  They are all worth a closer look I feel.


At Newmarket Vital Statistics is the form pick in the 6.00.  She was 6th at Group 2 level last week at Royal Ascot and before that had run 2nd to Dazed and Amazed, who won earlier in the week.


Snark represents the list to follow in the 7.35.  His 3rd last time at Windsor coupled with the likelihood of the extra 2 furlongs here puts him in with an each way chance.

  The next “lister” is Greek Renaissance in the 3.20 at Wolverhampton.  This colt is a full brother to Machinist and should be suited by the trip here.  

Our last runner is Henchman in the 4.20.  Today’s trip looks ideal and is ridden by a useful 3 lbs claimer.

  See you tomorrow.

Continue reading “Diary: June 30 2006”

Diary: June 29 2006


“A horse for all seasons?”


Looking through the entries for Saturday’s Northumberland Plate it struck me that the 2003 winner Unleash belongs to a fairly exclusive club.  He won 4 times on the flat with that success in the Piman’s Derby his best win thus far.  He also won 3 times over hurdles and once over fences.  I got to thinking about other horses that have won at all 3 disciplines. Double Honour and Chivalry were the first that sprang to mind.


The grey Double Honour was a decent stayer on the flat.  He won a listed race in Germany and in 2001 he was runner up to the great Persian Punch in the Goodwood Cup.  He won 3 times over hurdles and, to date 5 times over fences.  He has run with a great deal of credit in some of the top staying chases and has been in the money in a number of these races.


Chivalry won the Cambridgeshire in 2003.  He showed some promise over hurdles winning 3 times.  He was also 3rd behind Self Defence and Rooster Booster at Sandown.  He ran over fences but didn’t record a win so does not qualify for my “club.”  I am pretty sure that Big Moment qualifies.  I remember him best for a couple of placed efforts in the Chester Cup, but he has not looked a natural over fences.


Triumph Hurdle winner Penzance has joined the club recently when starting his career over fences with a win.  The other one that I thought about was Tees Components.  I remember backing him when he came from last to first to win on the AW at Lingfield. He was made favourite for the Cesarewich in 2002 but could only finish 16th (Double Honour was 19th). He came out and won his next race though.  He has had dodgy knees and there was some doubt if he would ever go jumping but he did make a fair hurdler in the end.  He made a belated start to his chasing career last Christmas but unseated early doors and I don’t think he has run since.  He qualifies for a different club though as he won the Chepstow Bumper so has won a bumper, on the flat on turf and all weather and over hurdles.

  You may have got the idea by now that I do not have a lot to say about Thursday’s racing!  From a personal point of view I am hoping that the Elite Racing Club’s Travolta can break his duck in the 5.30 at Lingfield.  He stepped up on previous efforts when 2nd last time out so I am hopeful.  

We have a “lister” in the Newcastle 2.50.  Celtic Carisma has already won for us at 12/1 but in this race Accordello, from the same stable looks the likely winner. Robert Winston looks an interesting jockey booking for this mare who should really appreciate this trip.


The handicap at 3.20 looks tricky enough.  Rio Riva is one of our horses to follow.  Like Celtic Carisma this one has already won once.  His win at Redcar came on fast ground and he is not without a chance here.  Of the others the race may not be run to suit hold up merchant Harthead.  He will appreciate the ground as will Gaelic Princess, who has a good record in smallish fields.


I have been catching up on watching some videos of races from Wednesday at Newbury.  Richard Hannon did well with his 2 yaer olds.  Dazed and Amazed put in a gutsy effort to land the listed race.  Vauquelin lost nothing in defeat and should be able to win a race.  Earlier Indian Ink was an emphatic winner and will be an interesting one to follow as she should improve over further given her pedigree.

  See you tomorrow.

Continue reading “Diary: June 29 2006”

Diary: June 28 2006


My thanks to Terry for his comments about Les Arcs and trainer Tim Pitt.  He makes an interesting point about the success of the owner/trainer/jockey combination that was also responsible for Admiral in the Chester Cup.  Les Arcs was bought by football agent Willie McKay for 32,000 guineas.  The first win of his career was over 10 furlongs and he even contested a maiden hurdle over 18 furlongs up at Cartmel as recently as August ’14 2004.  Remarkable that he now has a Group 1 over 6 furlongs to his name.


I kept an eye on Les Arcs during the winter when he scored 4 times on the AW over sprint distances.  He beat the likes of Fyodor (wasn’t he horse of the year on the AW?) and Kostar in the process as well as defying a rise in the handicap.  He went on to beat useful types like Quito and Reverence in a listed contest at Redcar but I was still surprised by his success at Royal Ascot. As Terry says a stable to look out for.


