Diary: May 1 2008

Two selection and two winners this afternoon to continue a reasonably successful start to the flat season.

Starting tomorrow at Folkestone Luminous Gold (pictured below) may be the answer in the 3.20. This filly was 2nd at the track on her third and final start last season and comes from a stable that is both in good form and that does well with this type of animal.


Sky Dive was a winner at Lingfield last season but a very disappointing favourite on his reappearance at Nottingham the other week when he was last of 11. I am prepared to give him another chance in the 6.20 at Great Leighs.

The are a couple of runners in the 6.50 that looks interesting. Martyr won at Lingfield in February and looks as though he could still be ahead of the handicapper. I also like the look of Sheer Bluff who makes his handicap debut and may well improve on his efforts last season now that he tackles a trip.

In the 7.50 John Dunlop’s Stone of Scone showed promise on his debut a couple of weeks ago and should come on for that experience.

At Redcar Full Speed is my selection in the 4.30, with the main danger coming from Collection.


Diary: April 30 2008


The main meeting tomorrow is at Ascot where Cesare will likely start favourite in the listed race at 3.20.  He has 3 wins over course and distance and has solid claims.  The Hunt Cup winner Royal Oath could be the one to chase him home.

Another course and distance winner, Bankable, is my fancy for the 5.50.  He had a progressive profile last season winning his last 2 starts.


Diary: April 28 & 29 2008


There is an evening meeting at Windsor tomorrow where Just Two Numbers is an interesting runner in the 6.40. A course winner last season on soft ground he is a strong sort who has been gelded since his last run and gives the impression that there are more races to be won with him.

On Tuesday it might be worth considering Trip the Light who found plenty of trouble in running last time at Southwell. He runs in the 8.35 at Wolverhampton.


A Subaltern’s Love Song

A Subaltern’s Love Song

Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
Furnish’d and burnish’d by Aldershot sun,
What strenuous singles we played after tea,
We in the tournament – you against me!

Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won,
The warm-handled racket is back in its press,
But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.

Her father’s euonymus shines as we walk,
And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk,
And cool the verandah that welcomes us in
To the six-o’clock news and a lime-juice and gin.

The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath,
The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path,
As I struggle with double-end evening tie,
For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.

On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts,
And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with sports,
And westering, questioning settles the sun,
On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

The Hillman is waiting, the light’s in the hall,
The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall,
My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair
And there on the landing’s the light on your hair.

By roads "not adopted", by woodlanded ways,
She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
Into nine-o’clock Camberley, heavy with bells
And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
I can hear from the car park the dance has begun,
Oh! Surrey twilight! importunate band!
Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl’s hand!

Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
Above us the intimate roof of the car,
And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.

And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
We sat in the car park till twenty to one
And now I’m engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

            — John Betjeman

Diary: April 26 & 27

All in all it was another good day with a number of winners from the horses mentioned in last night’s write up.

Dar Re Mi (pictured below) was a runaway winner at Sandown. As the commentator wittily remarked it was a case of Dar Re Mi so far!


Ryan Moore looks as good a jockey as any I have seen in this country in recent times and gave Ask and Corryborough excellent rides. He did get boxed in on Conduit though in the race won by the well handicapped Colony.

In Dar Re Mi’s race I will be interested in following Albarouche and Sovereign’s Honour who came 3rd and 4th respectively. Oslot was a winner over the jumps although Quizzene was beaten into second spot. On a sad note Lenny the Blade broke his neck when coming down at Chepstow.

Tomorrow marks the last day of the jumps season with Sandown staging a mixed card including the Celebration Chase and the Betfred Gold Cup (formerly the Whitbread)

I’ll start at Sandown with the 1.40 where I will be hoping that Penzance can make me a winning owner! He has been 3rd and 1st in this race in the past, dead heating on both occasions so I am hopeful of a big run. Another one that might be worth considering here is Hide the Evidence. He should be all the better for a recent run at Aintree and his trainer is in good form.

There are 4 runners from our list to follow in the 2.10, Laustra Bad, Helen’s Vision, Or Jaune and Tot O’ Whiskey. Tot O’ Whiskey ran really well in a competitive handicap at Sandown last month and if he can reproduce that effort he would go close. The David Pipe pair of Laustra Bad and Or Jaune have not shown enough this season to warrant a tip but the market could be a guide to their chance. Helen’s Vision has been a disappointment since winning first time out although there was some encouragement in her most recent performance.

