1700: Apologies for the problems with the emails but that I'm afraid that is that. Very interesting day and I honestly believe Bonfire rates a decent each-way bet at 8-1 in the Investec Derby in a race which could be lacking in depth. Is there even going to be a double digit field?
I'm next in action at Epsom either for Investec Oaks day - or even Breakfast With The Stars. No I'm not offering to buy you a rasher sandwich at Big Baps, but I could be there for the media event.
Thanks for your help as ever and here's to the next two Classics.
1655: Cape Tribulation didn't win...but what a finish we had. Cloudy Spirit gets the better of Dark Ranger after a sustained duel.
1st 14 Cloudy Spirit 13-2
2nd 4 Dark Ranger 8-1
3rd 3 Bruslini (FR) 16-1
4th 17 Orsippus (USA) 12-1
1635: Interesting line coming out of Halifax and Timeform feel Bonfire will have to improve to get the better of Camelot in the Investec Derby at Epsom.
Andrew Balding's colt achieved a provisional rating with the firm of 121p today. That leaves him with two pounds to find with the current favourite and QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner.
Handicapper Andrew Mealor said: "Bonfire's two-year-old form had already received a boost prior to the race with French Fifteen's second in the 2000 Guineas, and it was no surprise to see Bonfire step forward again with a very smart effort on just his third career start, the win arguably even more promising considering he was taking on race-fit rivals.
"A rating of 121p puts Bonfire almost on a par with recent Dante winners who went on to either win or run well at Epsom, notably Authorized (123) and Tartan Bearer (122).
"We believe Bonfire has the credentials to go on and run a big race himself in the Derby, his manner of victory firmly suggesting the step up to 1m4f will bring about some more improvement, hence he retains the p on his rating.
"However, Camelot is obviously also open to plenty of improvement over a mile and a half given his stamina-laden pedigree, arguably even more so, and he holds a 2lb edge on our ratings at the moment after posting a figure of 123p in the 2000 Guineas."
Timeform Derby weights (weight adjusted): 137p Camelot, 135p Bonfire, 132 Wrote, 131 Parish Hall, 130p Main Sequence, Imperial Monarch
To win the Derby - Betfair bet: 11-10 Camelot, 15-2 Bonfire, 15-1 Main Sequence, 17-1 Imperial Monarch, 19-1 Parish Hall, 35-1 Noble Mission, Ektihaam.
1630: Nearly done team and the emails still playing up. I feel cut adrift! Anway surely Cape Tribulation is going to win the lucky last isn't he?
1626: Belated news from the stewards room and Joseph O'Brien didn't face any action after the Dante - he reported Ernest Hemingway lost his action.
1623: That's a sweet victory for owner Phil Cunningham who bred the winner out of his 2000 Guineas winner Cockney Rebel.
1618: Money talks, but it don't sing and dance, and it don't walk. The Abbey runs well in second but Funk Soul Brother does that well. He looks a smart two-year-old in the making.
1st 5 Funk Soul Brother 8-1
2nd 9 Newstead Abbey 9-2
3rd 1 Artigiano (USA) 8-1
1600: Nice bunch in the pre-parade ring and Newstead Abbey is the whisper on the racecourse.
1545: Pearl Secret is all potential still but lot to like about that performance - and Jamie Spencer's reaction to it. David Barron is in no rush to pick his next race and the programme for three-year-old sprinters isn't great but he's a horse of rich potential.
1540: I've had an awful time with emails but they're back up - and so is Ian Carr who says: "Am dancing a jig who needs tipsters and experts happy happy happy happy four winners and 2nd on placepot and as said earlier my £30 ew on 12-1 judge and jury whoo hooooooooooooooooooooooooo."
Ride the wave IC, ride the wave.
1st 5 Pearl Secret 5-6 F
2nd 1 Ponty Acclaim (IRE) 14-1
1520: 6.5% of the Placepot rolls on - courtesy of Mal Boyle.
1515: No bet in the next but very interested to see how Pearl Secret goes on. How high is he going to fly?
1505: Well, well, well. Faith is rewaded but only just. Fury knuckles down really well under a strong Ryan Moore ride to win by a nose.
1st 2 Fury 3-1
2nd 10 Prince Of Johanne (IRE) 20-1
3rd 3 Mijhaar 2-1 F
1458: I've just about given up on Fury - just about - but he and Justonefortheroad look two against the field here.
