No less than six meetings on the Flat today and the unusual fact about the card at Chepstow this evening is that there are no runners from the Richard Fahey yard.
Around the other meetings he has no less than 32 (thirty two) declared and so the first bet today is the 5-4 available to bag more than 3 winners. That’s a strike rate of only 12½%, whereas the overall season stat is verging on 15% so the price is right.
Main meeting of the day is at Haydock, which features two Group 3 events, the first of which is the Betway Pinnacle Stakes at 3.30.
Ten ladies are due to go to post for this twelve furlong race, which is likely to be a slog through the mud by the time the stalls open.
Favourite at 9-4 is the Roger Varian trained Ajman Princess, who confirmed her well-being with a 5 length romp in a Listed race at Goodwood just over a month ago. This filly was second in the Group 2 Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot last season, before virtually pulling up lame in the Irish Oaks at The Curragh, after which she was not seen again until winning a Lingfield maiden (!) at the rewarding odds of 1-20 at the end of March.
The Ascot second was achieved on soft ground, so she does handle cut, but today’s going could just be beyond her.
Second in is the French trained Bateel, a 5-y-o mare for whom the ground cannot be too soft. Trained over here by David Simcock until this season, this daughter of Dubawi made a bright start for her new trainer F-H Graffard when finishing second in a Group 3 at Chantilly at the end of April. That was over 1m7f and her obvious stamina will stand her in good stead today, making the 3-1 available a fair price and a recommended bet.
The Betway John Of Gaunt Stakes at 4.05 sees joint favourites at 7-2 with dear old Breton Rock fighting it out with Mitcham Swagger for the jolly honour.
Admirable as Breton Rock is, a seven-year-old carrying a 5lb penalty is not my idea of heaven and, for the life of me, I do not ‘get’ Mitcham Swagger. Winning a handicap off 87 nearly two years ago is this horse’s best winning performance and although it has threatened to throw in a good one sooner or later, I’ll hope it’s later than today.
Our idea of a bet in this race is an each way investment on the Charles Hills trained Jallota at 11-2. A 3lb penalty for a Group 3 win in France last year is an inconvenience but no more and this 6-y-o is an out and out 7 furlong specialist, who likes soft ground and is unbeaten at Haydock. So what’s not to like? Well, nothing, so get on and trust Frank to do the biz.
I hear that Donald Trump has telephoned Theresa May to congratulate her on the General Election result – he’s a card, that Donald.
Edgbaston is the venue as England attempt to knock the Baggy Greens out of the Champions Trophy and thus ensure Bangladesh’s place in the semi-finals – deep joy.