1755: Well that's it folks - thanks for your help again. Back for one final time tomorrow before B Linfoot steps into the hotseat. Let's hand over in style!
1745: No surprise it's been a good day for our sponsors Sky Bet and their spokesman Michael Shinners said: "It's been a day for the bookmakers, we started off well with Ishvana winning the Jersey and Jovial the Windsor Forest, they knocked out plenty of the multiple bets too. We laid both So You Think and Carlton House and that was no disaster although Prince Of Johanne was our worst result of the day in the Hunt Cup.
"Ceiling Kitty was another good one for us and did no damage in the last either so we're in front for the week so far - although there are three big days to come and there's time for it all to change. Tomorrow it's all about Fame And Glory and he's going to be pivotal to the day and the entire week."
1742: Lady's First hoses up from her rival on the far side - but it's all stands' side again. Lot of time for Mr D Wachman the trainer.
1st 5 Duntle (IRE) 4-1 F
2nd 14 Arsaadi (IRE) 12-1
3rd 16 Ladys First 7-1
4th 15 Villeneuve 25-1
1730: Thanks to JP who says: "Glad I heard Mr Dascombe earlier who did put me on Ceiling Kitty...so I have complemented Duntle with Switcher in the last...good luck at Fawlty Shower later on!"
Oh god, forgot about that J. Hopefully the chef/receptionist/manager has worked the oracle. Only thing cheering me up is the thought Ben Linfoot may end up with exactly the same room tomorrow night.
1725: Honestly don't know where this afternoon has gone. I've backed Ladies First but after tips from various sources for both Electrelane and Esentepe, the three have also gone in a combined exacta.
1708: Aidan O'Brien successfully managed to persuade Coolmore to let him race Starspangledbanner on after the July Cup a few years ago - but his pleas over So You Think look set to fall on deaf ears.
John Magnier said: "Aidan's been happier with this horse this year than he has ever been. I think the Eclipse will be next and the plan will be to go to Australia after that. He's probably done enough racing after that."
1705: And back down to reality. Michael Owen leading the celebrations there but the winner is owned by Andrew Black who gave away four shares in her in a Betfair staff competition at Cheltenham!
1st 4 Ceiling Kitty 20-1
2nd 9 Hoyam 10-1
3rd 8 Hairy Rocket 11-1
1658: Still on the muffin high - go on Graphic Guest.
1655: Camelot confirmed to be on taret for the Irish Derby - Joseph O'Brien saying: "He seems okay since Epsom but hasn't done much and has just been cantering away. I've sat on him once or twice and he seems good."
1650: That said I've not exactly been excelling on good ground - two to go though. There's hope in the heart. I have just had a muffin so cholosterol too.
1645: Glorious here right now but plenty of rain forecast overnight and through the morning. Will be juice in the ground if that's right.
1635: Just for information purposes only...it seems I'm no longer a Hunt Cup specialist. Cai Chen ran well - but place to be seemed to centre to nearside. He ran home for sixth or seventh.
1st 8 Prince Of Johanne (IRE) 16-1
2nd 23 Excellent Guest 33-1
3rd 30 Don't Call Me (IRE) 50-1
4th 17 Field Of Dream 66-1
1618: Right I'm about the climb the stairway to the level two viewing gallery. If I'm not back by 1800 can someone email the office and ask them to send assistance.
1614: Awful lot of pace among the low numbers where my fancy Cai Shen is berthed. Brae Hill likely to lead them along centre to stands' side.
1610: A field this size would stretch even the best of paddock watchers - and I'm certainly not that - but even I could see King's Trail was somewhat colty and Prince Of Johanne was lashing out behing in the pre-parade ring.
I did think Arabian Star looked an absolute picture.
1602: Parish notice and Seamie Heffernan picked up a seven-day ban for using his whip 12 times, two of which were discounted, when winning the Jersey aboard Ishvana.
1600: Another Frankel update and would you believe he lost a front shoe in yesterday's Queen Anne and had his foot poulticed.
Sir Henry Cecil said: "The shoe must have come off somewhere in the last furlong or after the line. His foot is poulticed but he's fine, we led him out for a pick of grass this morning.
"I've spoken to the Prince but it's only just after the race now and we'll feel our way with him. At the moment the main idea would be to go to Goodwood and York but we'll see - all the options are open."
1556: What a race Farhh ran in third too, flashing home having been slowly away and switched to the inside. He looks a Group One horse for Godolphin this summer. Mind you the Thirsk Hunt Cup form always works out well...
1555: For a stride or two the hats were in the air but So You Think eyeballs Carlton House and is dominant in the final furlong under another fine Joseph O'Brien ride. The winner was in the perfect position throughout.
1st 9 So You Think (NZ) 4-5 F
2nd 2 Carlton House (USA) 7-2
3rd 5 Farhh 6-1
1549: Steven Shefras asks: "What kind of specimen would Frankel and Black Caviar produce? Speed or Miler?"
I'd go for a miler - but then again the chances are the son or daughter would fail to live up the illustrious bloodlines. Not many great racemares make great broodmares. Tend to be very masculine I'm told.