1455: Joseph O'Brien could be in a spot of bother here. He'd dashed off for the plane straight after the Dante and moments later a call came out for him to report to the stewards' room. He'd need good hearing. They're looking into whether he stopped riding to cost his horse fifth or sixth place. No, they honestly are.
1450: Bookmaker reaction is swift. Coral and Betfred are impressed and make the winner 5-1 for the Investec Derby, our sponsors Sky Bet are 6s from 10s and Ladbrokes 8-1 from 14s. He'd make plenty of each-way appeal for Epsom in potentially a small field.
1445: Winning trainer Andrew Balding said: "I was a little uncomfortable with all the hype. He's not a flamboyant work horse so it was just a great relief to get him out. He's behaved professionaly for the most part today and did it great in the race.
"It was a proper trial, the second had already had a run this season and Jimmy felt we were just getting a bit leg weary in the final furlong, not due to a lack of stamina but a lack of race fitness.
"That's all the more encouraging and as long as he comes out of it well Epsom has to be a serious consideration. The key there is to get a position and he looks to have the natural speed to do that. I'd imagine he's got it all providing this race doesn't take too much out of him."
1440: Ultimately a satisfactory trial, Ernest Hemingway sets an even gallop before dropping away and Bonfire is always holding the patiently-ridden Ektihaam. Fencing is a strong-travelling third.
1st 1 Bonfire 3-1
2nd 3 Ektihaam (IRE) 6-1
1430: Ektihaam is proving very difficult to load - but he has gone in with the blindfold on.
1428: Fencing for me but here's to a clear-cut winner and a live Investec Derby candidate emerging in the next five minutes or so.
1425: Bonfire under a very tight hold going to post for Jimmy Fortune. Will be intersting to see how he settles here.
1422: Forgot to add John Gosden said The Fugue was fine this morning following her Musidora win and ate up.
1420: Lovely looking bunch of colts for the Dante. Bonfire was very composed, Ektihaam a bull of a horse. Ernest Hemingway oozes quality. I couldn't put you off anything.
1415: John Gosden says of the winner: "She won on this very day last year, beating the Oaks winner at Newbury. We then finished third at Epsom but that was a bit beyond her and she's a mile-and-a-quarter filly. The big targets have to be the Nassau and the Opera and her season will revolve around them now. They have to be the big targets
1410: Sajjhaa hits the frame but Izzi Top is well on top at the line. The winner is going forward at a good rate right now.
1st 6 Izzi Top 7-2 F
2nd 9 Sajjhaa 9-2
3rd 5 I'm A Dreamer (IRE) 6-1
1357: Izzi Top wins best turned out and Mal Boyle reveals 40% of bets went through the first in the Placepot. Seems I wasn't alone then...
1355: A very happy Ian Carr writes: "After a miserable day for me yesterday and just in general of late, I thought about giving up the game then the old memories kicked in,and got me thinking about this day last year how a great day it was winning over 8k off £60. So I got back to the drawing board yesterday and thought lets give this a study and see and after a few hours of the old studying I came back to one horse old Judge and Jury and thought it was overpriced at 12-1 considering it's last run and last year had been reported with breathing problems, so after a little more studying I thought surely 4 places and 12-1 it is the one to be on, so after some deliberating I decided lets go for it and put half my budget on it £30 ew.
"Well low and behold just after 1.32 today am a happy man, and also have it in a £1 ew lucky 31 which my other half of my hard earned pennies budget i put on Judge and jury 12-1, Izzi top 7-2, Pearl Secret 11-10, Ektihaam 11-2, Fury 6-1 all bog
"So here is me hoping for more winners and maybe I could afford a toberlone too and a pasty and black sheep."
Now that is the tea of champions IC - and very well done sir!
1352: Sajjhaa, the Ord each-way bet to nothing, again looks a handful as she goes to post early. This is a good looking field as you'd expect but I;m A Dreamer looked very, very well.
1345: Aiden O'Leary is going for it in Dublin! He writes: "Going for an outlandish selection today: Set to Music, Fencing, Mijhaar, ponty Acclaim, Dust Whirl, Bruslini. Accy of all Accys! Could I be a millionaire?!!
At this stage AO you very much could!
1343: Brett Beech has spotted an earlier error...He says: "I am sure Sariska won the Musidora and then went on to win the Oaks??" You sir are correct! Very much correct too.
1340: Well done Ron Harris, well done those of you who found the winner and second, and well done to anyone who is still in the Placepot. Mr D A Ord is not.
