SHAMROCK WINS WITH 14-1 DARK HORSE: She had form figures of 088 in the racing paper, shunned by the tipsters and 17.0 on Betdaq, but Shamrock warned she was a hidden horse, like ‘a pea in a peat bog’, at Navan yesterday. Result: Lady Bennett WON 14-1.
AN 86-1 DOUBLE BID TODAY: It followed Zoffany (2nd 20-1) who almost caught Frankel at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, and he has another pair of outsiders for a double today amounting to around 86-1 at this morning’s offers.
NAP, THREE DOUBLES AND A TREBLE UP: Meanwhile his short shots all won yesterday, landing him his nap, Experience (WON 1-2), and three doubles and a treble with Cannon Hill (WON 7-2) and Long Journey Home (WON 4-5)
TWO BEST BETS OUT OF TWO: This follows Tuesday’s nap, Power (WON 4-1), at Royal Ascot, doubled with 17-lengths scorer Jive Master (WON 4-5).
ROYAL ASCOT: The sight of Lolly For Dolly rolling home at Royal Ascot was a great satisfaction and some considerable shame: she’d been a great punting servant to me in the early part of the season. Now I had deserted her, she suddenly improved to win her first Group 2.
Well done ‘Dolly’, well done to the Stacks and more fool me, looking for one to go with a 14-1 winner, when her 11-1 SP would have given me a 179-1 double. Our cat was forced to hide in the wood-shed all night, I tell you.
Now Banimpire (3.05) tries to do the exact same: step up from Group-3 domestic success at Leopardstown, Cork and Naas into the Group-2 arena with the best the English can muster for the Ribblesdale. Go on my girl!
Fame And Glory (3.45) would be bringing the Gold Cup back to Ballydoyle: they thought they owned it until Yeats retired after four in a row, but Dermot Weld kept Irish hands on it with Rite Of Passage last year, saddened he couldn’t get him right to defend the title.
As I should have been with ‘Dolly’ yesterday, so I’m duty bound to have faith in a horse I put up for the Epsom Derby over the winter: Apache took his time to come right but has improved every race, and again last time for a trip.
He must win this handicap if he is to live up to Irish Group-1 entries in the Derby, Champion Stakes and St Leger.
LEOPARDSTOWN: Following three-year-olds against older horses worked brilliantly yesterday but students of past results will probably point out that there have been no second-season winners of the Listed (7.35) Glencairn Stakes.
Answer: that ‘s because it was for four-year-olds plus until this year. Only today is it open to three-year-olds, and they look pretty formidable, with two last-time winners, Future Generation and Royal Blue Star, and Ballydoyle’s Wild Wind.
Then in the 10-furlong handicap, Deire Na Sli is the first three-year-old to take part in this particular race. She’s been an awful bridesmaid but, tackling the trip for the first time, she could show enough improvement to challenge Casbah Rock.
The rest of Leopardstown looks easy. That’s what worries me and, looking for an outsider, I’m stumped by the shortage of runners, a card low on quantity by Irish standards due to the firm ground. The 8.35 mile handicap is probably my best chance.
The one in that race must be Jeangeorges, an animal with poor form until he comes to Leopardstown. The track seems to set him alight: he’s been first and second there, both off higher marks than today and both on firm ground.
Jeangeorges is 11.5 this morning and Apache 7.6, hardly yesterday’s 340-1 multiples tilt but 86-1 would be very welcome, and I shall back my short-shots trio stop at a winner, on the basis that one at least must score after frive out of six in two days.
NAP: Fame And Glory (3.45 Royal Ascot)
NEXT BEST: Banimpire (3.05 Royal Ascot)
EACH-WAY: Apache (5.35 Royal Ascot) and Jeangeorges (8.35 Leopardstown)
OUTSIDER DOUBLE: Apache (5.35 Royal Ascot) and Jeangeorges (8.35 Leopardstown)
DAQ TRIO: Banimpire (3.05 Royal Ascot), Fame And Glory (3.45 Royal Ascot), Marksmanship (5.00 Royal Ascot)