1545: Interesting observation from Rob Goodwin who writes: "I couldn't help noticing the lack of value in the pricing up of the races at Royal Ascot on Tuesday and also that lots of runners were being trimmed by a whole point on the off. I looked at the book percentages on the SportingLife website and all afternoon they varied between 124% and 138%. I compared this to Thirsk where they varied only between 109% and 112%.
"I assume that a partial explanation is the size of the fields and the level of activity but really, how can the bookies justify taking such a massive percentage out of the book?"
I agree on all counts RG. Size of fields plays a part but 138% is completely unacceptable.
1542: I was planning to go up the stands to watch this - wonder if they'll delay the race to allow me to climb the four flights of stairs. Well they did allow Carlton House to parade last.
1541: Great to have CH with us from Florida! She says: "Thanks so much for your blog--I'm very much enjoying it from here in sunny Tampa. You are my lifeline. I work for the federal government and they've blocked all racing-related sites--except Sporting Life, thank goodness.
"Frankel is simply breathtaking. I'm sorry we're never going to see him in the States, but he racing here really wouldn't add anything to his CV. I do worry that Prince Abdullah may have saved the name for TOO good a runner. Twenty years from now, people will think of the horse when they hear the name Frankel and not the trainer.
"Best of luck with your wagers."
Thanks CH. I still harbour hopes that connections will be tempted into a Santa Anita swansong in the fall - but Sir Henry Cecil will need plenty of encouragement...
1539: Keith Hulse writes: "just curious to know since Frankel is by Galileo did Coolmore have the chance to nab him as a foal then and let him slip through the net ? They must be seething if that is the case. Also just had my first winner of the meet with Jovial Johnny Gosden - always gets one or two here. Hoping these come in with it - Reliable Man, Bonnie Brae, Hairy Rocket and Electrelane."
Good luck with those KH! No Frankel was homebred by Juddmonte, they own the dam, but wouldn't be surprised if a share or two was taken in him as a stallion by other leading players.
1537: Amazing who you bump into on a walkabout, no surprise Dave Williams of Ladbrokes fame was drinking what seemed to be a pint of pimms, but with him were Olivia Godfrey and Ed Chamberlin of Sky Sports fame and Cheltenham PR guru Andy Clfton. OG a sportinglife fan. May add her quotes in our Monday redesign email!
1535: The Queen is in the parade ring and is a lady of influence. Carlton House is allowed to parade last.
1518: There was no real early pace in the Windsor Forest. Barefoot Lady was forced to make it and had plenty of running left in her at the line. I think she'll win a decent pot this year - when she finally gets an end-to-end gallop to race off.
1515: Rory Jirwani says Stan James are taking So You Think on here - they think he's vulnerable to a late closer. He was last year to be fair. I just sense he could be ridden with a little more patience here - and I expect him to win. Mind you I have been wrong before...
1512: Well I got Joviality completely wrong, I felt she wanted further. She probably does but finds plenty to pressure to fend off the smooth-travelling Chachamaidee who does well having fluffed the start. Lay Time confirms she's back on song in third and Barefoot Lady fourth. Nahrain is far too keen through the early stages. There'll be other days for her.
1st 10 Joviality 11-1
2nd 6 Chachamaidee (IRE) 4-1
3rd 12 Lay Time 9-1
1505: Going down for the Windsor Forest. They've kept Chachamaidee calm throughout the preliminaries. She rates a huge threat to my fancy Nahrain.
1457: For the record it's Jenson Button's first visit to Royal Ascot.
1455: Aidan O'Brien on Frankel: "He's an incredible physical specimen, trained by a wonderful trainer and bred and owned by a great owner. All the ingredients are there." As for plans for Excelebration he adds: "To keep as far away from Frankel as we can."
1452: Managed to get to the pre-parade ring. As you'd expect Nahrain looks ready to go on her reappearance. Lay Time looks to have come on from Epsom but Beatrice Aurore was proving a real handful.
1450: Jenson Button doing the presentation here - the O'Brien family not F1 fans for me. Just on body language that observation.
1440: Aidan O'Brien's first winner of the week - and for the Mrs too. She's well on top at the line too with Sentaril nutting Aljamaaheer for the forecast spot.
1st 24 Ishvana (IRE) 20-1
2nd 26 Sentaril 5-1
3rd 3 Aljamaaheer (IRE) 4-1 F
1425: Good afternoon to Savio in Mumbai who writes: "After yesterday's display by Frankel, Black Caviar will have to really put on the afterburners on Saturday to keep the Aussies still believing she's the best in the world. Wouldn't it be a great top and tail to a week where top hats and tails rule?
"Managed to start yesterday off well with Little Bridge and Most Improved, so here's hoping a couple more at least manage to go in. Not that it will in any way add to the coffers since we aren't be able to bet in Mumbai. What passes for the turf authorities here are instead more interested in protecting their "turf" than promoting the sport, as Richard Hughes will readily testify after the shenanigans he had to face earlier this year.
