1755: And as Ben Linfoot heads south into a monsoon without a coat or umbrella I'll bid you all farewell. Thanks for the help all week, you've been magnificent as ever. I'm back to Leeds tonight ahead of the launch of the redesigned site on Monday. Be kind...and patient with us!
1750: Joe in Dublin sums it up to perfection, saying: "Looking back on the blog what a day for the books - not a winner!"
1745: I've done my spuds but our sponsors Sky Bet are just about in front for the day. Michael Shinners reports: "A mixed day for Skybet. Reckless Abandon was a decent start to the day as Cay Verde was well backed. Princess Highway was a good result as the The Fugue proved very popular with punters and we were pleased to see her beaten.
"Colour Vision was a decent result considering it was ridden by Frankie. Fame And Glory was popular with good money for Gulf Of Naples each way. Fast Or Free was a terrible result with lots of money for him. The places were o.k up until the 5th, Piri Wango who was our second worst result behind Fast Or Free and was a heavy payout for us.
"Energizer was a decent result both in the win book and in the multiples as there was plenty of money running up on many of the runners in particular Wrotham Heath. The final result of the day dictated whether or not we had a winning day or not. Nicholascopernicus was very well backed in the last...and thankfully for Sky Bet didn't win."
1740: Go on you didn't expect it to end well did you...and it didn't. But what a race Sparkling Portrait dan despite nearly being brought down. Providing he's ok after that experience there's a big summer pot in him somewhere.
1st 14 Fennell Bay (IRE) 12-1
2nd 16 Handsome Man (IRE) 14-1
3rd 1 Rougemont (IRE) 25-1
4th 4 Anomaly 8-1
1720: I've just about given up for the day - in fact I have. But I've already backed Anomaly and despite the draw Sparkling Portrait. They won't give me the money back now...
1710: One for Germany and as Will Hayler triumphantly proclaimed Guardian readers. Grimm by name, Grimm by nature through that race.
1st 3 Energizer (GER) 15-2
2nd 9 Stipulate 11-1
3rd 7 Rewarded 7-1
1653: Quick line from the Fame And Glory team, Aidan O'Brien said: "He has come back fine and seemed to be fine after the race. It was an interesting race."
Jamie Spencer added: "It just wasn't to be."
1652: Our sponsors Sky Bet have priced up next year's Gold Cup. Colour Vision 4/1 Sadlers Rock 4/1 Fame And Glory 8/1 Opinion Poll 8/1. I wouldn't be looking beyond the front two in the market.
1650: Forgot to add an earlier Dettori quote re Colour Vision: "I chose to ride him because I thought Opinion Poll is more effective at two miles. When I got past him I thought I had it won but they are two great horses, two great warriors."
1645: Ryan Moore has become the first jockey this week to ride more than one winner...let's have another now maestro. Go on Tales Of Grimm. He looks all quality in the paddock. The sun is out now.
1645: Ryan Moore has become the first jockey this week to ride more than one winner...let's have another now maestro. Go on Tales Of Grimm. He looks all quality in the paddock. The sun is out now.
1643: JP sums it up to perfection by saying: "Well Bronze Angel won his semi final, can we have a final against Fast or Free?"
1635: One for favourite backers but Bronze Angel...you did us proud. He must have won by about a furlong down the centre of the track but today you need to be far side it seems - or at least that was the case in the Britannia. Is this shifting draw bias going to have any effect on the Diamond Jubilee or is Black Caviar good enough to overcome it? Probably the latter but has to be in the back of their minds.
1st 29 Fast Or Free 6-1 F
2nd 4 Mister Music 50-1
3rd 15 Bronze Angel (IRE) 20-1
4th 13 Compton 40-1
1613: Great scenes of jubilation in the weighing room there. That felt much more than 'another' Group One win for Dettori.
1610: Britannia next - don't forget our sponsors Sky Bet are paying five places. See what price you can get team Ord - Trader Jack and Bronze Angel - finishing sixth and seventh.
