This is the 312th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.
No selections for a few days, and no blog either, but then racing this week hasn’t been particularly inspiring. I’m still smarting from Saturday’s mega-racing programme. There were some exceptional performances, notably from GREEN DESTINY who now will attempt a follow-up win at “Glorious” Goodwood in the Totesport Mile despite an 11lb hike in the ratings.
Just looking thru’ the results section in today’s Weekender and a few performances catch my eye.
At Ascot on Saturday, in the Class 2 Totepool H’cap over 6f, 5 of the 1st-7 places were filled with those drawn the highest of the 19 runners. As such, the proximity to the winner of 2nd placed LUTINE BELL (drawn 11) and IMPERIAL GUEST (drawn 13) in 5th should not be underestimated, especially that of LUTINE BELL who did not have a clear run thru’ at a vital part of the race.
At Chester on Saturday, the ‘Listed’ race in which my selection (Awzaan) ran was won by the 3yo MAJESTIC MYLES with a superlative performance as he was travelling like the winner a long way out. It is all the more noteworthy as the runner-up MON CADEAUX also travelled exceptionally well and threatened (at one point) to reel-in the winner. The race was run in a fast time, and the winner looks likely to be up to winning a Group 3.
Now is the time of year when you should pay attention to 3yo colts taking-on their elders as the weight-for-age allowances are much in favour of improving 3yo’s right now.
Billy Wallace who writes as “The Prophet” in the Weekender is in rare form this summer, and tho’ his selections are available mainly via his phone-line service, the column he writes in the Weekender is full of gems of information. If you had read he column in recent weeks then you couldn’t fail to have been on recent winners, including GREEN DESTINY (SP 6/1) and NORMAN ORPEN (SP 14/1) who both won at York on Saturday.
One from last week that you should make a note of is WELL SHARP. His trainer, Michael Dods, has an awful record when travelling south of Leicester on the M1, yet this horse ran well at Royal Ascot and again at Newmarket (in the race won by Fulghar) on Thursday. If and when he turns-out on a Northern track, he looks one to lump-on. Another from the same card is LUJEANIE who looked like the winner (to my eyes at least) till not getting a clear run about a furlong out and then running-out of race. All 4 of his wins have come over 6-furlongs and a return to that trip in this sort of form should see him return to the winner’s enclosure.
Today’s cards were not up to much, and Thursday’s don’t look much better with evening meetings at Bath, Doncaster and Epsom all looking low-key. There are afternoon meetings at Leicester (again, low-key) and Hamilton which hosts the 1st of a 3-day meeting there, the feature of which is the ‘Listed’ Glasgow Stakes over a mile & 3-furlongs. However, we may have a likely wager in another event on the card. Remember, selections are now being posted on Betting League.
Friday’s racing looks better. At Hamilton in the evening, there is the Class 2 Scottish Stewards Cup over 6-furlongs and this looks like being competitive. Last week, I noted the run of HIDDEN GLORY prior to him coming 2nd at 20/1 at Pontefract off OR74. He remains on that mark for a couple of entries, and I hope he goes to Newbury on Friday.
Onto Saturday and, with afternoon meetings at Newbury, Newmarket and Ripon, and evening meetings at Haydock and Lingfield, it is a declaration of how ordinary the “flat” racing is on the 3rd weekend in July when Channel 4 Racing are televising the top-class summer “jumps” meeting – featuring the Summer Plate Handicap Chase – at Market Rasen. Race planners really need a kick up the backside when we go from one extreme to the next during the summer. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; in my opinion 90% of weekend racegoers could not care less what sort of racing they get to see when they go racing. So, by all means fill the weekend with racing but at least spread it around a bit. Why couldn’t one of the “southern” meetings at Newbury or Lingfield take place on Sunday?
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