"Rant aside, I expect AOB to get his campaign up and running with Reply in the first although Aljamaaheer should prove a big threat. In the next, how about Sir Henry to turn the tables on Frankel's owner with Chachamaidee nipping in ahead of Emulous? Planteur had So You Think behind him in the Dubai World Cup and I fancy him to take the Prince of Wales while Common Touch can add a rather contradictory note to the royal meet in the Hunt Cup (and with a dam named Flying Finish, let's hope that's what he conjures up at the end!).
"Loads of possibilities in the Queen Mary but Sharaarah/Upward Spiral should be thereabouts and, for the finale, I have to go for Ladys First. After all, what better way to herald Ladies Day tomorrow?
"Here we go again..."
We do S...at the post for the Jersey.
1417: A very good afternoon to Duffer From Dublin who says: "Nearly fired yesterday but it was well woth it with such good racing. Im going all out 2day: Reply, Lay time, City style, Cai sheen. €3 Lucky 15. If im fired today it should tie me over for a few month."
Ah the old insurance policy D. B Linfoot very sweet on Reply too although the last time I spoke to him he was looking to
1415: The Coronation Chicken debate rages on - but it's Jen From BSE who seems to be the bearer of bad news this time! She writes: "Not wishing to spoil your conversion to a new culinary delight, so I must advise you never to read Spike Milligan's war memoirs. I have also divined the best real ale hostelries in my fair town which I shall divulge to you upon your next sojourn."
Now that message does end well! Two night stay for the July Meeting coming up Jen. Can almost smell the Old Cannon Brewery from here - in a good way I hasten to add!
1412: Paul Hanagan has just picked Aljamaaheer in the opener out as his best chance of the day. I need you to win the first and last champ. Will also check if he's at Beverley next Tuesday as our work syndicate horse Ciejo Rojo is heading there. The only way is up after the Haydock debut...
1410: I don't know what Princess Ann has done to upset her mum but she's been here both days so far and hasn't made the royal procession yet. Lot of time for P Ann myself.
1405: My royal mole is sacked. That's clearly pink.
1350: Great to have Darren Fleming aboard from God's Own County. He says: "Belated good day to you my friend. Day off with an ill daughter has meant a delay to my form studying masterplan but here are thoughts for today
"2.30 Senteril to win Ishvana overpriced EW selection
"3.45 So you think too short - Planteur/ Farhh EW value , also thing the Big Blue Kitten is overpriced at 66-1
"4.25 need a lucky pin but Edinburgh Knight & invisible man have course form and are fairly priced
"5.00 Jadanna is my EW Nap of the day, won well at Ponte and again at Beverley plenty of pace and may take some pegging back if he front runs but can also come from off the pace too
"5.35 tricky but Devotion looks overpriced and Arsaadi looks an EW shout back to a mile."
Hope Fleming Junior recovers quickly DF - some interesting plays there.
1340: I'm reliably informed by my moles in the Palace that Her Majesty is in a deeper shade of blue today. I found that out over a plate of coronation chicken. It really is magical stuff.
1330: Falbrav was indeed the bearer of earlier bad news as he recalls: "I believe it was I that broke your culinary heart over Caesar salad, so I am going to try to make it up to you with coronation chicken. S
"So much so that I'm going to pretend that mayonnaise and whipped cream do not feature in the recipe. Free range chicken is an excellent low fat source of protein, turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and is very good for your health, tomato puree is anti-carcinogenic, lemon juice contains more vitamin c and is much less sweet than orange juice, while spring onion and garlic are natural blood cleansers and will help ward off colds.
"By the way, you mentioned pringles earlier...am I the only man in the world that can't stand pringles whatever flavour they are? It's the texture, it makes me think that they are very fine slices of deep fried, compressed mashed potato...yukkk!"
Cheers F - I knew Dr Hilary would approve of my new lifestyle choice!
1318: As promised here's the link to the Dominic Gardiner-Hill interview re Frankel.
1315: Thanks to Andy Hobbs for this on the Frankel debate: "Not that my words count for much, and perhaps my eyes are not as sharp as they once were, but here's my take on this awesome talent of a thoroughbred.
"I am old enough to remember the likes of Kris, Ela Mana Mou, Shergar, Dancing Brave, Dayjur and a host of other sublime equine talents, but I do not recall anything which has consistently proved such a cut above his or her peers to quite this degree. For example; I don't think there has ever been a group 1 classic race where the finishers have been strung out like a bunch of selling hurdlers running over 3 miles, but that's what Frankel did over a mile in the Guinneas, a race which will live forever in the memories of those of us who saw or have seen it.
"That brute force has been evident since, but in a much more controlled manner, last years' Sussex for example, and yesterday, to my view his best performance to date, we saw Frankel cruising easily in behind the pace, and when pulled out at the three pole, within a few strides every other runner was off the bridle. A mere shake of the reigns, and the race was over as a contest, and in glorious isolation, today's champion simply bounded clear without being asked anything approaching his maximum. It was, to any racing enthusiast, and probably any sports fan, a sight to behold.
"I tend to agree with an earlier opinion that Timeform has somewhat lost its shine and are happy to sensationalise as that always gets publicity, but I do not argue that Frankel is, as yet, the most awesome racehorse I have had the pleasure of watching.