1607: Forgot to say if you're looking to recoup yor Epsom and Ascot losses with The Fugure you'll have to wait for the Yorkshire Oaks or Santa Anita in the fall!
1605: Gulf Of Naples, the early leader, hangs on for fourth and what a race Askar Tau, who's done this blog many a favour over the years, ran in fifth.
1603: Neither do the officials - the placings remain unaltered.
1602: There's a stewards' enquiry. Liz Price is acting as interprator for Mickael Barzalona. Frankie doesn't need one - his body language was very easy to read. He doesn't foresee a problem.
1559: It's clear what that means to Dettori - who kisses Richard Hills afterwards! Then there's a flying dismount and the crowd roar their approval. Here is a man who deserves to be on centre stage.
1555: A thrilling if somewhat unsatisfactory race given the very slow pace until well past halfway but a wonderful result for Godolphin - and Frankie Dettori. Magnificent ride to get the grey home ahead of his team-mate. Saddler's Rock close-up in third. Fame And Glory only beats one or two home having been very keen for much of the contest.
1st 7 Colour Vision (FR) 6-1
2nd 6 Opinion Poll (IRE) 5-1
3rd 9 Saddler's Rock (IRE) 9-2
1538: I love the Gold Cup so will head up to the viewing gallery to this. Good luck to all. Fame And Glory a worthy favourite but I think this could be the time for Saddler's Rock to claim the crown.
1530: It could be very testing for Ben Linfoot in this seat tomorrow too. Despite the forecast he's heading south without a coat or umbrella. Don't expect much roving from him.
1528: Still raining. With the forecast tomorrow it could be very testing here by Saturday.
1525: I got to the pre-parade, a sharp shower arrived, and I retreated. I did see them all go round once and no negatives. Few rugged up against the elements.
1515: MaB asks: "Why is Frankie not on OP then - is it more Goldolphin Juggling !!!!!"
Not sure sir but there's plenty of confidence behind Colour Vision and I know Mark Johnston felt he was potentially the best stayer he'd ever trained. Right to the pre-parade ring.
1512: A very taking performance froma very impressive winner. Princess Highway is much the best. No excuses for The Fugue while Shirroco Star may beneft from dropping back slightly in trip having looked to have them all in trouble turning in. Kailani is beaten after a furlong.
1st 9 Princess Highway (USA) 17-2
2nd 12 The Fugue 5-2 F
3rd 11 Shirocco Star 7-1
1505: I've just got time to give jockey verdicts on the ground. Frankie Dettori "on the slow side of good", Neil Callan "on the soft side", Richard Hughes "soft but ok" and Tom Queally "good to soft".
1504: Oh - go on Kailani!
1503: Dave R asks: "Just wondering if you could clear up a bet please. question is does Michael Owen have a share in Ceiling Kitty, horse that won yesterday 20/1.Going to clear up a lot of arguments."
A definite no DR. She's owned by Andrew Black and some lucky Betfair employees who won shares in a tipping competition.
1500: Going down for the Ribblesdale, the Oaks fillies seem to have taken that race well although it has been nearly three weeks between the two this year. Shirroco Star on her toes but nowhere near as much as at Epsom.
1455: JP is just about holding it together! He writes: "Great start...backed Morawij...I shall not seethe...I shall not seethe."
1445: "He has bags of speed and can hopefully go to Goodwood now for the Molecomb," says winning trainer Clive Cox. Lot of raw ability there with Reckless Abandon and we haven't seen the best of him yet.
1440: Katherine Jenkins doing the honours on the presentation rostrum - the same one where I did my earlier piece with Sky Sports News. One great diva following in another's footsteps.
1437: Dramatic race with the winner veering towards the stands' rail and doing Morawij few favours but little doubt he was the best horse in the race. They held a clear advantage centre to stands' side from halfway.