1st 13 Judge 'n Jury 10-1
2nd 5 Secret Witness 10-1
3rd 4 Magical Macey (USA) 12-1
4th 7 Racy 8-1 CF
1325: Five minutes before Captain Parkes wins the opener. Before he does here are the market moves from our sponsors
2.00 Izzi Top 11/4 from 7/2, 2.30 Fencing 9/2 from 7, 15.35 Pearl Secret 4/6 from 11/10.
Go on the Fencing gamble. Started yesterday apparently when I mentioned him on the blog, nowt to do with Pricewise...
1320: Ryan In Perth says: "Pearl secret clearly isnt a secret that price has vanished! I think Izzy Top is a good bet but so does everyone so hardly original .........but Just a quick point regarding the Dante;GB bred runners have a poor record of 1 win from 30 in the last 10 years a loss of £28.00 (ROI-93.3%). Whereas Irish Breds (Ernest Hemingway) 7 winners form 29 profit of £18 (ROI +61%) interesting?"
It is R...but can we make it pay?
1310: Andrew K is in a state of shock. He says: "I hear you did rather well yesterday. After coming so close with Hoofalong (greed got the better of me and didn't back each way) I cannot decide whether to Pearl Secret or not Pearl Secret. I've been lucky enough toback it the last twice but the price is seriously putting me off. It could be a messy day as I have it stuck in my head that Mijhaar owes me money. Following such thoughts rarely pays off but is backing a loser worse than not backing a winner?"
I think medically it is AK!
1305: A very good afternoon to Bruce who says: "I strongly fancy Caledonia Lady in the 3:35. She was a head second on her first run of the season to Beyond Desire 2 starts ago, who won a decent sprint in France at the weekend. Pearl Secret is potentially a very good horse but I go with form over potential every time, & at odds on versus 5/1 against the choice is easy. There are a couple of others in what looks a hot little 6 runner affair, but I think Caledonia Lady could be a bit classy, as long as she starts better than last time when a staying on sixth to Mayson. Maximum bet time."
Best of luck B. May the punting gods be with you.
1300: Jag writes: "Am I right in thinking reams of verse in 97 was the last musidora winner to take the oaks and only one oaks winner has come via that race since which was alexandrova in 06, I have seen many impressive winners of the musidora who always seem to come up short on the big day. For that reason I don't fancy the gosden filly."
Interesting J. I loved the way she travelled through the race yesterday. She and Vow lead the home defence and it will be interesting to find out where Twirl sat in the Ballydoyle pecking order before yesterday. Not that we'll find out!
1255: As a result Falbrav's email has been sitting in my inbox for about two hours. Apologies to the great man. Anyway he says: "You remember what I said yesterday about public holidays in Switzerland? Well mine were cancelled and here I am in the office. Still wagered on the C4 races though. As for yesterday, I must make a mental note never to back in conditional sprints again. Tiddliwinks was the most exposed animal in the field and was rated fully a stone inferior to some rivals. Should have been tailed off at 100-1 rather than winning at 25s.
"Anyway, I got one today. One of those that you have to read the form really creatively to make a case for and will probably come last but just suppose... ...the horse concerned didn't take to the AW on its most recent start? How about something went amiss in his last run as a juvenile in the RP chase (missed the following season entirely)? Well, the animal in question did win his first two starts as a juvenile and if there were genuine excuses for two of his other three starts, we only need to evaluate the form of the Earl of Sefton.
"Said horsey finished 7 lengths behind Twice Over (rated 125) and finished in front of horses rated 116, 114 and 112. Rated 100 today, wears blinkers for the first time, will like York as it is a is traditionally a course that is difficult for winners to come from off the pace and has J Spencer up to ensure the right tempo. It's called Titus Mills, runs in the 3:00 and is not a 25-1 shot in a million years. Play up your winnings and fill yer boots!"
Now I live a Falbrav buzzer...no I love one!
1245: Apologies for the delay. I could blame the wifi (not true), lunch (partly true) but in all honesty I've caught up with Richard Fahey for his column about tomorrow and Saturday. I did then have lunch...but not the other way round.