"I am a great fan of Nick Mordin, whose opinion I respect immensely (not sure if a plug like that is allowed) but he described Frankel's pace in the Lockinge as "impossibly fast" as he would have won the listed sprint even if he had already had to run 3 furlongs at race pace to get to the start - quite unbelievable! What we can make of the sectionals as and when they are published, and indeed independent time experts analysis, only time (pun intended) will tell, but it would be folly to think Frankel did not improve on anything he had done previously in yesterdays canter.
"Time is the only thing left now, as quite often it is only when we look back after a few weeks, months and even years, that we appreciate just what we had witnessed at the time.
"So is he the best? Yes, I truly think he is."
1305: Going change - good on both courses now. Chris Stickels, our c of c, says: "We're expecting a dry day but some rain overnight and through tomorrow morning to be followed by showers.
"If that is correct we are expecting some softening of the ground on Thursday - our guess is for eight to 11 millimetres of rain."
1300: We all leave Royal Ascot knowing something we didn't beforehand. For me it's the fact I like coronation chicken. Not even going to look it up - I know it has to be good for you. I once made the mistake of saying I enjoyed a chicken cesar salad only to discover it's the McDonald's of the leaf world.
1255: A good afternoon to Si Adams who says: "Well that was a Frankelly marvelous way to start. Just WOW! 3 winners from Simenon, Dawn and Most improved helped us to a big positive start Time to kick them when they are down think there will be some e/w steals today and we will start with Red Duke hugely talented given a shocking ride in german I look for him to bounce back...no faith in so you think and it's the jubilee so Carlton house to steal the show.....
"Not sure anything but a royal winner can top the freak. Red Duke, Nahrain, Carlton House, Arabian Star, Graphic Quest, Esentepe and Electrane. All in with big shouts today..... None would be big than a royal winner at royal ascot!!! Enjoy the day everyone and best of luck!"
1250: To answer Rich Lynn's Scotch Egg question, which I posed yesterday, the answer is cold. One of the very few foods best served cold. Anyway RL adds: "Bloke came into the pub late last night .... Had been on a work jolly to Ascot.
"Not a punter, he was advised to do a placepot or jackpot. Was told by the guy you can do two in every race for 64 bets. The nice chap didn't bother telling him you can chop and change and do 1 in one and 3 in another etc. So he wasted half of his stake on another one in the Queen Anne.
Anyway, he did 64x£1 Jackpots (showed me the slip) ....
"Had the first 5 winners and the 3rd in the last - he said he reckoned he would have won a grand - I felt a bit guilty in telling him it would have been £88k+ and that he would have had about 3.2k for the placepot (2 double legs)."
I'd never recover from that - or tire of telling people of my misfortune at least!
1245: I'll post an audio link up soon but the great Mike Vince has spoken to BHA handicapper Dominic Gardiner-Hill and he says Frankel will go up "two pounds at the very most" for yesterday. Still not as good as Dancing Brave with some of the number crunchers.
1240: Royal carriage list just arrived. No Jean - or Martin Clunes. The Queen and Duke Of Edinburgh will again make all down the centre of the track unless Princess Alexandra aka the Hon. Lady Ogilvy, Lord Vestey or Lady Irwin adopt more aggressive tactics in coaches two to four.
1235: Sure that's Lionel Blair who's just walked past. He strikes me as being one of the good guys.
1230: Yes it was a speaking part! Only fleeting but I think I still the show. I took inspiration from Steve Coogan and Roger Moore to deliver my line of "they scored zero points".
1215: Right time for my TV work. Ben 'Value Bet' Linfoot needs to be in make-up now ahead of his debut on Friday.
But first the market moves from our sponsors Sky Bet. Seb James reports:
15:05 Windsor Forest Stakes Chachamaidee 7/2 from 9/2
Second in this race last year, the consistent Chachamaidee aims to go one better today in what looks an intriguing Windsor Forest. In the frame in all of her last eight starts starts, the Henry Cecil-trained filly looked better than ever showing a blistering turn of foot when successful on her seasonal reappearance at Lingfield last month. With proven form at the track and no concerns regarding the ground the progressive filly looks an excellent each way investment.
15:45 Prince Of Wales's Stakes Carlton House 11/4 from 3/1
The lightly raced four-year-old seems to have found his trip at ten furlongs having taken the Brigadier Gerard Stakes on his seasonal reappearance in commanding fashion last month. Unbeaten over this trip, there would be no more popular a winner at Ascot than the Queen's star horse, but it remains to be seen whether the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt can out battle last year's second and current market leader So You Think.
16:25 Royal Hunt Cup Dimension 7/1 from 8/1
In what looks a very difficult race, James Fanshawe's Dimension has been well supported this morning and is now a strong favourite. The consistent Medicean gelding made a creditable reappearance when second at Lingfield last month and has solid course form having beaten Wokingham fancy Cape Classic in a good handicap last backend over a furlong shorter. Today's test commands yet another step up in what is one of the most competitive races of the whole week with no less than thirty horses going to post.
1200: Matt In Gloucestershire says: "Fantastic action yesterday, even though not enough a small return, but thankfully I'm far from downhearted, if anything more determined to get one on the board.
