Monday, we start at Carlilse. Ghost Serge looked a two year old going places defying the winners penalty to win the novice auction race. It was the first leg of a treble for jockey Ben Curtis the other two winners were Clon Coulis and Lucent Dream. Hee Haw took the five furlong handicap in good style for Keith Dalgleish. At Wetherby, there was a treble for Tony Hamilton with Age Of Elegance, Indomeneo and Dapper Man. At Windsor, there was a double for trainer David Evans with Tie Em Up Tel and Bahamian Dollar who saw off King Of Spin in a good finish. King Of Spin was advised to our members 1pt each way at 4/1. At Nottingham, there was a double for Richard Hannon with Lexington Grace and Nayel. The Lugano bandwagon rolled on for Sir Mark Prescott as Lugano made it four wins on the bounce.
Tuesday, the next five days blogs will focus primarily on Royal Ascot. We start at Royal Ascot , on the morning of the meeting Frankie Dettori was ruled out for the entire meeting through injury. The opening race of the meeting was the Queen Anne Stakes. It saw the brilliant Ribchester in action. Ribchester at Newbury had been a ready winner in the Lockinge. The two pacemakers blazed along at a crazy gallop and were totally ignored. Ribchester moved up two furlongs out . Ribchester despite hanging across the track ran out a comfortable one and a quarter length winner. Mutakayef who was last seen in Dubai and ran on well for second. Deauville had been supplemented by Coolmore , the decision was vindicated with a creditable third. Ribchester was advised to our members 3pts win at 6/5. The Coventry a big two year old race saw Brown Bear go off a well backed favourite for Jessica Harrington. Brown Bear hit the front two furlongs out however hung badly left , it cost him dear.The race went to Rajasinghe who held Headway by a neck with Murillo a neck back in third. The Kings Stand over the flying five furlongs . Lady Aurelia illuminated the meeting last year. It was the same story here as Lady Aurelia blitzed her rivals for a brilliant three length win. The 2016 winner of this event Profitable was second, with the favourite Marsha who was flat out from the start staying on for third. The form looks solid on the basis the right horses were in the first three places. Lady Aurelia is clearly a very special horse. Marsha was advised to our members 1pt each way at 10/3
The feature race ,the St James's Palace saw Churchill put his reputation on the line having won the Uk and Irish 2,000 Guineas. There were lots of people making the case for Barney Roy beforehand . They were to have the winning feeling. Lancaster Bomber took the field along, Churchill was never really at it from 3 furlongs out. Barney Roy tackled Lancaster Bomber one furlong out and ran out a one length winner. Churchill almost certainly did not run his race , however that is not Barney Roy's problem. It will be interesting to see where Churchill and Barney Roy go from here. The Ascot Stakes was up next. A flat race with lots of old friends from the jumps. Beyond Conceit was really well backed beforehand , however was never a factor. Iniciar went a crazy gallop, Who Dares Wins tracked the leaders and hit the front four furlongs out . All the time the eye was drawn to Thomas Hobson who at one point was a good 20 lengths off the pace. Thomas Hobson ran out a six length winner and may return to Ascot on Saturday. Thomas Hobson was advised to our members 1pt each way at 9/2. Who Dares Wins advised to our members 1pt each way at 11/2. The Windsor Castle Stakes was the finale . A massive gamble went astray on Declarationofpeace backed from 7/2 - 13/8 and finished stone last. The race was a triumph for Godolphin as they claimed a 1-2 with Sound And Silence and Roussel , with a neck between the duo at the line. It gave Godolphin a treble on the day. The Godolphin operation will be delighted with the results after recent well documented problems in the camp.
Wednesday,day two of Royal Ascot. The opening race was the Jersey Stakes. The race went to the well backed favourite Le Brivido for the ultra shrewd Andre Fabre. Spirit of Valor ran a cracker in second beaten a neck with Mubtasim back in third. The Queen Mary over the flying five was up next for the fillies. Happy Like a Fool went off 10/11 for Wesley Ward. The race went to Heartache who stalked Happy Like a Fool and burst clear in the last furlong for a clear cut success. Out Of The Flames was up for third. The Duke Of Cambridge was up next, it lost some of the interest as favorite Laugh Aloud was a non runner. It turned out be a good race. Qemah who won at Royal ascot last year go it done here in a quick time by three parts of a length from Aljazzi. It was a race to forget for Barzalona on board Usherette who met trouble all the way. Qemah was advised to our members 2pts win at 5/2.
