For those not “lucky” enough to live in the United Kingdom (queue argument and disagreement), I cannot emphasise enough just how much rain has been falling in the last week or so, with last night a particularly bad example down South that even saw my favourite (well-drained) golf course closed due to flooding on Friday.
I have never been a huge advocate of Champions Day which is a fine concept in principle, yet often falls on a softer surface at the end of a long hard season, so do we really crown genuine Champions, or simply the best horses under the conditions on the day? Either way they now race on the inner track thanks to waterlogging so expect a few surprises – though that won’t stop me having a go (see below), albeit to far smaller stakes than normal.
Before then, I feel morally obliged to mention the recent uproar in Australia regarding animal cruelty to retired racehorses – if only because I am wary similar things may be going on behind the scenes here. If you are reading this then I have to assume you love your racing, in which case you will agree with me that cruelty is unacceptable – full stop. Sadly in this world where there is the chance to make money there will always be heartless moral free scum (trust me, I wanted to use more Anglo Saxon terminology there), but the public (that’s you and me), need to out them at every opportunity to protect the horses we love with the added bonus that we can be seen as a sport to be keeping our own house in order.
On to the weekend’s action and with Ryan Moore in Australia, and good luck on Ten Sovereigns who looks overpriced, it is Seamie Heffernan who will suffer the added weight of my money each way in the opener when he rides So Perfect who looks overpriced at 22/1. The Champions Sprint will take plenty of winning and looks ferociously competitive, but the selection has form on a softer surface and does look tidily weighted if the ground is as desperate by race time as I suspect. She is most certainly not a good thing, I can only dream of a 22/1 banker, but has a better chance than her odds imply so fingers crossed for a good start to a difficult day.
At the risk of a pattern emerging, my second not-so-serious selection also lives at the Aidan O’Brien stable and a risk is taken on Pink Dogwood, again each way, in the Champion Fillies and Mares at 2.45pm over a little shy of a mile and a half. There was plenty of stable confidence over her Oaks chances earlier in the summer before she was beaten a neck by Anapurna, and although she has gone off the boil recently, she trades at six times the price of that rival. Better still, she strolled home by five lengths on heavy ground when winning her maiden and with the excellent Pierre-Charles Boudot in the saddle we should get a decent run for our money.
Lastly, we can round things off with another who will handle the ground and may well love it, as William Haggas lets Addeybb loose again in the Champion Stakes at 4.00pm. Despite his shorter price I still will not be going in too heavily with the stable in the middle of a lean patch, but the son of Pivotal took a lesser contest with ease on heavy going at Haydock last time out and will be one of the few in this field to handle the dig underfoot for jockey James Doyle who we all know I rate very highly.
Horses To Follow:
I am pretty certain that adding an unnamed horse to our portfolio is a first for the season but ladies and gentlemen, I give you Maria Rosa. An unraced $1.75 million daughter of War Front owned by Godolphin and in training in Newmarket with John Gosden. She was in the process of some serious market support ahead of her debut this evening (Friday) at Wolverhampton before being scratched. We have no idea at present where she will head next but if she is kept to either novice or maiden company and repeats her homework on the track, she is a winner waiting to happen, hopefully carrying some of our money.
So Perfect Each-Way 1.35pm Ascot Saturday
Pink Dogwood Each-Way 2.45pm Ascot Saturday
Addeybb 4.00pm Ascot Saturday