1st 11 Reckless Abandon 4-1
2nd 5 Gale Force Ten 8-1
3rd 6 Ian's Dream (USA) 16-1
1425: Right I haven't had a bet in the Norfolk...or any lunch. But good luck to those who have had both! FWIW as the kids say, Mister Marc was my tentatitve selection.
1415: My biggest regret is I didn't get to sit next to Mike Vince for his commentary of the royal procession. They have a huge cult following here! However an hour in Mr F's company is time very well spent.
1400: Apologies for the delay in updates - I've just been speaking to Richard Fahey about his weekend column (very strong fancy in there for the master trainer) and was forced into sharing a glass of pink champagne with him. I then got caught the wrong side of the tracks when the royal procession arrived...
1345: Jenny In Sarajevo is back - and says: "A quick intervention before I hop into a car for an X hour drive to Derventa. I gather it's raining/showering rather a lot at Ascot - we could do with some here, as it's currently about 90F, very sticky, and watch out for storms. Met Office definition of "shower" - "rain we expect to go away but doesn't".
"I didn't manage to storm the bookie's bastions yesterday, although Ladys First prevented a total drought.
"Today, sticking with the infamous place only bets, I have the following: 1430: Gale Force Ten (agree with the Irish gentleman about this - and an appropriate name, too....)1505: Princess Highway1545: Saddler's Rock (going a factor here, and indeed for all of them, as I have carefully looked at past form to see who has done best on good/soft, yielding and heavy!)1625: Fast or Free1700: Starboard1735: Nicholascopernicus and Uriah Heep for a bit of value (4 places, so hooray for that!)
"Not a huge amount invested, but enough for me to hope that, with the wind in my sails, the old Bath Bun (oops, sorry, Betfair) account is looking a bit brighter and breezier come 1800. Hope everyone is having a good day, including the Ladies, where decent plastic macs and/or umbrellas to protect the headgear seem to be a requirement!"
Best of luck J!
1330: The General says: "Afternoon Dave from a sodden Leeds. CAY VERDE in the first is the backbone of my day. Will appreciate further softening of the ground and its defeat of Hototo at Ascot reads very well now.
"I got some of Laddies' 6-4 on FAME AND GLORY this morning and he's still the one to beat in my view. I also thought SHIROCCO STAR was a solid each-way bet.
"Enjoy the fillies today Dave."
1300: Andrew Hobbs says: "Sitting pretty with what is effectively an even money wager on Black Caviar thanks to Ladbrokes, but can't resist Born to Surprise today, as was so hugely impressive at Doncaster, and Bell and Spencer do tend to form a profitable alliance when they get together.
Is the mud flying around on the lawns, or is the rain not bad enough for that just yet?
The mud is flying AH - the loafers tell no lies!
1235: Nippy Dan writes: "Now then Dave, I'm also up in God's own back garden and I don't think I am but given I'm from Leeds I could well be related to Brownie see blog 09.15).
"Had a wonderful start to yesterday's meeting with Ishvana and then crumpled - I rather stupidly thought Chamaidee was a dead cert so I did a canadian and my only winner was that 20-1. What a waste. Tried to make it up on dimension and made my wallet even lighter.
"However, I'd had a good day Tuesday so I've woken up with renewed vigour, donned my lucky pants fresh from the drier, recited jerusalem backwards five times and have been hard at work studying the form but also looking for a bit of value.
"I'm on Morawij (surprised Varian has given it only one run before attacking this so must be looking good at home), Princess Highway, fame and glory, Bronze Angel, Crius (Hannon has to have a winner soon surely) and Moldowney (Tommy Stack doesn't send over rubish horses). To ensure I don't have another disaster I have backed al of them individually bar Fame and Glory, I've back colour vision each way instead.
"Fingers crossed for a good day despite the weather!"
The White Rose beckons me around 1930 tonight ND, hopefully with a winner or two on board. Bronze Angel would be nice for both of us.