The Prince Of Wales stakes a group 1 and the feature race saw a result which would have pleased many. The wonderful Highland Reel fought off all comers to land the prize for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore. Highland Reel did it the hard way from the front seeing off Decorated Knight by one and a quarter lengths with Ulysses a short head back in third. Jack Hobbs ran a shocker finishing last despite the punters steaming in. Highland Reel is simply a brilliant racehorse who turns up for every big occasion and wins. The Royal Hunt cup was up next it went in tenacious fashion to Zhui Feng who made most of the running. Zhui Feng held off Blair House by a half length, with Tashweeq a neck back in third. The Sandringham the finale on the day went in tremendous style to Con De Partio for Wesley Ward and the hold up king Jamie Spencer.I thought, Rain Goddess ran a blinder in second with Paco's Angel finishing third giving way in the last 50 yards.
Away from Ascot, Titi Makfi continued his good run for Mark Johnston by winning again at Hamilton. I think Titi Makfi can win again soon. I was impressed with Peregrine Run when I saw him at Roscommon on debut over fences. Peregrine Run delivered on the promise of that run with a decisive win at Wexford over fences. Peregrine Run can pay his way in good ground chases, he travels well in his races and jumps economically.
Thursday,day 3 of Royal Ascot.The Norfolk Stakes saw a win for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore as Sioux Nation ran on really well for a half length win. Santry ran very well in second , with Cardsharp running very well in third. The Hampton Court went in good style to Benbatl who held off Orderofthegarterby a half length. Mirage Dancer was up for third. Benbatl deserved this win as he had run really good race in the Craven, Dante and Derby. Benbatl was advised to our members 1pt each way at 9/2. The Ribblesdale Stakes for fillies. went to Coronet & Olivier Peslier the duo got up to win from Mori and Hertford Dancer in what was a great race.
The Gold Cup the feature of the week saw a really popular result. Big Orange showed a fantastic attitude to fend off Order Of St George by a short head. It was a great battle in the last furlong. Big Orange was well backed from 8/1 - 5/1. Harbour Law was up for third. The Britannia saw Jamie Spencer at his best on the straight mile as Spencer got Bless Him up by a half length late on.The places were filled out by Ronald R, Tricorn and Indian Dandy. The King George V Stakes went to Godolphin. Atty Persse was an impressive winner , from fellow Godolphin runner First Nation, Bear Valley and Drochaid filled out the places. Homesman advised to our members 1pt each way at 14/1 placed (5th place special).
At Leopardstown, the good run of Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning continued with a double. The horses were Theobald and New Direction. The final race at Leopardstown was interesting as a number of horses were clearly being lined up for Galway. I think Bobabout was one such horse. The race went to Eight and Bob who got away on the front to win at 50/1. Bobabout endured a troubled passage , however when in the clear flew home for second. Bobabout advised to our members 1pt each way at 6/1. The Galway festival will surely be the target now.
Friday, day 4 of Royal Ascot. The Albany Stakes was the opener .Different League won the Albany by a neck from Alpha Centauri. This was a good race and Alpha Centauri lost little in defeat. Different League is trained in France but owned by Irish people who had a great day by the look of it. The King Edward VII stakes went to Permian who bounced back from a below par run in the Derby. The win of Permian advertised the form of the Dante and the Derby. Khalidi looked unlucky running on from a mile back just failing by a half length at the line. There looked to be no excuse for Crystal Ocean in third who ran well . I will watch Crystal Ocean closely as I think Stoute's horses although running fine, just weren't winning. The Commonwealth Cup was up next this was a great race with a brilliant winner. Caravaggio was a brilliant winner picking up really well to collar the Godolphin duo of Harry Angel and Blue Point. The front three horses are very talented sprinters. Caravaggio looks a special racehorse
The Coronation was the feature race. It turned out to be a triumph for Aidan O'Brien and Coolmore. The race went Winter who saw off Roly Poly and Hydrangea. There is no doubt about the brilliance of Winter a dual 1,000 Guineas winner and now a Royal Ascot winner. It will be interesting to see where Winter goes from here. The Queens Vase was a very good race it went to Stradivarius who held off Count Octave by a neck with Secret Advisor in third. The Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes concluded the card. It went to Rare Rhythm for Godolphin, who saw of Appeared , Star Storm and Top Tug filled out the places. Top Tug was advised to our members 1pt each way at 12/1. Appeared was advised to our members 0.5pt each way at 13/2.