"In the first it would be lovely for Paul Hanagan to get one for his new boss. Aljamaaheer, just feel this may be a Group 1 horse, and after today we may see it up in class. Previous form stacks up well, and a deserved punt is in order.
"In the Prince of Wales, Carton to come good for the Queen, perfect trip, ground, jockey, trainer, can't help but feel that So You Think is somewhat overrated, and would cap a fantastic year for the Queen.
"In the Hunt Cup, Stevie Thunder maybe worth a play at massive odds, 2nd in the Cambridgeshire, so loves these big fields and only 1 pound over his last winning mark, he will go on the ground and could sneak into a place. 50's is just a little too big.
"The Queen Mary looks very tough, but Lady Phill to go well for the small yard of Bill Turner, her form from her Newbury run ties up very well on the form, with the second running a big race against yesterdays Windsor Castle winner at Ayr. I think it's fantastic that the young Kieran Fox has a chance against the big boys."
Cheers M - much appreciated as ever.
1155: An update from JP who writes: "Hi Dave, I promise I won't mention the shower again, reviewed my late early bird bets and they are redact/laffan, clinical, big blue kitten, boogie shoes, madam mojito and duntle...fancying a rebellious guest / excellent guest / upward spiral treble on your side?
"On the Frankel debate, he reminisces me of Rock of Gibraltar and for me to make that horse very special would be for him to win the Classic, and shake off that miler only tag that I do not think can fit the "best we have ever seen" bill, Sea the stars that has won at 8, 10 and 12f is more my idea of a number 1... Imho of course... Hope you have an enjoyable lunch to look forward to...bon appétit."
I know what you mean re Frankel JP. Sea The Stars proved himself a champion at three distances and never ducked a challenge. He was outstanding - but in terms of the raw athlete - Frankel is better.
1150: David Howells is with us and says: "Morning Dave how are we? Was in meetings yesterday but did catch Frankels demolition. Much like Nicole Scherzinger and the Pussycat Dolls. Different class.
"Anyway I've found some over the last few weeks, a good Saturday was followed by a treble of Little Bridge, Most Improved and Hototo. I'm not saying its linked, but since splitting from the mrs I'm hitting a few winners. I'm not recommending it to the rest of the Ord followers, but I'm just putting it out there.
"Anyway I've got a stag do this weekend and house money to play with. Sovereign Debt, Clinical, Captain Bertie, Graphic Quest and Hello Glory for me today. It's a tricky day today so I'm playing fast and loose. Cue an Ord Pun...."
No - not from me D - although it is a cracking film!
1145: Leo C was the man of the hour yesterday. He writes: "Developed a bit of a following yesterday when my fist ever tweeted tip came up on the bbc live feed and it won, Little Bridge in the 15:05 yesterday.
"Seems I may be going against the grain today though:
"14:30 - Reply to win / Producer for a place
"15:05 - Chaahamaidee win / Clinical place
"15:45 - Farhh e/w
"16:25 - Edinburgh Place win / Boom and Bust place
"17:00 - Jadanna e/w
"17:35 - Electrelane e/w
"50% hit rate yesterday, see if I can up that to something more respectable today!"
Big fan of Twitter myself LC but was somewhat dismayed to discover Reading Buses have 2,000 more followers than I do.
1140: Thanks to Brownie for this: "The 6/4 lasted little under 1 hour having started at 0830, limited to £100 Win Single, which I took. But then allowed to include the 6/4 in various other doubles a ndtrebles, which I did also. All he has to do now is win!"
1135: I forgot to add Al Azawi's thoughts for the rest of today's card. He writes: "Hi Dave my E/W selections in RA today are: "2.30 Sentaril Impressive in 2 outings pinned for this race
"3.05 Nahrain The only 1 who has particpated in a group 1 race ( chuchill downs
"3.45 So U Think A proven class act
"4.25 Dimension He just failed to win last time out Amendments r expected
"5:00 Upward Spiral Owners DO NOT have any thing less than star horses
"5:35 Duntle particpating in a lower grade race today."
1125: I'm in full agreement with Al Azawi in sunny Abu Dhabi who says: "Nahrain in the windsor forest will take a lot of beating check out the form & u will c why."
1122: Rich Lynn got 6-4 So You Think with Hill's - he says: "I backed SYT at 6/4 at 9.30am on the App Only in a £20 trixie though so don't know what their max was."
1120: Simon Hull writes: "Still floating and drewling over Frankel's demolition job. As for today I read the Holly Ghost on the way to work and thought I'd have some 6-4
SYT. I walked into Hill in Bishopsgate at 7:25am and was offered Even money! Did anyone get the ear hole (6-4) on offer????"
I'm told it lasted for about an hour SH - but surely should have been available at that time?
1115: About an hour until my Sky Sports News appearance. It'd better be a speaking role today or I walk off mid-shoot. It will be TV gold, like when the nude streaker jumped on Fred Talbot's weather map.
1110: Great to have Hussein with us. He says: "Hello, what a cracking morning - glorious sunshine in London. Frankel - he's the best, better than all the rest. Thanks to those who tipped Most Improved on the blog yesterday, 9/1 seemed great by the end!