1230: Congratulations to John Sandys on the latest Derby Walk. He says: "Morning/Afternoon Dave, hope you've had a good week so far. Started well on Tuesday with Side Glance ew, Little Bridge, Most Improved and Dawn Approach! Unfortunately proceeded to lump on France/England dble and lost the lot, Idiot!!
"Not so good yesterday, with 2 seconds a third and 2 5ths to show for my endeavours, however my son Aaron had a good afternoon, with Prince of Johanne and Ceiling Kitty (taught him well)!
"Today I fancy Hazel Lavery ew in the Ribbledale, Forest Row ew in the Britannia, Wrotham Heath in the Tercentenary and a horse named after your good self in the King George; Handsome Man ew."
You old flirt JS!
1225: I can confirm it's tanking it down.
1220: Very good afternoon to Neil from KK who says: "Desperate times until Ceiling Kitty and Duntle did the business yesterday so all fired up to have another go today...
Ahern (another interesting jockey booking - none of which have worked for me so far this week, Princess Highway, Saddlers Rock, Frog Hollow, Cavaleiro (e/w), Nicolascopernicus (Nicky Mackay to ride another Royal Ascot winner)
"Keep dry and good luck to all your followers." And to you N. Media Centre rapidly filling up - a clear sign the rain continues to fall.
1215: I can confirm it is now raining. I'm due out to go and do my scoring role on the Sky Sports News feature with the bookie reps. I do not do OB's (outside broadcasts for those of you not in the biz) when it's raining.
1210: Completely agree with Adam Robinson when he writes: "The ease in the ground is a potential negative for The Fugue, with Shirocco Star, Kailani and Vow all being proven on a surface with give in it, this should bring them all a lot closer to The Fugue."
1200: Andy Kenyon asks a perfectly pertinent question: "Does the rain rule out Saddler's Rock from a place claim?"
Not yet I don't think AK. Chris Stickels just been in and feels it's genuine good to soft ground at the moment. But when will the afternoon showers arrive?
1155: Simon In Leigh On Sea says: "Another cracking card today. From Yesterday feel Farhh for godolphin is going on to much bigger things now and will land a big pot this year. Today going for singles and e/w yankee on Morawij, Trader Jack, Energizer, Nicholascopernicus. With regard to Brittania much like the Cambrideshire...need a horse proven at longer trip.
"Trader Jack ticks all the boxes and is a Nap. If i back a saver on the 'other' side will look no further than Switzerland. Mr. Johnston's horses are always ready to tough out strong handicaps. Good luck all & enjoy."
I've also backed T J Si but wouldn't want it to rain any more for him.
1150: Looks like G Collins will get his wish - but not before racing. He says: "Been a rather quiet Ascot so far for me........until today! Took great pleasure this morning seeing the beebs weathergirl carol sporting a rather elegant red and white rain accessorie as the more rain the better for my big hope for the day Nicholascopernicus in the "lucky" last. Got on at 10's ew last night as had a feeling Mr Varian would take out Cameron Highland on account of the ground (backed him last time at Epsom on atrocious going, clearly didn't like it) and the prices at the top of the market would collapse...good jockey booked in Nicky Mackay, 8 stone on his back, won over the distance twice already (frankel-esque!!!) sure to be top 4 at least.........isn't he????? ]
"Also really like democretes (been crying out for a mile in his races) and prince alzain (one concern would be ground conditions) in the lottery that is the Britannia and Rewarded (badly hampered last time out, stayed on eye-catchingly well) in the Tercentenary! Here's hoping for some more rain please MrWeatherman..."
He says it will GC - and that forecast tomorrow looks something else...
1140: Paul F says: "I fancy Lord of the shadows today for the excellent Sean Levey and Mr Hannon. His form behind Coup de Ville ( neck ) who was 3 ½ lengths behind a certain Camelot inthe Guineas must put him in the frame for todays race. Darren Egan to follow in the last on Commitment for Luca Cumani, a very interesting jockey booking !!"
