Monday, we start at Thirsk, which was abandoned after 3 races due to false ground. There was still time for a double for trainer Jamie Spencer and trainer David Simcock with Miss Sugars and Pellucid. At Carlilse, Sir Mark Prescott sent Red Box out to win the fillies maiden 5 furlong race. There was another double on the day for one of the rising stars of the weighing room Adam McNamara. The horses were In my place and Al Shahaniya. At Nottingham, there was a treble for Sylvester De Sousa with Rainbow orse, Mujazif, and Jack Bear. At Windsor, I thought Harlequin Striker was impressive in winning the one mile handicap and could win again soon. At Roscommon ,two of the flat races had to be abandoned due to horses slipping, thankfully not before Munnashid could win the 1 mile 2 furlongs maiden. The victory of Munnashid was good news for our members who had a (3pt win bet at 13/8). There was a novice chase double for Jessica Harrington with Gambling Girl and Sandymount Duke but should make hay during the summer months in these grades. The Connacht national went to Aranhill chief who added this nice prize to his collection of good pots won during the summer months in Ireland in recent years. Galway will no doubt be the next stop for Aranhill chief
Tuesday, the next five days of the blog will focus primarily on Royal Ascot which started today. The meeting started on the softest recorded ground for eighteen years.The Queen Anne stakes saw the highly regarded American horse Tepin bid to to take the prize. Tepin ran out a gutsy winner holding off the late and determined challenge of Belardo , Lightning Spear ran well in third. It was a great start to the meeting to see Tepin win as a number of high profile horses from overseas have blown out in this contest. There were a couple of disappointments in the race Ervedya and Endless drama who both ran below expectations. The Coventry was up next this went in brilliant style to the highly touted Aidan O'Brien trained Caravaggio who switched sides mid race. Caravaggio despite this move still won easily by just over 2 lengths. Caravaggio looks a proper horse, Mehmas and Psychedelic funk ran well in second and third as did Medieval in fourth , however Caravaggio was different gear, a very exciting prospect. The Kings stand was next over five furlongs. I really fancied Profitable here who got the job done under Adam Kirby just holding off the late surge of Cotai Glory and Goken. Meecca's Angel went off favourite but ran very poor.
The feature race on day one was The St James's Palace Stakes. This race saw the clash of the Uk 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold, the French 2,000 Guineas The Gurkha, and the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Awtaad. The race saw Frankie Dettori show the other jockeys how to ride Ascot, Frankie had Galileo Gold in the perfect position attacking at just the right moment to win the race. The Gurkha under Ryan Moore on the other hand endured a nightmare passage through the race. The Gurkha with a better run may have won but I find it hard to be dogmatic about it. Awtaad ran on for third his trainer stating his horse hated the ground. Galileo Gold went off a remarkable 6/1. The three will clash again it will be fun to see how they fare out when they clash again. The Ascot Stakes over 2 miles 4 furlongs went to talented hurdler Jennies Jewel who made all the running hanging by a neck from Qewy who ran on really well, Mill Springs was back in third. There were a few disappointments in behind with Sempre Medici and Silver Concorde running poorly, the latter hating the ground. This was a tremendous success for a small Irish stable in Jarlath Fahey , with a very good training performance into the bargain to keep Jennies Jewel sweet all through the winter to Royal Ascot. The Windsor castle the finally on the day went in cracking style to Ardad who bolted up by 3 lengths ,Pedestal ran a good race in third for Aidan O'Brien. The day went well for us with two winners Jennies Jewel 7/1 and Profitable at 9/2. We also had Psychedelic funk placed at 11/2.
