Well whoever suggested a family holiday left you feeling refreshed and eager to get back to work has never been to Tenerife with older children, I arrived back exhausted and getting back to work has seemed like a bit of a rest in comparison.
Naturally, a million things have happened in the world of racing in the two week gap but you will have read of most of those elsewhere leaving me to pick the subjects that I found the most interesting. I have to start with the excessive negativity out there at present for the sport I love. Doom and gloom merchants are crawling out left right and centre, some for the publicity, some no doubt out of genuine concern, but all of them garnering as much negative publicity of the sport as they can and that cannot be good news in the long term.
The issue the majority are crowing about is the likelihood in this politically correct climate is the opposition to gambling among some high profile members of our government - do we have one? - and their possible steps to limit bookmaker advertising which would, of course, have a negative effect.
That said, whatever your political views, I would like to think our lords and masters have enough braincells between them, odds against admittedly, to realise just how any jobs would be put at risk to the sport and of course, the loss of votes that would also entail. Naturally gambling needs to be sensibly regulated, and sadly we all know someone who has suffered the ill effects of their addiction, but I am an old-fashioned believer in free choice and 100% convinced that even if the nanny state made gambling illegal it would simply move underground making it even more difficult to manage.
On to the racing over the weekend and as I write the rains are falling in July, now you know why I went abroad for my hols, and I have had to do extra reading to get a better idea of the expected going over the weekend.
Newbury, Newmarket, and The Curragh battle it out for the top spot on a great weekend of racing and I have taken the plunge and decided to look for one “winner” at each track.
Newbury have always treated me well from way back in my local paper days, so it seems fair enough to start there when The Tin Man looks as if he has been found a suitable opportunity to get off the mark for the season in the Hackwood Stakes at 3.00pm by trainer James Fanshawe. Group One class at his peak with a course and distance win to his name he was last seen coming home sixth to Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, but really ought to find this sort of company far more to his liking as he gets older and looks sensibly placed this afternoon.
Newmarket is still the headquarters of racing as far as I am concerned and I am a huge fan of the July course (especially), though it looks a particularly tough card to try and call.
Local trainer John Gosden has two in the 2.40pm including forecast favourite Sparkle Roll but I narrowly prefer her stable companion Kesla who has unlimited room for further improvement.
Kesia is a once raced daughter of Australia out of Dansili mare Caserta, and she made a pretty favourable impression on debut when coming home a length and a half clear of odds on favourite Cape Cavalli on softer ground, despite looking as if the experience would do her the world of good. This Listed contest is the obvious next step of her education and she will need to find plenty more in this company, though with jockey Nicky Mackay in good form of late she looks as good a bet as any on this particular card.
One last meeting to go, before I get back to the golf having backed Brooks Koepka at 11/1 (now 13/2), Jordan Spieth at 40/1 (now 16/1), and (cough) Adam Scott at 28/1 (2000/1 for anyone stupid enough), so as things stand I am in with chances, all each-way if anyone is interested.
I am no Irish racing expert and have never claimed to be, but Aidan O’Brien looks all set for a decent day with more than one in with a rock solid looking chance. I am not in for the odds-on shots, but have heard they think a good deal of Iberia who makes his debut in the opener at 2.15pm. A son of Galileo (no big shock there), out of the Group class mare and Renaissance Stakes winner Beauty Bright, he has been showing up well on the home gallops though be warned, his fitness has to be taken at face value and if he opens up at Evens or less I will not personally be getting involved.
Horses to Follow.
None this week as I haven’t been glued to the TV for a change!
The Tin Man 3.00pm Newbury Saturday
Kesia 2.40pm Newmarket Saturday
Iberia 2.15pm The Curragh Saturday
Good luck as always,