What's he carry PF? 8st 3lb...must be the reason for the DE booking. Perfectly capable though.
1135: Market moves time from our sponsors Sky Bet. From their trading room Andy Twitchen reports:
3.05 Royal Ascot - Kailani 8/1 from 9/1
Has plenty to find with The Fugue on Epsom form but the overnight rain plus the prospect of more to come should bring them closer together. Both horses had excuses in the Oaks but this is far from an easy task in what looks a really good renewal of the Ribblesdale. The daughter of Monsun though does look to have more in her favour than most.
3.45 Royal Ascot - Opinion Poll 5/1 from 11/2
Good each way support for this consistent Godolphin horse who seems versatile regards ground these days but connections have always been more confident on softish ground. Frankie has opted for Colour Squadron and his form is there for all to see regards Red Cadeaux but the ground may not suit. Punters seem to think Opinion Poll is sure to be in the 1st 3 and it's hard to argue otherwise. Whether Fame and Glory is beatable however is open to debate.
4.25 Royal Ascot - Trader Jack 8/1 from 10/1
Highly thought of by the Roger Charlton team and is surely well handicapped on ability. Has won on very soft ground but that was only a maiden and ran poorly 1st time out on similar ground when well fancied. His run last time out was very eye catching as he travelled like the best horse till run down in the closing stages in a warm contest. This step back to a mile on a track like this should be spot on but there's just a niggling doubt as to what went wrong 1st time out.
1130: Good to have Jambowoody with us. He says: "A very good second day made up for a very poor first and Ishvanas win is leading me to Piri Wango in the Brittania after a close up fourth in s competitive little race at Dundalk. Trying to separate Vow, The Fugue and Shirocco Star is problematical so I will be looking elsewhere and side with Momentary given the horse has beaten Shirocco Star. Other selections are Colour Vision and Gale Force Ten."
Good luck J. Didn't realise how badly yesterday had gone until I just refreshed by betting balance. The boss at work is leaving - I may need to take back my donation until pay day.
1125: I now know what wedges are - something to do with heels.
1120: A very good morning to Jeff In Bermuda who says: "Morning Dave, a little jet lagged but back in Bermuda and ready for cracking but tough card. Flew over on Tuesday to watch Lyric Ace, horse I part own, run in the Windsor Castle. Fair to say not a great result, and horse not running to form, but be back for sales race at Newbury bext month
"Cay Verde and Annunciation well tipped by trainers on Monday but agree ground may have gone against Annuciation....good luck all."
Good luck with Lyrice Ace in the future J - there'll be better days this summer with him.
1110: I don't want to upset Adam Robinson, I really don't. He writes: "Please tell me its still raining, I need 'soft' going for my fancy today, and that is Forest Row in the Britannia. The pace is all drawn low, so should get a lovely toe into the race. All of the horses I've done in the pot relish ease in the ground, so come on give me the good news, its chucking it down isnt it??!!!"
Not yet but the fashion expert has warned women they may have to wear wedges as more is on the way. First one to tell me what a wedge is wins a Jacamo catalogue.
1105: Just watched Tales Of Grimm's reappearance run again and the race really wasn't run to suit him. He has to be a big player in the 1700. Grandeur feared for Mr J Noseda.
1100: You quickly find your place in the pecking order at Royal Ascot. D Williams esq has just received an email from his Savile Row tailors...I've had one offering a 25 per cent discount at Jacamo.
1055: There's no known cure for the affliction that's struck Darragh down. He writes: "Suffering an awful bout of seconditis this week - however Excellent Guest helped as I backed him EW yesterday. On to today and can Cay Verde be beaten?
"The numbers look great to me and I make him my banker today. Bit worried about the Jock tho..."
Wouldn't be overly concerned by C Williams D - I was tipped Annunciation yesterday but the ground a worry for most in there.