Terry went on to talk about the Godolphin outfit.  They have certainly had a lean time of it but I would agree that they will hit form eventually.  They have some interesting entries coming up.


A race that took my eye at Beverley this afternoon was the 3.45 won by Bo McGinty.  This was another great ride by the bang in form Paul Hanagan.  I was impressed with his performance on Monolith at Pontefract over the weekend.  Bo McGinty can be a bit of a quirky customer but Hanagan kept him covered up and produced him at just the right time as the leader ran out of puff.  Bo McGinty had run up a 13 losing sequence since his last success last September at Carlisle. He won off 81 that day and had come down to 79 today so was not impossible to find. I thought his stable companion Wyatt Earp was an eyecatcher in 4th while the scorching early pace of Cape Royal should get him into the winner’s enclosure on an easier track.  For those of you who wonder how horses get their names, Bo McGinty is owned by Paddy McGinty and Bo Turnbull.


I quite fancied Naayla and Indian Ink in the maiden at Newbury this evening but got the placings the wrong way round.


I had my first ever job interview at Salisbury where I was interviewed by a Mr Thick!  Not that that has much to do with anything.  We have a couple of runners from our list to follow in the 3.30 at the Wiltshire track.  Kyoto Summit has already won for us. The form of that victory at Nottingham has not held up especially well but he is bred to stay the extra 2 furlongs here.  Also, I am not convinced that the soft ground at Nottingham was entirely to his liking and he may well show further improvement over trip and ground at Salisbury.  Our other runner is Richard Fahey’s Sin City, from the Bo McGinty yard.  Sin City won a nursery last back end over a mile.  The additional 4 furlongs should not be a problem here and with a rise in the ratings of 7 lbs he could be well in.

  Audience has always been a bit of a favourite of mine; something to do with once backing him successfully at 11/1 perhaps. He goes in the 4.30 at Salisbury, a race he won last season at 33/1.  He ran off 93 last year but has slipped down to 86 for tomorrow.    At Bath Vaunt has shown enough in two runs to suggest that he can win the 7.10.  Up at Carlisle Richard Fahey gives a debut to Fishforcompliments in the 2.20.  Fahey has a poor record first time out with his juveniles but regardless of the outcome here this is one to keep an eye on.  Another to watch at Carlisle is Yungaburra in the 2.50. Alan Swinbank is unlikely to have one ready first time up but this one could pay to follow later in the season.  If anyone out there is planning a holiday in Italy I can certainly recommend Lake Orta, lovely quiet little place, very picturesque.  Partly word association I suppose but I have been keeping an eye on the Dandy Nicholls trained Lago D’Orta.  This one was rated 109 a couple of years ago.  He has slipped down to 80 now and could be a winner waiting to happen.  He runs in the 3.20 at Carlisle.  As a two year old Signor Peltro won at the first time of asking at 22/1 but has not won since.  In his last two races he has been placed behind the progressive Borehan.  He is entitled to go close in the Kempton 8.24.


 That is all for tonight.  I am off to watch the France v Spain game.

Continue reading “Diary: June 28 2006”

Diary: June 27 2006


There are a few interesting 2 year olds in the Newbury 6.25.  Naayla and Indian Ink have both had one run and can be expected to improve for that.  Of the two Naayla impressed me most finishing 5th from a poor draw.  She is a half sister to several winners.  John Gosden gives Nabra her debut.  He has had a couple of juvenile winners already and this one is bred to be a 2 year old.


Roclette may well start favourite in the second division of this fillies maiden at 6.55.  She was made favourite on her debut at Leicester but lost ground at the start.  A better showing can be expected here. Mick Channon saddles two here, Security Tiger and Treat. Both should appreciate this sort of trip.  Treat is the mount of Ted Durcan and looks the stables main hope.


In the 8.00 Dazed and Amazed should be thereabouts and the once raced Vauquelin could go well at a decent price.


In the sprint handicap at 9.00 Harrison’s Flyer represents the list to follow. He has won 6 times in his career usually at a fat price.  He is one of those sprinters that you probably have to follow blindly as he is difficult to pick.  He has never won on anything faster than good.

  I see that Burning Incense was a winner for us at Windsor at 11/4.

Continue reading “Diary: June 27 2006”

Diary: June 26 2006


Watching the World Cup is playing havoc with the rest of my life and my apologies for a few short updates in the last couple of weeks.


I thought I would take a look back at the events of the past week on the racecourse.