1142: There's an awful lot of dull and dreary weather going round! Jen In Sarajevo says: "Morning Your drizzle has moved here....same dose as yesterday, when Eagle Rock and The Cheka repaid me for foolishness with Tajneed and Intuition. Today's silly little place only bets are Judge n Jury, Timepiece, Prince of Johanne and Orsippus. Would kill for a Black Sheep right NOW! Listening to TMS on Radio 5 Live, while waiting for the real stuff to begin. I can't get Turkey Twizzlers (or whatever they are called) but the local "cheese" "burger" makes an appropriate substitute, and the quote marks are deliberate! Good luck everyone."
And to you Jen - especially with the burger. I keep thinking Black Sheep would be the perfect sponsor for the blog and it's readers. Will forward a plan onto marketing.
1135: Ah the great Jen From BSE writes: "Congratulations on an excellent day yesterday and The Fugue will take all the beating on a sound surface at Epsom. It looks no easier today so I shall be more circumspect. Judge N' Jury gets a tentative vote in the opener, I'm a Dreamer runs well 1st time up and now they have worked out she needs 10f she should be a star this season. I'll take Ernest Hemingway to confirm his promise despite dropping down in trip, but it is a very tight race where a good case can be made for the front 5 in the market.
"In the last it may pay to recall your trigonometry and plump for Sohcahtoa who is well overdue a success and the extra distance may just do the trick. Going off at a tangent to Salisbury I think Virginia Gallica can run well on her handicap debut while it will take an above average newcomer to deny Spoke to Carlo at HQ this evening."
Interesting stuff as ever Jen - not looked at Salisbury but will get onto that shortly. First I need a coffee. I've switched to decaf but there are times when only full beans will do.
1130: Aiden O'Leary in Dublin asks: "How is it over there? Dull and dreary here. Not a great start to the festival for me, other than a couple of lowly each ways and a lucky one on Silent Witness! Anything on the move today for me to look out for???"
Will check out the market moves AO but it is also dull and dreary here. Drizzle back in the air.
1120: No more drizzle in the air here now but it's a tad chilly. Luckily I'm built for such weather.
1110: David M writes: "Some cracking racing instore today. I guzzled up some of the 7/2 for IZZI TOP with Billy Hill last night along with the 11/2 FENCING. However life rarely works out as simple as it should be.
"Despite that I'm all over PEARL SECRET and have doubled up about every other bet today with it. Dogleash sacked, England Boy (Owen) not getting his contract renewed - happy days! Happy punting."
And to you DM. Pearl Secret looks a very, very exciting young sprinter but opinion is split in the press room between him being a back or a lay at even money.
1055: There's no dout about the buzz horse in the Dante. Rich Williams says: "I'm firmly in the Bonfire camp today, form is better than these and looked a potential superstar on his debut, very good race though with some unexposed horses.My other fancy is Doctor Parkes in the sprint, good draw and made a pleasing comeback behind the very decent Confessional at Chester."
No doubt the good Doctor is back on an attractive mark - and he goes well here too. Must be a massive player.
As for Bonfire, he's clearly a colt of abundant potential and it wouldn't surprise me if he was to win here. But it seems he can be somewhat fiery and he looks plenty short enough for a decent Dante.
1045: Rich Lynn is concerned by my single bottle of Black Sheep Ale last night. Don't be sir. It helped wash down a grab bag of Minstrels.
He says: "Morning Daveed. Extremely concerned at your lack of alcohol intake last night!! Especially after a few winners!!
"Onto today - had a little bit on Judge n Jury in the first - Rolfy Harris seems to be firing them in all over the show lately. Not made up my mind in the Dante yet but going to stick with I'm a Dreamer in the 2nd. Was uber impressive first time out last season and the ground/trip should be just about perfect.
"Good luck one and all (unless going against those two) :))"
That's the spirit RL! This could be the best time to catch I'm A Dreamer but Sajjhaa my first (and there was another) charity bet winner at the Yorkshire Racing Festival last year strikes me as a knocking each-way bet in the Middleton.
1035: Phil in cloudy Northampton says: "I was already on Fencing but having seen sword related puns going up on website headlines everywhere, I doubled my stake last night. Plus a random Fencing (the sport) related anecdote just popped up in conversation at work so I'm taking that as a good sign. And as I think about it now, a fence in my garden blew down over the weekend. Do you believe in omens?
"On the subject of Secret Witness running for the 3rd time in 7 days and twice in 24 hours - I know little about horses beyond the basic anatomy and understanding form but this has to be a negative doesn't it? I know a few have been turned out quickly but what's your thoughts?"
I do believe in omens Phil - and my own fence which has been in a state of disrepair for three years now is being fixed today. Got to be something in this?