1045: Could be good day for Godolphin - Anomaly has to go well in the last surely? Will have saver on Sparkling Portrait but another awful draw for him.
1035: Badge still not on but Black Caviar drawm 15 of 15 in the Diamond Jubilee. No Bated Breath.
1030: Right up to date at last. Will now try and put my Ascot lapel badge on, This could take at least 20 minutes and end with three plasters on various digits.
1025: Tom P asks: "morning dave, i fancy the chances of frog hollow,in the 4,25 ascot your thoughts please."
I couldn't put you T and I'm sure the end-to-end gallop will play to his strengths. I've backed two in there, the strong-travelling Trader Jack who will be suited by going back to this trip and Bronze Angel. The form of his Doncaster win is working out well and Marcus Tregoning has gone very close to winning the race twice before with similar progressive types.
1015: Jen From BSE is always one of the stars of the show and says: "It appears there is a man building a boat in Waitrose car park so I suspect we have had more rain than you and it has yet to abate. Until racing commences the ground will be a mystery. I should warn you that I agree with you on Kailani although I would not be surprised if any of 6 won it.
"Saddler's Rock looks the one if it comes up genuinely soft as Fame and Glory detests such conditions. Kahruman would be no bigger than his current odds if running in the group 3 35 minutes later, the draw is a lottery but 25/1 just looks too big.
"Tales of Grimm can bring Mr Stoute and his followers some relief, while Open Water can drown my hopes in the last. Cay Verde has great form, course, going the lot, 3/1 looks like my kind of bet. When you say you watched Midsomer Murders topless, was this on television or live action from the hotel window? Best of luck today and safe journey home, don't try to leave until after 7pm."
Cheers J and I hasten to add the murder was very much on TV. It was another strange episode as it featured most of the cast of Drop The Dead Donkey and I have to say it's gone downhill from the glory days of John Nettles. Only Jersey can say the same.
1010: JP has been great all week and says: "Hi Dave, so ordinary night at the hotel? Just to lull Mr Linfoot into a false sense of security I presume...now to today's business and echoing the feeling that I was a verge on giving it a miss when studying the form last night as inspiration as the helpful rosé was running dry...but decided against it as two winners on the trot make me level for the meeting and keen to get into positive territory and to prove it was not the proverbial dead cat bounce, opted for the following :
"Complicator (for a laugh), Shirocco Star who will also like the bit of cut in the ground, Bronze Angel, Rewarded, Ghost Protocol / Commitment...hope you hand out the torch to Mr Linfoot in glorious fashion...best of luck to all."
No - the shower had been fixed and the couple from room 11 seemed to have gone! I was only disburbed by someone using the communal toilet (I was en-suite) which was next to my room, at around 0230 BST. I sense a middle-aged man, we tend to need to go at that sort of time.
1005: Another of the good men of Dublin is Col who writes: "NAP of the week from the Dublin jury today and remember that So You Think was called a BOMBPROOF NAP yesterday. Saddlers Rock will win the Ascot Gold Cup today and while your drinking your winnings tonight, have a play on Takar in Leopardstown tonight, its lashing here and he will love it."
Cheers C. I've backed the Rock - and will look at Takar. May need something to lighten the mood as I prepare for the four hour journey home. And that's without the inevitable Burger King stop-off somewhere.
1000: A very good morning to Si Adams who gave us a big winner yesterday. He says: "A mixed day yesterday....big Prince of Johanne got us up over the hill but no idea about the last 2 picks! Carlton house didn't like the look of So You Think and that was the end of it.
"A strong looking minefield of improvers and potential on offer today and im trying to stick with proven over potential and hence why the fugue will be my bet. I was at the oaks and don't think it was anything more than a poor ride that cost her the race.
"Shirrocco star and vow we both in the right place at the right time and didn't get there. So I take Buick to not make the same mistake again. He tends not to make the same mistake twice which is the sign of a good one in my opinion! Fame and glory is a nice horse but a vunerable enough stayer.