The 2.40 looks another open race. Monet’s Garden is the class act. He was 3rd to Twist Magic here in the Tingle Creek and it may be that he needs further these days. The ground should suit him and although I have certain reservations he would be my tip. Lennon has run really well this season and deserves to win a decent race. Good ground will suit him but I am not so sure about the track. A few of Howard Johnson’s runners have been a bit below par recently as well. Pablo Du Charmil has not done much since winning the Haldon Chase at Exeter and Andreas may pose the biggest threat to Monet’s Garden and Lennon.

I don’t really have much of a view on the 3.20. I would love to see Bewley’s Berry win but coming so soon after his 5th in the Grand National it is surely too much to ask. I thought about the consistent Caribou but all his form is on soft ground. If pushed for a selection I would go for Ungaro.

Medicine Path has been impressive in his last couple of runs and I will stick with him for the 3.55.

The Classic Trial at 4.30 hasn’t gone to the favourite in the last 10 years so I will look at those at a bigger price. Endless Luck looked a promising sort last season and after finishing 2nd at Leicester on his debut he won well at Musselburgh. There is a lot more required tomorrow but he is certainly worth a try at this level. Whistledownwind is similar in some ways. He won on his second start, this time at Newbury. A bit of cut in the ground is likely to suit him.

In the 5.05 Very Wise has an each way squeak at around 7/1.

Moheebb has been running consistently but does look to lack gears. Another with an each way chance in the Haydock 7.20.

I can see Tudor Prince coming in at a big price at some stage of the season. He gets on well with Philip Robinson and is one to consider in the Leicester 2.45 along with Compton’s Eleven who didn’t get a clear run last time at Ripon.

In the 3.15 at Leicester City Stable (pictured below) , who is related to Gamut, should improve for a step up in trip and looks well handicapped.


Paul Cole’s string are in good form and I am hoping that Eisteddfod gives a good account in the 3.50.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Tartan Bearer is a full brother to classic winner Golan and will be expected to collect in the 5.00. Alan Munro has the ride.

Laborec and Ouzbeck represent our jumps list to follow in the 1.50 at Market Rasen. Ouzbeck would have slightly the better chance of the pair.

The Brits have done really well at Punchestown this week and Franchoek may well add to the winning tally in the 4.20.

Up at Ripon Mark Johnston runs Tawzeea in the 3 year old handicap at 2.30. He was 2nd at Warwick last month and should be in the shake up here.

Sadler’s Kingdom hasn’t shown too much so far this season but I fancy we will see him to the fore in some staying handicaps. He runs off bottom weight in the Ripon 3.40 and gets my tentative selection.

After a 10 minute break the new jumps season starts on Sunday! Atomic Winner has found his form recently after struggling a bit when he first came over from France. He goes for a hat trick in the Ludlow 3.05 and would be my selection on decent ground.

Pictures are by kind permission of British 2YO Racing

Diary: April 25 2008


There are 6 meetings tomorrow on turf, over the sticks and on the all weather. It’s the penultimate day of the jumps season so I’ll start with the jumping at Bangor tomorrow evening. In the 7.15 Quizzene (pictured below) should go close. He won at Newbury last time out and comes from the in form Alan King yard. He was a decent handicapper on the flat for Mark Johnston winning 3 times and chasing home his stable companion Peppertree Lane in a valuable 14 furlong handicap at Haydock.


I must give Temple Place a mention in the 8.15. He has won 4 times in his career at odds of 20s, 12s, 8s and 50/1. Not a bad horse to follow!

Talking of horses to follow I see that Bertie May represents our list in the Chepstow 5.20. He won at Exeter in January but then ran disappointingly at Warwick. He has been off the track for 76 days so may have had a problem. Richard Johnson has been booked to ride him and if you ignore that last run he would have a chance at a decent price.

Johnson rides Wild Tonto in the 6.55 for Helen Lewis. Wild Tonto won at Taunton 3 weeks ago and carries an extra 7 lbs as a result. The stiff left handed track should suit him and the jockey booking is again interesting. Lenny the Blade also runs in this race and was also a winner last time out, leaving his previous form well behind to win at Newton Abbot. Lenny the Blade used to be with Richard Phillips but is now with Sarah Robinson. He is by Derby runner up Master Willie out of a mare called Limelight that won a couple of times over hurdles for Pat Murphy.