Wednesday, day two of Royal Ascot was again on soft ground. The opening race, the Jersey stakes went to Ribchester by a convincing 2 and a half lengths. Ribchester had been third to Galileo Gold in the 2,000 Guineas last time out. The surprise was that Ribchester was allowed to be backed at 17/2 in the morning. The places were filled by Thikriyaat and Forge. It was the start of a real roll for Godolphin. The Queen Mary was up next over 5 furlongs. Lady Aurelia came with a big reputation for Wesley Ward , her run at Keenland had made her look a very fast horse so it proved. Lady Aurelia broke fast showing scorching pace. Lady Aurelia at the two furlong pole kicked again running right to the line to win by 7 lengths. The placed horses were Al Johrah and Clem Fandango but this was a one horse race. Lady Aurelia produced one of the best equine performances I have ever seen this was simply breathtaking. The Duke of Cambridge was next up the race went to Usherette who had been in great form prior to this ran out a very convincing winner for Godolphin. The placed horses were Furia Cruzada and Always smile.
The feature race was the Prince Of Wales's stakes all the chat beforehand was about, A Shin Hikari from Japan. The Japanese have never had a winner at Royal Ascot at 8/13, A Shin Hikari was very short trailing in last of six in the end. The race went to My dream boat under Adam Kirby for big time jumps owners Paul and Clare Rooney. My dream boat got up late on to nail the really consistent Found ,who it was hard not feel sorry for on the day. The Hunt cup went to Portage for Godolphin and Michael Halford .Portage committed two furlongs out holding off Librisa Breeze and Mitchum Swagger. Portage was worth his win, I reckon this is a horse who can go on from here. The Sandringham rounded off the day it went in good style to the very well backed Persuasive for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. The day went well for us with three winners, Ribchester at 8/1, Lady Aurelia 9/4 & Usherette 9/4
Thursday, day three of Royal Ascot. The ground was drying out but got very tiring on the day. The Norfolk was first up over 5 furlongs . The race went to Prince of Lir who held on really well from , The last lion who ran a cracker, with Silver line and Peace envoy running well in third and fourth. The Tercentenary stakes went in impressive style to Hawkbill for Godolphin. Hawkbill was well on top at the line from fellow Godolphin horse Prize money with Long island sound in third. The Ribblesdale is always very competitive. Architecture was looking to boost the oaks form however was never a factor. Even Song for Aidan O'Brien was very well backed (10/3 overnight - 15/8) Even Song travelled very well through the race, she was sent about her business just over a furlong out it was never in doubt from then on. Even song winning by a length and a half. The placed horses were Ajman princess and The black princess.
The feature race was the Ascot gold cup. Order Of St George was all the rage at 10/11 for Aidan O'Brien. Order Of St George endured a very difficult passage , however when he got straightened up, Order Of St George really had to pick up and did. The further they went the better of Order Of St George went running out a three length winner from Mizzou who ran very well, Sheikhzayedroad. I thought Max Dynamite ran a disappointing . The future for Order Of St George looks bright, there is talk of a tilt at the Arc, on soft ground Order Of St George would have a massive chance in my view. The Britannia was up next this went to, Defrocked for Jamie Osborne and Jamie Spencer holding on by a short head from Abe Lincoln, Chief Whip ran well in third. The King George V stakes concluded day three. The race went to Primitovo who has been on a real roll running out a convincing winner by 3 and a half lengths for Alan King. Platitude and Harrison filled out the places. The major general ran well for Aidan O'Brien. This was a great result for Alan King who has been training lots of winners. The day went well for us with three winners, Hawkbill 11/2, Even Song 3/1 and Order Of St George 1/1. We also had an each way double with Hawkbill & Even Song .
Friday, day four of Royal Ascot started on ground to start drying out. The racing kicked off with the Albany stakes over 6 furlongs. The race went to Aidan O'Brien with Brave anna who held of the late rally of Bletchley. The third horse home was the daughter of Frankel, Queen Kindly who finished with a rattle, I don't think it was Jamie Spencer's best ride. The favourite Cuff for Aidan O'Brien never really got into it. The King Edward VII stakes was next this went to Across the stars who bounced back from a Derby disappointment to run out a convincing winner here. Across the stars was quietly backed (9/1 -7/1) . The placed horses were Beacon rock who ran very well and Muntahaa who also performed with credit. The Commonwealth cup over 6 furlongs went to Quiet Reflection, for Karl Burke and Dougie Costello who was very well backed at 7/4. Quiet Reflection picked up well late on to see off Kachy and Washington DC.