"He is classier than the rest....but colour vision and saddlers rock might just be better stayers. So ill leave that well alone. Annunication in the first and is a horse I really like. If this was 7 furlongs he would be fav. Its on the short side surely so ill leave him today. I think the Cox runner is a bullet and will take the beating in the 1st and Trader Jack and Grandeur will prove the form from goodwood in later races though grandeur
"I think we pay 2nd fiddle to part 1 of the Ogden double to end the day. Tales of Grimm and Uriah Heep are both hugely thought of and today I think is the day for both.
So selections are - Reckless Abandon, The fugue, Colour Vision, Trader Jack/Prince Alazain, Tales of Grimm, Uriah Heep Have a great day all, may they all be lucky. . It MUST be time for the yellow from her majesty. She rarely misses a yellow day at ascot!"
Still dank here SA, perhaps yellow will be a safety neccessity for Her Majesty.
0955: Great to have John C with us. He says: "First day I can watch the racing live today after spending 2 days on a works training course. Sometimes think I would not go in if they didn't pay me! I have been enjoying your blogs Dave and always judge a breakfast by the quality of sausage, so yours must go down as a disappointment.
"I have backed 3 today. Everyone seems to think their fancy was unlucky in the Oaks so have backed the horse who beat all the runners bar one and she is Shirocco Star. Fame and Glory is the obvious one and had a dart on Mr Charltons Trader Jack in the Britannia. best of luck today and keep up the good work. Mr Lightfoot is under pressure tomorrow!"
The poor swine is suffering from an infected gum JC and on anti-biotics. I don't know how you can stay in our Reading hotel without the demon drink but Scoop is about to find out...
0950: I now have a craving to return to Dublin from where Rob writes: "Fantastic blog as always, well done. Makes you feel like you are almost there with you.Dave, I really like the chances of Gael force Ten in the opener, so glad to hear that it has softened up a tad for him.
"His form with Leiter Mor also looks good but I think he'll be a better a significant improver. He's the real deal Dave, get on! I'm with you with Saddler's too, maybe I'll double them up...."
That's the spirit R! No strong view in the Norfolk so may well follow your advice.
0945: Apologies for the delays - went for some fresh air then the wifi went down - no honestly it did!
0915: It seems I won't be escaping the downpours as I head north after racing. Brownie says: "Morning Dave, firstly the weather up North is grim this morning, heavy rain in gods own back garden (Leeds for all non-Yorkshire folk) and little sign of it stopping!
"My day yesterday revolved around So You Think, a dominant performance, although I must confess to a panic attack when Carlton House got the rail at the 2f pole, this Aussie horse is special, he's been knocked and knocked, but his record is outstanding, leave him alone and enjoy a top notch performer.
"Today is oh so hard. I took the 9's about Gale Force Ten in the Norfolk, the 12's about Kailani in the Ribblesdale (Presume there both pricewise having been punted?). I'm not convinced The Fugue will appreciate the ground conditions, although she owes me, or in my humble opinion, a young Mr Buick does for a poor ride, in a rough Oaks (Was there any need for her to be 10 lengths off a slow pace?). As for the Gold Cup, I've been with Fame & Glory for months, but fear Saddlers Rock and Opinion Poll. As for the rest, need a pin!"
I didn't realise Kailani was Pricewise B. Wonder if Tom Segal had a webcam of my studying in the Reading hotel room last night? Hope not for his sake, I watched Midsummer Murders topless.
0910: I often put a deliberate mistake in the blog to keep readers on their toes and well done to Gill Nevin for spotting this morning's!
She says: "It's miserable here in Liverpool too. I think the excess rain must have addled your brain, I assume you mean Saddler's Rock is going to hack up in the Gold Cup. If so, I agree although I haven't had a winner yet and I didn't make it to Ascot yesterday so I am generally in a pretty bad mood.