Day 1 at Royal Ascot was not a great success for the this column.  As Royal Ascot returned home after a year in Yorkshire I fancied Major Cadeaux in the Coventry Stakes but Richard Hannon’s colt found one to good.  Major Cadeaux had won a Newbury maiden on May 20 beating Amanda Perrett’s Jo’burg. This time Jo’burg ran a very creditable 4th.  Champlain (3rd) and Conquest (5th) also ran in that maiden and both went on to better things at Royal Ascot last week. Champlain won the Chesham and Conquest was only beaten a neck in the Windsor Castle.  I will be keeping an eye on this quartet as the form line looks solid.


There were a few horses from our list to follow in the King’s Stand.  Benbaun performed best of them and only went down by a short head to the Aussie raider Takeover Target.


The Queen Anne Stakes was an unsatisfactory race from my point of view.  Court Masterpiece, Proclamation and Peeress were 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively after being squeezed for room close home by the winner Ad Valorem.

  On the Wednesday Soviet Song proved she is no back number a t the age of 6 by coming from last to first to claim the Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes. Second was Echelon, one of a number of top fillies from Cheveley Park Stud in recent years. Others being the likes of Russian Rhythm and Peeress.  

If Soviet was a popular winner with the racing public and great favourite Ouija Board who took the next race, the Prince of Wales Stakes.


The Royal Hunt Cup was a successful race for my list to follow.  Cesare, again a product of Cheveley Park prevailed by a neck from Stronghold   with Hinterland 4th.  All 3 were drawn low, and this draw bias was to be a feature of the week. 


On Thursday Scottish Stage from the list to follow went close when only beaten a neck in the Ribblesdale Stakes.  Just as in the Royal Hunt Cup the listers were first and second in the ultra competitive Britannia Handicap.  Sir Gerard was backed down from 8s to 9/2 and quickened impressively to beat Easy Air who also finished strongly.  Sir Gerard, Cesare and Soviet Song were all trained by James Fanshaw and ridden by Jamie Spencer.  The last race of the day went to the veteran Uhoomagoo who recorded his 17th win on his 99th race. 


Possibly the best winner of the week was John Gosden’s Nannina who trounced a high class field to win the Coronation Stakes.  Mick Channon’s Flashy Wings was best of the rest in 2nd.


Perhaps the most remarkable race of the week was the Golden Jubilee Stakes on Saturday.  It wasn’t so long ago that this horse was being talked of as a potential hurdler and here he was winning a Group 1 over 6 furlongs.  One of our list horses Balthazar’s Gift finished like a train in second at 50/1.


Our best finisher in the Wokingham was Borderlescott on 4th.  When Firenze hit the front it looked like yet another big win for J Spencer only for Baltic King to cut him down with a devastating late run.  Baltic King is a very good sprinter when he gets conditions in his favour.


We had a list winner during the afternoon on Saturday when Zidane won with ease at Newmarket.  Zidane, like Sir Gerard a fitting winner during the World Cup, is a half brother to Firenze. Fear to Tread was a winner for the list at Warwick in the evening.

  The progressive Alfie Flits won for the list at Pontefract and continues on an upward curve and there was also a gutsy win in the Pontefract Cup from Elite Racing Club’s Monolith.  Moving on to look at Monday’s action, Burning Incense represents the list to follow in the 7.40 at Windsor.  He has been knocking at the door in recent outings and this could be his opportunity.  The other runner from the list to follow is James Fanshawe’s Campanile in the 4.45 at Wolverhampton.  The trainer could hardly be in better form.  See you tomorrow.

Continue reading “Diary: June 26 2006”

Diary: June 24 2006


With so many meetings at the moment and loads of footy to watch I will just cover Saturday tonight.  There will be an update tomorrow evening reviewing Sunday.


A couple of real old favourites contest the 3.05 at Ascot in Collier Hill and Bandari.  I have probably bored people to death about Collier Hill in the past, but he has won everything from a maiden hurdle at Kelso to a Group 1 at The Curragh.  Bandari, now a 7 year old has 11 wins to his credit but Group 1 success has always eluded him.  Neither is on my current list to follow, so I am looking to the two listers Hard Top and Shawanda.  Hard Top has been a bit of an underachiever so far.  There have been possible excuses for his largely disappointing efforts this season but he needs a bold showing today.  Shawanda looks the likely winner on form but needs to overcome a lengthy absence.  There is also the question of the general wellbeing of the Godolphin outfit.


The socceroos have surprised a few people in Germany and the Aussie sprinters look likely to hold sway in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at 3.45.  There are two runners from the list to follow.  Iffraaj has a chance on his best form and has the ground in his favour. He is another Godolphin runner though and is having his first run of the season.  Balthazar’s Gift was 4th to Moss Vale at Chantilly last time out and that form has since been franked by the runner up.  He is a bit better than his 50/1 odds would indicate but would appreciate some juice in the ground.  Eisteddfod runs for the Elite Racing Club.  He has done OK this season without quite hitting top form. He seems unlikely to have ground condition to his liking.