The Coronation stakes was the feature with Jett setting going off favourite but never looked like winning in truth. The race went to Qemah who quickened up smartly to win from fellow french raider Nemoralia. Alice Springs got a rough passage it is not a race Ryan Moore will want to watch again. The Duke Of Edinburgh was next this went to Kinema for Ralph Beckett and Fran Berry. This was only part of the story as Kinema milled Elite Army and Kings Fete (who suffered the most and would probably have won) late on. The subsequent stewards enquiry showed the problem with the current rules on disqualification. The stewards if they overturned the result under the current rules if Kinema was thrown out the race had to go to Elite Army. The fact was the horse most inconvenienced was the third horse Kings fete there was no scope to give the race to Kings fete under the current rules therefore the result had to stand. The Queen's vase over 2 miles a staying race again went to Ireland. Sword Fighter won the race for Aidan O'Brien making all the running under a attacking ride from Colm O'Donoghue. Harbour Law and Twilight Payment just could not get there in the end. Two other Irish horses Landofhopeandglory and Ebediyin both ran well. The day went frustrating for us with four place parts of each bets landing. They were Queen Kindly 7/1, Beacon Rock 7/2, Kings Fete 8/1 and Landofhopeandglory 7/1
Saturday, it was day five of Royal Ascot the ground had dried further. The opening Chesham stakes went to Churchill who had been backed like defeat was out of the question into (8/11) for Aidan O'Brien. Churchill got it done by a half length despite hanging across the track. Isomer ran a cracker in second looking a nice horse likewise Cunco. Churchill will be near the top of the market for the 2,000 Guineas next season now. The Wolferton handicap went to the frustrating Sir Isaac Newton for Aidan O'Brien . Sir Isaac Newton put it all together here holding off Second Wave and Revolutionist who could come good again at Goodwood. The Hardwicke produced a royal winner as Dartmouth outpointed Highland Reel by a head to win for her majesty The Queen and Sir Michael Stoute. The Diamond Jubilee, was the feature race over 6 furlongs. The race went to Twilight son under Ryan Moore holding off Gold- Fun by a diminishing neck . Signs Of blessings ran well in third, however ,Frankie Dettori gave Magical Memory an ill judged ride in an otherwise flawless week. Frankie simply gave Magical Memory too much to do. There was a neck, a short head and a head between the first four home.
The Wokingham was up next a real Royal Ascot cavalry charge over 6 furlongs. The race went to Outback Traveller who travelled well through the race holding Brando off by a head. Glen Moss ran a blinder in third as did Absolutely So and Buckstay in fourth and fifth , both horses carrying 9 stone 10 pounds. The finale was the Queen Alexandra Stakes over 2 miles 5 furlongs. The Irish were looking for a clean sweep in staying races at the meeting. It was to be another win for Ireland as Commissioned took the race on debut for Gordon Elliott who truly is a remarkable trainer. Cayirli ran well in second , Clondaw Warrior came from a long way back to grab third. The day went only ok for us with three place parts of each way bets landing , as well as a non runner. They were Cunco 9/2, Clondaw Warrior 5/1, Oriental Fox 9/2 and Eagle top a non runner. It was a winning week and that's all you can do as they say.
Sunday,we start at Pontefract where Luca Cumani had a welcome double with Banksea and Loving things. Cumani could be emerging with some well handicapped horses following a quiet spell. At Hexham, there was a memorable treble for the Coltherd team. The winning horses where Damiens Dilemma, Ash Park and Darsi dancer. At Worcester, I was impressed by Kaki De La Pree in the novice chase and Eddiemaurice in the handicap hurdle. I think both can win again soon. The card at Gowran was moderate however I was impressed by Ashraf in the concluding 1 mile 1 furlong race. I think this horse a fair bit of ability. At Chantilly the French Oaks went to La Cressonniere.