"Anyway, I have backed Bridgefield for the Royal Hunt Cup as tipped up by The Insider. All on my own however, have gone with Hello Glory in the last. This one was running in Group 1's and 2's last season finding 6f way too short. needed the comeback run last time (where the first two have gone on to classic glory) and Spencer is back on. Oh, and this trainer and jock went close yesterday 11/1 will do - what more could you ask for?! Good luck everyone!"
And to you H.
1100: No news on the royal procession yet but I'm confident the artist formerly known as Jean will feature at some stage. She was very prominent on Derby day.
1050: Jenny From Sarajevo isn't actually in Sarajevo but she writes: "Morning Dave and greetings from Vienna (yes Vienna....), where I await onward wafting to Sarajevo. I have managed to eliminate myself mercilessly from most of the Royal Ascot action, because I am due at a meeting in Derventa on Friday, and will leave Sarajevo tomorrow lunchtime.
"Must make a note - avoid all work commitments for Cheltenham, York Ebor, Newmarket July, Royal Ascot, Aintree, Chepstow, and many others....Compensation is not a bacon roll, but some very tasty tapas and a couple of glasses of prosecco!
"Today is tricky indeed, as observed by others. However, after a voluntary pause in the Jen v Bookies saga, I have picked out the following for today - as usual all for places.
"1430: Swiss Spirit
"1505: I Love Me - hasn't done much since that big win at Newmarket on debut, but has quality, and is also Balding's "second string" in this - I say no more...
"1545: City Style
"1625: Arabian Star - very consistent sort, who may have benefited from a change in regime recently
"1745: Lady's First
"Nothing like an eccentric way of picking them - I urge all readers to ignore the above nonsense! As far as hotel showers go, I ignominiously failed to notice the fact that there was a separate shower in my hotel bathroom last night, and wondered why the shower attachment in the bath only stretched as far as.....
"Good luck all, have a great day!"
And you Jen and cheers for those. Safe travels!
1045: Chris Alderson is with us and writes: "First off just want to echo the thoughts of everyone else, Frankel...Wow!. Surely one of the greats but he hasn't really beaten another "super horse" and until he does I think its always going to be a talking point of the what if.
"Bet of the day today for me is Haggas/Murtagh in the first with Sentaril. Johnny is one of my favourite jockeys and the Haggas yard is in fine form at present 4/1 is shorter than I would of liked for a field this size but for anyone doing a placepot/lucky 15 or even just looking for that win single get on this horse!"
Confidence there CA. She's a player but my colours are firmly nailed to the Varian mast in that one.
1040: A very good morning to Falbrav who says: "An inauspicious start to the meeting for me, much to the delight of our sponsors and Betfred. I have decided to switch allegiances in a bid to improve form and have given my custom to VC and Stan James today. I'm pleased to hear that the good folk of the media centre are all over the useful took, Chachamaidee, as a win for her would boost my waning coffers.
"I've started off with Red Duke in the Jersey in the belief that he might not have got home in Cologne last time and that the drop back to a strongly run 7F could be ideal. Now, I understand your view that So You Think can't be beaten, but he is properly exposed, isn't he? By my counting he's had 11 races in the last year and a half while Planteur has only had 9 in his life. I'm going to boringly pedal out my theory that lightly raced 5-year olds are favoured by the WFA scale in the first half of the season and I think 10-1 is a huge price about a horse who is entitled to be second fav on the book.
"Finally, Boom and Bust would be a topical winner of the Hunt Cup and I read on the pages of sportinglife last week that it has always been the plan to come here without a run and he's pleasing Mr Tregoning at home. I have a contrary inclination towards low draw numbers in this race. Please continue to keep us posted, old chap - us exiles would be lost without you!"
Best of luck F. Would love old Boom And Bust to run a cracker for MPT.
1030: Just had a marvellous half hour of contemplation on the lawn of the Royal Enclosure. Then the gates opened and I was ushered off my a man in a bowler hat.
1005: Rich Lynn has responded to the exciting new question of the day feature. He writes: "On the Frankel debate, he certainly looks the best in my punting lifetime (20 odd years). The only pity is that he doesn't seem to have much to beat so it's difficult to assess (the handicapper says as much). All the greats of the past seem to have another great to race against, thus hiking their figure right up. Beating Excelebration time and again not going to do that for him. It's such a shame that STS wasn't a couple of years later. There is one race though that could show what a champion he is. The beating of Canford Cliffs in the Sussex. IF and it's a very big IF, CC ran his race that day then it was awesome from Frank.
"The way CC hung across the course seemed to suggest he was feeling something and connections said he was injured and he was promptly retired. However, injured or not, they were always going to say that to protect his stud value. If Frank simply gutted him that day then that was the performance to behold. The fact Hughesy was off the bridle so early though casts a doubt. It's just such a shame we didn't get a decent 3yr old miler to take him on this year (or even 10f 3yr old).
"So, with the Aussies ducking the Sussex (a crying shame to every racing fan in the world) Frank has to be stepped up to 10f to beat some fresh meat. With Circus rated 133 and So You Think up there too, a good beating of those will surely put Frank up there with the Brigadier and the Bird. I'm just glad I was there on the day he won his Guineas - the gasps from the crowd were something I've never seen before.