  We have a few from the list in the Wokingham at 4.25.  Borderlescott, Intrepid Jack, Zomerlust, Indian Trail and High Reach.  They are pretty well all drawn badly though.  If I had to go for one it would be Intrepid Jack.  Firenze from stall 1 has obvious claims for the in form Fanshawe/Spencer combo. 

There are 4 runners from the list to follow in the 4.55, Pagan Sword, Glistening, Consular and Thunder Rock.  Glistening did not get the clearest of runs at Epsom on his seasonal reappearance and looks on a fair mark.  He can run well as can Consular who was 3rd in that Epsom race and has both ground and trip in his favour. Pagan Sword progressed well last season but he is yet to win over 12 furlongs.  My selection is the lightly raced Thunder Rock.  I have a pretty miserable record when it comes to tipping Sir Michael Stoute runners so I will not get too carried away.  He has only ever run 4 times though, was a promising 3rd last time and looks as though this trip will bring out the best in him.  K Fallon rides.


Elsewhere Gregoravitch runs in a tricky looking handicap at Ayr (3.25).  His last few runs have not done much to inspire confidence.


I wonder whether Zidane will return to the French side for there next game against Spain?  The horse of the same name is a slightly tricky customer but looks the one to be on in the 2.40 at Newmarket. He is a half brother to Firenze so a family double is not out of the question.


Sant Elena has finished 3rd in both her starts this season.  She remains reasonably handicapped and should go close in the 3.15.


King Orchisios (3.50) has not lived up to expectations raised by his form last season.  He looks to have plenty of speed though and this 5 furlongs on fast ground combined with a drop in class gives him a shout.


Celtic Carisma has already scored for us at 12/1.  Ran poorly last time but would have a chance on best form in the Redcar 3.00.


There are two runners from our list to follow in action at Warwick, Bouboulina (8.15) and Fear to tread (9.15)

  I looked at 3 two year old races.  I see that Roger Fisher has booked Robert Winston for Muncaster Castle in the 4.30 at Ayr. Stagehand has a chance in the 6.30 at Lingfield while Fade to Grey could go well at a huge price in the 2.20 at Redcar. Good luck

Continue reading “Diary: June 24 2006”

Diary: June 23 2006


Sir Gerard landed a major gamble to take the Britannia Stakes under the in form Jamie Spencer.  He beat another one of our list horses, Easy Air, into second place.  Both horses look capable of going on to score in listed company. I was pleased to see old Uhoomagoo land the final race of the day at Ascot.  He has been a grand horse over the years and this was his 17th career win. He won at 25/1 today but 5 of his career wins have been at 7/1.  As the man said, “not many people know that.” Looking forward to Friday, the 2.35 looks pretty tricky to solve.  The unbeaten Bahama Mama is well fancied and is a token selection. Degas Art and Morghim are runners from our list to follow in the 3.10.  They are both 20/1 in the Racing Post.  Both need to improve on earlier efforts this season to be involved in the finish. Our list to follow is well represented in the Coronation Stakes at 3.50.  Flashy Wings was a top 2 year old but the ground may have been her undoing when she failed in the 1,000 guineas.  She is one of a number of fillies in this trying to rebuild tarnished reputations.  Nannina has a similar profile and like Flashy Wings she may well bounce back to form here.  Silca’s Sister was 4th in the Guineas at a time when her stable was really out of touch.  Race for the Stars is our fourth representative.  She is a half sister to Hawk Wing but is yet to live up to her potential.  This is a tough call but I will go for Silca’s Sister to get the better of Flashy Wings.  Speciosa is the other one I like. 

In the 4.25 we have Star of Light and Public Forum from our list to follow.  Both have recorded good wins for us this season but on this occasion the lightly raced Public Forum seems to stand out as a fair bet to land the spoils.



Alan King saddles Shipmaster in the Group 3 Queens Vase at 4.55.  Although he is a nice prospect he will need to improve some to win this.  He tackles 2 miles for the first time and the extra distance should suit him.  He would prefer some ease in the ground though.  Looks the type to make a nice jumper one day.


Turning my attention to Ayr Princess Palatine looks to have a good chance of opening her account in the 3.00.


I am hopeful that Queens Pudding can win for our list to follow at Newmarket in the 8.05.  The Jame Fanshawe Jamie Spencer combination could hardly be in better form and Queen’s Pudding made a very favourable impression when winning at Nottingham last season on her only start to date.


At Redcar in the 2.15 Dress to Impress and Winning Spirit have both been knocking on the door but both remain maidens.  I fancy Dress to Impress to get off the mark.


Continue reading “Diary: June 23 2006”