At Down Royal, there was an interesting card. Rashann took the conditions hurdle. Rashann is very consistent and will his boots in conditions hurdles during the summer months. The feature race the Galway Plate trial went to the Jessica Harrington trained Sandymount Duke who just held off the Gigginstown duo of Net D'Ecosse and Devils Bride. It was a good night for our members. Rashann 11/8 (rule 4 25% deduction) & Sandymount Duke Advised to our members 2pts win double, both won yielding a 10 point profit.
Saturday, day 5 of Royal Ascot. The Chesham was first up. The debut of September at Leopardstown was very visually impressive. September lived up to that here really quickening very smartly. Nyaleti set a tremendous gallop really testing the field, doing very well to finish second. Masar was really well backed in third trying to go with Nyaleti. September could go on to big things. Masar was advised to our members 1pt each way at 6/1. Snoano won the Wolferton Handicap at 25/1 beating Majeed by a neck , another great result for the bookmakers. The Hardwicke Stakes went to the full brother of Highland Reel, the talented Idaho. It was a good race with Idaho winning by a half length from Barsanti with Chemical Charge in third.
The Diamond Jubilee stakes produced a brilliant finish. The race was fought out by The Tin Man , Tasleet and Limato with a neck and three parts of a length back in third. I would think Tasleet is the horse to take out of this race. I like this horse. Librisa Breeze was advised to our members 1pt each way at 12/1 placed (4th place special). The Wokingham Handicap was up next , it went to Out Do who held off Steady Pace by a half length. I thought Projection ran a great race on the opposite side to the front two horses home. The Queen Alexandra Stakes concluded the meeting . It produced a tremendous battle between Oriental Fox and Thomas Hobson bidding for his second win of the week. Oriental Fox got it done by a length and a quarter from Thomas Hobson. Us Army Ranger and Qewy ran well in third and fourth. Qewy advised to our members 1pt each way at 6/1 placed (4th place special). Masar 6/1 Ascot 230 & Qewy (6/1) Ascot 535. Advised to our members 0.5pt E/w double, both placed.
As usual Royal Ascot was a great spectacle.Punting wise lots of judges seemed to struggle including myself. I think for me, I will not bet in any of the straight course handicaps anymore. I am convinced the draw bias that prevailed on day 1 and 2 was artificially dealt with possibly with a watering can. The change in the track bias was nothing short of remarkable. I also do not buy the jockeys lines about the pace on each side. I will just cut out these races next year from a punting viewpoint.
Away from Ascot, there was some good stuff. Clongowes landed a touch when winning the Ulster Derby at Down Royal for Jim Bolger . Clongowes was backed from 7/1 overnight -11/4 on the day. At Lingfield, Silvestre De Sousa again picked yet another double in June on board Medburn Dream and Dealer's Choice. Our members had a decent day betting in Ireland. Tilly's Chilli was advised to our members 1pt each way at 9/2 placed in the 345 at Down Royal. Sir Jack Yeats advised to our members 1pt each way at 8/1 placed in the 505 at Gowran. (Rule 4 10% deduction). Sir Jack Yeats 8/1 (rule 4 10% deduction) 505 Gowran & Tilly's Chilli (9/2) Downroyal 345. Advised to our members 0.5pt E/w double, both placed.
Sunday, we start at Pontefract as Silvestre De Sousa kept up his incredible June.There was a four timer on the day for De Sousa as he steered , Footsteps Forever, Cape Coast, Akavit and Pattie to victory. The first two horses were a double for Mark Johnston. Silvestre De Sousa is now 1/8 to be champion jockey. At Pontefract , there was also a double for Sir Michael Stoute with Abingdon and Swiftsure. At Worcester, Mr Mcguiness took the feature race the £18K handicap hurdle. At Hexham, former triumph hurdle winner Peace And Co won on debut over fences.It will be interesting to see where Peace And Co goes from here. At Gowran, Aidan O'Brien continued his superb run with a double with Rostropovich and Spanish Steps who won by 10 lengths. The feature race went to Not A Bad Oul Day who has been in tremendous form winning three of the last four races, he made it 4 from 5 here. Prior to this Not A Bad Oul Day has gone up 25 pounds in that time. Another hike looms before a trip to Galway. Not A Bad Oul Day is progressing at the rate of knots however.Not A Bad Oul Day was advised to our members 1pt each way at 5/1.