"All in all, congrats to Sir Henry and the Prince - two of the best!!!!"
1000: Rich Lynn is one of the good guys and asks: "Any inside info on the weather tomorrow?? I'm praying the rain holds off for just one more day.
"For today, the Lynn pension fund is going on Valbchek in the Jersey - been waiting for this one. Should that go in then will be on Emulous and SYT in the next two to build up a pot for a tilt tomorrow :)"
Rain is forecast from early morning RL - anything from two to six millimetres apparently. I have a rain mac in case you were worried on that score!
0955: A very good morning to Wabit fae Arbroath who writes: "Morning to you ... you seem to have the same luck as me on the hotel front. I once had to help a poor fellow at Fez time in the Travel Inn, Gloucester ... sleeping in just the "Calvin's" on the sofa in the reception of the Travel Inn at 4am ... poor lad. He appeared to be sweating from a particular area on said Calvin's ... but being the good Samaritan I did not broach the subject of too much ale and the double boxer approach to alleviate this terrible affliction.
"First of all ... hats off to the bloke that did the picking on the SL racecards yesterday ... a 1/10 (okay ignore that) but went onto pick the 12/1, 9/1 and 14/1 winners yesterday - a sterling effort. Onto today and I have to say Ascot is not my lucky track although I did nearly lose my father-in-law there in November '11 when Sprinter Sacre got beat by Frascati Park ... but I guess today we'll not see a bare knuckle fight and a "champagne bottle cracking over the crown" episode on the ground floor I seen then ... today? I'd also think the Irish Band will be stood down today? Something draws me to King Torus in the Hunt ... currently trading at 40/1 ... could sneak a place but 9-10 is quite a burden."
I've had my lows in Travel Inns over the years including having to leave the Evesham one draped in a towel during a fire alarm. I was then demon ridden that the steam from the shower had caused the alert and I'd be fined. It wasn't. Burnt toast in the kitchen.
0950: Gerry Kelly will again be watching the presentation podium very closely. He says: "Will be trying hard to come up with a gag as good as my Sally Gunnell/Champion hurdle gag from yesterday but in the meantime I have a nice chunk of cash riding on Valbcheck in the Jersey.
"Noseda thinks an awful lot of him and thought he was a Jersey horse from a few months back. His last run in Newmarket looks like the extra furlong would suit and I believe Ryan Moore was impressed with a piece of work he did with him earlier this week. 6/1 seems slightly short in what is a competitive race but I'll be cheering him on silently from my desk!"
Just make sure you don't ride a finish GK - that gives the game away.
0945: Great to have Jen From BSE back. She says: "Beautiful weather for market day here. Frankel is some horse and as good as I've seen but I'm afraid that Timeform no longer deserve the respect they had when Phil Bull was alive. Owned by a betting concern they seem to be more concerned with the importance of their own ratings than racing itself.
"Perhaps I might suggest the option of a bath as the shower seems to be taunting you. Your commentary of the Royal procession yesterday was reminiscent of the great Sir Peter at his best. A blank day yesterday although there was no great conviction in my selections. Not yet broken I will not yield, therefore today I go to war with;
"Reply, could be another Mozart, Nahrain is a touch above the rest at her best, So You Think is a bigger price in a weaker contest than last year, Mabait loves the course and showed he still has ability last time, Sharaarah in the Queen Mary and Electrelane to outclass her rivals in the last. I hope you inveigled someone to parting with a Bacon roll for your sustenance, no mention of ale can only mean the tariff is unacceptably punitive."
Would you believe Jen I was reduced to drink Tetley's yesterday. Formerly a great ale from the heart of Leeds but one I'd vowed to boycott after they shut the brewery down and moved production to Wolverhampton. Now I'm a man of principals but when you have a Pringles-induced raging thirst and the option of ale of a Czech lager, there's only one way a man can go!
0940: Col in Dublin says: "Cant complain too much from yesterday but Born to sea getting 3rd would have been a huge bonus. Today, we do battle again.
"Sentaril. Chachamaidee. So You Think (BOMBPROOF NAP), Dimension, Jadanna, Electrelane."
Cheers C - I agree re the nap. He might have fallen a little short of initial expectations but is still a proven Group One performer and there aren't many of those in this field.
0930: Going news and after a dry night we're good on the straight track, good to soft, good in places on the round course. Goingstick fans write these down, 8.7 stands' side, 8.9 centre and 8.8 far side. 7.7 on the round course.
0920: A very good morning to Brownie who says: "Morning Dave, I can assure you that the shower in Room 11 is just as poor as yours, and the alleged drinking issue is purely hearsay, and isvmerely induced by the mother-in-law from hell, who is clearly, very clearly poisoning her mind!
"Average day yesterday, saved only by Dawn Approach in the Coventry and a Corals special of 7/2 that Rooney would be subbed in last nights game, the wife thought I'd finally cracked at 9.32pm last night!
"Back to today, and caution is needed, tricky punting ahead. I like Chachamaidee in the Windsor Forest, So You Think to gain compensation having been mugged last year in the Prince Of Wales and Hello Glory in the lucky last. A few E/W punts spread in the other races also, Red Duke, Dimension & Lady's First."