"The prospect of a trip to Birkenhead this afternoon has done nothing to raise my lowly spirits. This is a rallying call to my fellow bloggers, cheer me up with a few winners before I am forced to take up darts!"
Nowt wrong the great game of arrers GN. I'm still the defending sportinglife.com champion having steadfastly refused to defend my title since a sultry evening in The Grove, Leeds, back in 2002.
0905: ....and that is Kailani who will relish the give in the ground and patently failed to handle at Epsom at all. She was still only six lengths adrift of the principals despite being detached round Tattenham Corner and she looks a big player to me.
0900: It seems the Friday downpours and the eight mills overnight aren't enough for poor Falbrav who says: "I desperately need a favour...can you do a rain dance for me? My form on the first two days has been so lamentable (bloggers take note and ignore the following) that I considered giving it a miss today. Then at 7.15 CET (6.15 BST), Carol the BBC weather girl appeared on the TV screen (yes, we even get BBC1 in Heidiland) live from Ascot under an umbrella saying that it had been pounding it down for hours...she was still under the umbrella an hour later and promising more heavy showers later.
"Do you remember one of your earlier blogs this year when you had 'a shower' last for two hours? We need one of those? More precipitation is needed...at the very least, I need 'soft in places' to appear in the description. In such conditions and with the small field to suit, Opinion Poll is a certainty, I said a certainty, for the Gold Cup. #
"I also think that Colima is a huge, huge price at 40-1 for the Ribblesdale given plenty of dig. My other wager is on Forest Row in the Britannia...14-1 with our sponsors who are paying out on five places - not that this will count for owt if there is a huge draw bias and mine is on the wrong side! Stay under cover and please keep dancing in between blogging and food & ale breaks."
There's confusion over these later showers/persistent rain - 4 to 6pm now our peak time I'm told. I fancy one at a price in the Ribblesdale too F...
0855: The emails start with a cracker from another Dave who writes: "I have been watching the Royal Ascot carnival from 12000 miles away in Australia. Watching Frankel put a gap in the opposition as wide as the Sydney heads was something to behold. I have been fortunate to see the Mighty Black caviar in person when she took out one of our feature sprints over here and if you get the chance have a look at her in the flesh you'll agree she is some specimen.
"She is expected to make light work of her opposition on Saturday and I'm hoping the trainer will let the jockey open her up over the last furlong. For whatever reasons she has never been ridden right out and I'm sure if she is allowed we might get to see her win by a similar margin to Frankel.
"In saying that though she doesn't have to win by fence panels to convince anyone that she is the best sprinter we have ever seen from our country.As racing enthusiast we should just be happy and privileged to have witnessed these two great champions of the turf."
Can't wait to see Black Caviar in action D but the ground must be of some concern - the forecast for tomorrow seems to suggest more significant rain - and very strong winds.
0850: Changed things around today. Had the full cooked breakfast at the hotel (very average sausage) and drove here. It seemed a good idea until I spent 28 minutes travelling the last three miles. That - it seems - was due to a delivery man blocking off a lane in Ascot High Street as he waited for a furniture store to open. The driver in front of me, small, stocky and aggressive, delivered a pitch-perfect Nescafe sign in his direction.
0845: A very good morning to you and yours from a dank Ascot. 8mm or rain overnight, at least three came in through my Reading hotel window and we're now good to soft. Might not get much more until later in the afternoon apparently but that was via Isobel Llang on Sky News and not a bespoke John Kettley number. It's very muggy and I'm wearing pink.
The ground is now good to soft, Sadler's Risk is going to beat Fame And Glory in the Gold Cup and Dave Williams of Ladbrokes has pretended to be a leading broadcaster to get one of the ATR bacon sandwiches. Woo there big fella.
As ever can you send your emails to email@example.com. I'm off for coffee and a good hard think about the rest of the action. I've had more tips in the Britannia than you can shake a stick at - and I haven't got one of those.