AT the grave risk of repeating myself, wouldn’t you get really sick and tired of the incessant rain that has been plaguing us over the last while.
To reverse an old saying, it looks like “we will never see a fine day again!”.
The rainy weather has really affected the racing no end, right across the two islands, for it is fairly obvious that trainers do not want to chance their horses on ground that would be totally unsuitable.
Consequently, the number of non-runners everywhere has escalated out of all knowledge, for example, there I was, last Saturday, after my morning studying the form, and picking the horses out of the morning runners etc.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, for, having completed my transactions in the local betting shop, I settled down on the high stool to what promised to be an enjoyable afternoon of television racing.
You can imagine my annoyance, when, as the racing progressed, I discovered that probably about half of the horses that I backed had been withdrawn.
You may say that I could have checked them one by one, but who has the time when in a hurry!
Anyway, onward we go to this Saturday’s jumble sale, which this time is a brilliant afternoon at Ascot, where the centrepiece is the King George Stakes.
My first selection of four televised races is in the Deloitte Handicap, where I will go for Frankie to get us off to a good start with Asatir, who will have most to fear from Richard Hughes on My Queenie.
My second choice is in the Summer Stakes, which, on the face of it, looks a very competitive race, where cases can be made for a lot of the runners.
The solution to the problem could be Carlton House, who has improved a lot since last year, and running really well in recent races.
This one could be a nice price, and may go in from the John Gosden trained Questioning, another horse with winning ambitions.
I will now go to the Heritage Handicap, another race with chances lying all over the place, as can be expected in any decent handicap.
I will take a risk here with an outsider, Farlow, who has been doing well in the lower grades.
For the danger here I will take one of the likely favourites, Lethal Force, who should give my choice plenty to do in the last furlong.
Last but not least, we have the “piece de resistance”, the King George, one of the prime races of the season.
In this race, I will do a dangerous thing by ignoring recent winner Nathaniel, and narrow the race down to two excellent candidates, Sea Moon and St. Nicholas Abbey.
St. Nicholas Abbey, once a warm favourite for the Epsom Derby, has somehow recovered his best form, and formed a great partnership with young Joe O’Brien, and, if on his best behaviour, could go very close here.
My own personal selection is the improving Sea Moon, who seemed to take ages to find the form that was expected of him all season.
His last victory has proven to me that he is at last ready to take the final step-up to stardom by winning this very prestigious prize for his brilliant stable.
Well, that’s your lot for this Saturday.
Good luck, and please watch for non-runners.
The Fab Four:
Ascot: 2:45, Asatir, 3:20 Carlton House, 3:55 Farlow, 4:35 Sea Moon.