Downpours make searching for a UK winner a bit of a lottery
And once again the British summer has disappeared as pouring rain has come and spoiled our fun with heavy downpours seeing over a hundred non-runners on Wednesday afternoon and a two-horse race at Brighton on Thursday – no wonder we are known for whining about the weather and I am sure we would all love to see a bit more sunshine.
The problem is that most form until the last two weeks has been on much quicker going so finding winners has become a bit of a lottery for us all. It gets even harder on Saturday with the marmite of the racing world and the Shergar Cup – a real love it or hate it spectacle but one that does bring the sport we love much needed added publicity away from the sports pages.
Add four team (Girls, Rest Of The World, Europe, and Great Britain and Ireland) consisting of various top-class jockeys, some of whom have never ridden the track before let alone the horse they get drawn to ride, and it is fun but as a betting option to me, it seems severely limited.
Anthony Delpech, picture Liesl King
As some of you will know, I am a bit of a fan of South African racing and have been particularly taken with the South African Jockey Academy who do a wonderful job, churning out star after star including Anthony Delpech.
Delpeck rides John Best’s Glenys The Menace in the 3.25pm. The daughter of American Post arrives in great form after wins at Newmarket and Leicester in lesser races. She has been put up a very reasonable two pounds for a four-length win from Reverend Jacobs from a poor draw and as that was on good to soft going there is every reason to think she can handle the conditions here. At 10/1 I am sorely tempted each way, plus as she is stepping up in trip which may well bring even further improvement.
She ends my Ascot interest from a punting perspective at least, and I will metaphorically head off to Haydock next for another each way suggestion.
Admittedly we have not seen Francis Of Assisi in action since November last year, but he was entitled to take his time to get over two winning runs at Bendigo in a Group three handicaps and then at Melbourne in the Group Three Queen Elizabeth Stakes which he won by an impressive ten lengths.
If he is fit and Charlie Appleby has all the facilities needed plus the Newmarket gallops then he could win this and do so with ease, and at the prices how can I resist.
One more suggestion to round things off and Newmarket’s July course is a personal favourite, and they race as well on Saturday afternoon.
In the hope that Charlie Appleby has an above average Saturday I will stick with the once raced Poetic Charm who looked as if she had so much room for further improvement on her course and distance debut even though she scored by a length.
She ran in to trouble in running that day under William Buick but still put the race to bed with comfort from hot Aidan O’Brien favourite Sizzling. Although this is obviously tougher James Doyle is a jockey I have a lot of time for and she could yet go on to be a classic contender for 2018.
Glenys The Menace each way 3.25pm Ascot Saturday
Francis Of Assisi each way 2.30pm Haydock Saturday
Poetic Charm 3.40pm Newmarket Saturday