As for Secret Witness, some horses can't handle such a schedule but he's clearly thriving on hos work at present and he wouldn't be the first sprint handicapper to go in twice in the space of two days. Not for me though.
1030: Matt In Gloucestershire writes: "Fantastic action yesterday and today looks even better. A few that I like today, hopefully in the first a big run from Swiss Franc and from the fantastic David Elsworth stable, young Ryan a cracking booking and a lovely middle draw, should give us a decent run for our money.
"In the 2.00 the underrated Beatrice Encore for team Dunlop and young Ryan again, maybe not as flashy as the market leaders, but has had a pipe opener and wont be lacking for fitness, will go on the ground and will be staying on when the others have had enough.
"In the Dante, I'm with you and Fencing, cracking run in the Guineas, Gosden is on fire and a 1m 2 furlongs could be a perfect trip. So I'm with you all the way. As my obsession continues with young Ryan Moore, I'm going to go in with Fury in the 3.00, nice low draw, race fit, and the little horse deserves a change of luck. Have a great day, and I need the pennies as Mrs. Matt has just informed me we will be having a new Siamese cat in 7 weeks, and they are not cheap!!!"
She needs to lower her sights in the feline world Matt - or you go through the card today. One or the other.
1020: Brownie is an example to other parents. He says: "Morning Dave, after yesterdays puns re Bernard Matthews, I have informed the wife to get the "Turkey Twisters" on the shopping list, its time the children we introduced to a long lost friend from years gone by!
"Back to the racing, light rain welcomed me from a drab front door in cosmopolitan Leeds this morning, but not enough to get into the ground. Firstly, I concur that we may have seen the Oaks winner, you tried to tell us all, but I was stubborn. Lovely performance, Epsom bound has to be the call.
"I've done Racy @ 11's in the opener, Ernest Hemmingway @ 9/2 in the Dante, Mijhaar @ 3's and Pearl Secret @ 10/11. Need all 4 to pay for the Twisters!!!"
Tell Mrs B to look for some in the orange sticker section...but cook them as soon as she gets home. Time is of the essence when it comes to bargain bucket poultry.
1015: John Carus is one of the good guys and an early riser. He writes: "I trust you celebrated your flying start with gammon and pasty washed down with plenty of decent beer? My bruising has recovered slightly so have jumped on the Johnny G bandwagon with Izzi Top today. Hopefully the wagon is still rolling by 2:10! I think the Dante is very open this year, but hope Bonfire runs well. Have another great winning day Dave!"
Cheers JC. Just the one bottle of Black Sheep Ale would you believe. I convinced myself I was coming down with the lurgy that has struck so many of late. In the words of the great Elton John: I'm Still Standing though.
1010: Lovely trip down memory lane with Brian - Chumphon Thailand who says: "Like your Dad, I was a fanatical Major Dick Hern supporter ( all the way back to Provoke and Craighouse ) during those halcyon days when the owner-breeders like The Astors, Mr Brook-Holiday ,The Sobells, The Joels and, the greatest of them all Mr R D Hollingsworth, never bought nor sold a horse but dominated top class racing. Noel Murless before him set the standard and The Major upheld it magnificently.
"His shameful dismissal from West Ilsley by Lord Canaervon (endorsed by The Queen ) that was delivered to his wife while he was recovering from a heart attack in hospital ( long after his broken neck ) marks a low point in racing. Canaervon said he thought the The Major was "finished" but subsequent successes ( Nashwan for example ) totally eclipsed the efforts of Mr Hastings-Bass ( Earl of Huntingdon ) who replaced him as the Queen's trainer at West Ilsley.
"That era seemed to die when The Queen sold the top notch broodmare Height of Fashion to the Sheiks for more than a million."
I vividly remember Gorytus winning the Acomb here in the early 1980s. The world seemed to have at his hooves that day.
1000: Good morning and welcome to day two of the York Dante Festival. Having cracked the game yesterday I must admit it was a difficult choice as to whether to come here or spend the day at home punting. However a contract's a contract.
The ground remains good after a dry night but there's a light drizzle in the air now, nothing significant but the groundstaff are in hoodies which always worries me. I've cracked the Dante - as I told you yesterday Fencing wins that. Tom Segal is clearly aware of my hot streak as he's put it up too on Pricewise. This country.
As ever your emails are craved at firstname.lastname@example.org on all topics. But mainly the racing.