At Newton Abbot you would expect Paul Nicholls Oslot to win the 7.05 although I doubt if he will be much of a price.

Up at Perth the 2.40 is a trappy little race where 4 of the 5 runners have realistic chances. Cedrus Libani won 3 times earlier in the season but was out of his depth when upped in grade last time at Aintree. Modicum has been really consistent all season but only won once. He ran a tremendous race when 3rd to Tidal Bay at Aintree and a repeat of that form would probably be good enough. He seems to need good ground though so it will be important to monitor the going. If there was an “S” in the going description I would switch my allegiance to Marodima.


Despite Cabinet’s win yesterday most of the Sir Michael Stoute runners I have put forward this season so far have run poorly. I am a bit reluctant to wax lyrical about Ask in the 1.50 at Sandown as a result. I like him though and I am sure he will win races this season. In view of the current stable form I just think that the 7/4 on offer is a bit short. Ask has apparently been working with Cabinet at home though if you want to read something into that.

There is no doubt that Henry Candy has his string in good form and with Sir Michael Stoute’s jockey, Ryan Moore on board I fancy Candy’s Corrybrough in the 2.25.

Dar Re Mi made a big impression when 2nd on her only start at Newmarket last season and looks the one they all have to beat in the Sandown 3.35. Danae was 5th in the same race and she has already come out and won this season. Of the others Sovereign’s Honour looks the type to do well at 3 and there is also a good word for the unraced Albarouche

Conduit and Colony look interesting runners in the 4.10 with Conduit probably the pick on jockey bookings.

My best bet at Wolverhampton would be Skadrak in the 2.15.

Good luck

Diary: April 24 2008


I am penning these notes before this evening racing but I can report a couple of winners from the horses featured in last night’s preview. Cabinet was made to work hard for his success after being backed down to 6/4. The form may turn out to be better than it looks at first glance though as the stable have not been going all that well so Cabinet could well come on for the run. Tarkheena Prince gave us a 7/1 winner and looks a horse with a future. The biggest certainty of the afternoon was of course Planetarium. Sadly he went the way of so many such certainties over the years – he was last of 3.

Tom Tate is concentrating more on the flat these days and his stable could be worth following this summer. He has Toto Skyllachy in the 3.10 at Beverley tomorrow. A winner on soft ground at Warwick last season this son of Kyllachy looks one to keep an eye on.

From a personal point of view I am hoping for a good run from the Elite Racing Club’s Salsa Time in the 4.55. She is a half sister to that excellent dual purpose horse Dancing bay as well as a couple of lesser lights that also won at least once. The trouble is she is drawn 2 which at Beverley is a disadvantage.

There is a decent jumping card up at Perth where Lazy Darren is likely to start odds on in the 2.10. I think he is worth taking on and I am going to put up Howard Johnson’s Cool Operator against him. A former Irish points winner he got off the mark over hurdles at Catterick last time out at 8/1. That was on good to firm so the ground may well suit him tomorrow assuming the rain stays away.


The 2.45 looks a pretty open contest. I would be inclined to put up Manhattan Boy and Northern Quest as my two against the field.

Lodge Lane and Tazbar both saw winning runs come to an end at the recent Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals. They look likely to dominate this race with a slight preference for Tazbar.

Blue Splash has only completed once in his last 4 starts but I am inclined to take a chance with him in the 3.55 as he was going well when unseating 8 days ago.


I am no doubt letting sentiment cloud my judgement but I must give a mention to Tynedale in the hunter chase at 4.30. Back in 2004 I backed him when he won at 20/1!

My best bet at Southwell is the lightly raced Pertemps Networks in the 6.35. He won well for us at Newcastle recently and is worth sticking with until he loses.

Good luck


Diary: April 23 2008


It was generally a good day for the web site today with 2 of the 3 flat tips winning and Twist Magic and Air Force One coming in at Punchestown for our list to follow. There are meetings under both codes tomorrow.