Nice one B! 7-2 to be subbed? Never spotted that. I was always 1.01 on the exchanges during my touch rugby days to get the hook from the coach - never failed.
0915: Hope The Mirror's betting man doesn't read this. Applesauce for the splendid city of Dublin writes: "Have to say youre blog is my favourite thing of big race meetings, beats the TV rehashed cliche rubbish hands down, its quality writing, youre second only to Derek McGovern of the Mirror which is saying something.
"I follow jumps form more closely as doing ones dough by being drawn on the wrong side of the track I could never stomach or accept, but have a few selections for what its worth: Chachamaidee 3:05 The good Sir 'Enry's other horses must in good form, it cant just be a one horse stable... 3:40 Wigmore Hall e/w, one its day still has a fair level, I just cant have the O'Brien horse at evens."
Few people in the media centre all over Chacha too Apple. She has her quirks but is a fair took on her day.
0910: JP was quickly out the blocks this morning and writes: "Hi Dave, I know early message, hope you are not in your shower waiting for Snow White (easy one I know) but in a way bending for the soap could be a near physical impossibility and would also require an Olympic trained pole vault dwarf of the wrong kind to perform a very special jump, but let us not contemplate that to make it even with your neighbour across the wafer thin walls...they always are...never came across an hotel review where they mentioned walls were actually too big that I could not hear my neighbour...but that is beside the point...what I am ranting about early this morning is that the only market not available from a well known factory is the lucky last...so I will be an early bird on Duntle to start with...and for the rest...as you will do in the shower...I will work my way up!"
Would you believe JP sent that even before my drama with the shower head and Friar Tuck!
0905: Wuuaar sets the Frankel ball rolling, saying: "I saw many races but this is from another dimension. Between Zenyatta and him there's no comparation. The way how Frankel is running is un-be-lie-vieble und soon can the others already retire."
0900: Bacon sandwiches for BBC staff only down here - this could go off. So to overcome such a setback I'm launching an exciting new feature - question of the day. It's a simple one: Is Frankel the best Flat horse you've ever seen?. Get your views over to email@example.com.
I now have to say yes, For sheer excitement I used to plump for Dayjur in full flight. I'll never forget his performance in the Nunthorpe at York or how close he came to overcoming a wide draw and a dirt surface at Belmont to win the Breeders' Cup Sprint. But Frankel, after yesterday, eclipses even him.
0855: That only leaves the Royal Hunt Cup and who can forget my one-two in that back in 2010? Certainly not you let as I expect to go on and on about it today. For this year's race I'm very sweet on Cai Shen and I see there's some 16s in the village this morning.
0850: So you know I'm sweet on So You Think, I also expect Roger Varian to win the first two races with Aljamaaheer and Nahrain. Graphic Guest looks very solid in the Queen Mary and makes plenty of appeal at around 9-1 and Lady's First rates as one of my strongest fancies of the day in the finale for master trainer Richard Fahey. I also think Bronze Angel who beat her at Doncaster last time will go very well in tomorrow's Britannia.
0845: I know these are the days of price wars between our big firms but I honestly can't believe William Hill are going 6-4 So You Think this morning. He should - and probably will be - a shade of odds on and I can't see him being beaten.
He looked at the peak of his powers last time, was touched off at 4-11 in a much stronger renewal than this last year, and ticks all the boxes. Carlton House needs to find at least seven pounds back up to Group One company and as exciting as Farhh looked at Thirsk he's in much deeper here.
0840: It's been a dramatic morning in room 13 (I should have known) of my budget Reading hotel. I felt my hamstring tighten as I attempted to kneel underneath the shower (one long dribble of water from the middle) and had to undertake an urgent re-think.
Showing strength my doppelganger Geoff Capes would have been proud of I managed to push the shower head up the rail - past the blockage which was the shampoo dispenser - and to a height underneath which I could stand. I was on top of the world.
I'd just applied my shampoo (anti-dandruff, frequent use) when I heard a grinding sound and moments later the showerhead shot down the rail like an extra from Cool Runnings and struck me on the crown. Now I'm not yet at the Friar Tuck stage but it's fair to say I don't quite have the covering of grass I once had there and the impact was felt.
Once again I found myself kneeling under the shower but this time facing a count. Would I be the next big name to be lost in a hotel room? It took a while but I regathered my senses, completed the shower without standing up (I couldn't) and dressed.
It was time for a showdown with the manager, which couldn't take place as he also cooks the breakfast. He insisted he would look at it today as he tossed fat over a pan of fried eggs for some builders from Bristol and I walked out the kitchen a winner. I'm sure that's why the Bristol boys were laughing as I left anyway.
I'm aware the manager can't do anything about the thin walls at short notice but I now know the guests in Room 11 are a couple, she thinks he's drinks too much and he feels her mother is poisoning her mind. They watched the football and then found a film of Channel 5. It was at that point I boarded the train to sleepsville.
Enough of my hotel nonsense - emails as ever to firstname.lastname@example.org and I've found all sorts of bets today you'll be delighted to know!