Mark Johnston has saddled the winner of 4 of the last runnings of the Catterick 3.10 and his Planetarium (pictured below)  looks like improving on that statistic tomorrow. He looked a typical resolute galloper from that yard when winning over 10 furlongs at Pontefract as a juvenile.


Adele Rothery gave Turnkey a peach of a ride yesterday when coming from last to first to snatch victory right on the line at Pontefract. She seems to ride sprinters well and she is on old Funfare Wain for Dandy Nicholls in the 5.30 at Catterick tomorrow. Funfair Wain won the Ayr Gold Cup back in 2004 and although not the force of old he was 2nd in a claimer at Wolverhampton last time out and could give backers a run for their money.

Although Al Khaleej (pictured below) is a 4 year old he has only run 7 times in his life. He was 3rd to the Illies in a competitive Heritage handicap at Ascot last season, he has been gelded over the winter and I can see him having a good season this time around. He runs in the 8.50 at Kempton tomorrow and if he handles the surface he should go well.


The other one I like at Kempton is Valery Borzov who looks to have been found a winning opportunity in the 9.20.

There is a trappy handicap at Nottingham over 10 furlongs (2.55) where my short list consists of Pevensey, Cabinet and Peruvian Prince. Pevensey won a handicap at Royal Ascot last season off a mark of 90 and although he runs off 94 now he is worth considering. He is possibly best at 12 furlongs but I can see him winning a decent prize at some stage. He should handle good to soft OK. Peruvian Prince was another that won a good handicap last season winning easily at Haydock in June off a mark of 77. He is off 89 now so may find life more difficult but I will be monitoring his progress as the season unfolds. Cabinet only won once last season but ran well and rather unluckily in a couple of handicaps after that. He looks a horse with plenty of potential and I am going to burden him with my tip in this race. There is a worry about the form of the stable though.

There will be another fancied runner from Sir Michael Stoute’s stable in the 5.15. Ascot Lime had one run as a juvenile and can be expected to make up into a decent 3 year old. Another one to consider in this race is Tarkheena Prince. He was 3rd on his debut at Redcar last season before disappointing at Beverley where the track may not have suited him. He should be suited by a track like Nottingham and is an interesting runner.

Valentine’s Lady won a couple of small races earlier in the season before her jumping let her down on her handicap debut. She has had a good break since then and has an each way chance in the Perth 2.45. The other runner from our list to follow at Perth is Jorveybrook in the 5.40. He has not really lived up to expectation thus far.

My best bet at Worcester tomorrow evening is the unbeaten Prince Taime in the 7.05.

Pictures by kind permission of British 2YO Racing.




Apart from Hereford Boy and Pertemps Networks that I mentioned last night I am also interested in Thannaan in the Folkestone 2.15 tomorrow.

Trained by Barry Hills he showed enough in a couple of Newbury maidens last season to indicate that he will be up to losing his maiden tag before too long.

Diary: April 21 & 22 2008


Following 3 year old handicaps can be qite a profitable line at this stage of the season and I quite like the look of Hughie Morrison’s Stow (pictured below)  in the 2.40 at Pontefract. Stow is a full brother to Bajan Pride who rather let us down the other day but I won’t hold that against him. With 3 runs over inadequate trips last season Stow is open to improvement now he tackles 12 furlongs.


Knot in Wood appeared in these pages regularly last season and is a horse I like. He runs in the 3.10 at Pontefract where he is set to carry top weight. The useful claimer Jamie Moriaty takes 3 lbs off but I would just worry that the handicapper may have this one in his grasp at present. Watch out for him if he slips down the ratings though.

Although Lang Shining won on Saturday some of Sir Michael Stoute’s runners have performed below par recently. He has a couple of well fancied runners at Windsor tomorrow evening so it will be interesting to see how they get on. Adversity (pictured below) runs in the 6.25.


He is by Oasis Dream who has made a good start at stud and won on his second appearance last season on the all weather at Kempton. The runner up that day has won since and Adversity could be quite well treated off his current mark. The Stoute team are represented by French Riviera in the 7.25. This colt holds a Derby entry and will be all the rage tomorrow after making a promising debut in his only outing last season.

On Tuesday I am interested in Hereford Boy in the 3.25 at Folkestone and Pertemps Networks in the 5.00 at Southwell.

I will be back on Tuesday evening.

Pictures by kind permission of British 2YO Racing