We had a cracking start to Posh-Fest 2011 yesterday. Not on this blog by the way – that was as childish and nonsensical as ever – more in terms of seeing some top quality horse racing. It wasn’t a bad day for punters either as a load of well-backed horses came up trumps to send Paddy Power into an emotional tailspin the like of which we haven’t seen since he heard about the demise of boyband 5ive. If there’s one thing Paddy wants more than the reuniting of Abs, Jay and the other three, it’s a load of favourites beaten today, but time will see if he gets his way. I’ll be keeping you up to date with all the going-ons on at Royal Ascot and by ‘keeping up you up to date’ I do mean throwing random insults around the place.
Feel free to add your own contributions or if you’re so inclined, why not follow me on twitter where I’m known as @AidanWaffles_PP. Ted Walsh is considered far too rugged to be allowed into Royal Ascot so there’s going to be no ‘Hell Of A Horse’ count, but instead, there will be a ‘Someone’s Stolen The Box Willie Carson Stands On To Look Taller Beside Clare Balding’ count.
Someone’s Stolen The Box Willie Carson Stands On To Look Taller Beside Clare Balding = 2
5.50pm: That’s all from me for today. I’m off to do some vocal exercises before meeting Eva later and if I have enough time, I may lodge a couple against Suzi Perry with the RSPCA for here treated of pheasants. If it’s possible, I hope you have a decent punting day. Good evening one and all.
5.49pm: Michael Owen is on the Beeb doing what he does best- claiming credit for something that he probably shouldn’t be claiming credit for.
5.37pm: That brings the curtain down on what has been a dreadful day for punters. Rhythm Of Light denies the market leaders to claim the Sandgrinham Stakes.
1st Rhythm Of Light 8/1
2nd Dubai Queen
3rd Winters Night
5.36pm: The Sandringham Stakes begins …
5.31pm: Ha ha! I just noticed this comment from Vampangelofdarkness underneath the YouTube clip:
Oh god, if all Irish guys are this sexy I’m gunna hightail it down there, follow the rainbow, and instead of the pot of gold I’m bringing home the sexy Gerry version leprechaun. The other guy is pretty scrumptious to, but Gerard Butler all the way
7 months ago
Yes, Vampangelofdarkness, we are all like that. In fact I’m planning to spend this evening serenading Eva Mendes with my version of
I’m A Dreamer by Livin’ Joy Dirty Old Town.
5.27pm: I should probably be previewing the next race, but I want to warn everyone out there of the dangers of Cecila Ahern novels. Here’s a blissfully short snippet from the movie version of PS I Love You. I would say it’s another case of the movie not doing the book justice, but I sincerely doubt that’s the case.
I didn’t think it was possible to fit so many bad accents into a scene not featuring Tom Cruise.
5.23pm: Rashid clearly isn’t a fan of Cecilia Ahern’s work. “She writes short stories,” he tells us. If only Rash – sadly she writes novels – tedious, shallow novels.
5.21pm: Wow – throwing something of a pube into his glass of Moet, Frankie Dettori has been handed a 9 day ban for excessive use of the whip on Rewilding.
5.15pm: I should probably tell you to bet at least £/€1 to watch the Sandringham Stakes on paddypower.com, but I’ve been corporate enough for today so I’ll let you know you can also watch on the Beeb for free (but you’ll probably need to be in the UK).
5.14pm: That’s it for BBC2’s coverage for the day. It’s either over to At The Races or using the BBC Red Button for the Sandringham Stakes. Be warned – one of the red buttons on the remote may turn off your TV.
5.10pm: That hat makes me crave a Walnut Whip.
5.03pm: It’s been a nightmare for punters today and Shumoos becomes the latest favourite to disappoint. In fairness, it was only by the narrowest of margins as Best Terms holds on in a thrilling finish.
1st Best Terms 12/1
3rd Caledonia Lady
5pm: Away in the Queen Mary …
4.55pm: I did not know that. New England Patriots wide receiver, Wes Welker owns Gypsy Robin according to the excellent @claimsfive
Holy cow! Just been talking to Wes Welker, wide receiver with the Patriots, in the paddock at Ascot. He owns Gypsy Robin in the next.
Holy cow, claimsfive – you even sound extra American for the ocassion.
4.51pm: Fallon v Balding – surprisingly candid interview for this stage in the afternoon.
4.42pm: Eddie Ahern gets a two day ban for careless riding and starting a fight with another boy.
4.37pm: Julienas keeps the Royal Hunt Cup after the trip to the headmaster’s office. Dance And Dance was a little unlucky in defeat.
1st Julienas 12/1
2nd Dance And Dance
3rd Invisible Man
Super Extra Bonus Place 5th Eton Forver
4.35pm: Live footage from the Stewards’ Room is weird. It’s like having a camera in the headmaster’s office when you had to explain a fight in school.
4.31pm: Scratch that! The head-on replay tells a different story.
4.30pm: Stewards’ Inquiry has been called. I doubt it’s going to make any difference to the winner.
4.25pm: The Royal Hunt Cup begins … Sorry I didn’t look at the movements in the market, but I was eating a Yorkie. Of the raisin and biscuit variety if you must know.
4.20pm: Barry McGuigan being interviewed now which is quite a coincidence because doesn’t he have a book to sell at the moment? Proves he’s still got a knockout punch by landing a killer chat-up line on Suzi Perry.
4.15pm: Sandringham Handicap Preview
Right – looking at the form and trying to be shrewd has done no good this afternoon, so I’m ingoring the form book and going for Winter’s Night in the Sandringham Handicap Betting because I like his silks. No other reason.
4.12pm: “As long as the trousers match the jacket”. Is that a fashion euphemism? I really hope so.
4.05pm: Big Mac may well be the Penguin from Batman. Have you seen the two of them in the same Royal Ascot at the same time?
4.01pm: Aidan O’Brien – a great winner and an even better loser. Says the defeat was down to “trainer’s error.”
3.55pm: Ha Ha! Frankie giving Sheikh Mohammed a tap on the shoulder to tell him the BBC want to talk to him. What a jockey, bloke and fantastic ambassador for the sport.
3.50pm: It’s a day for the bookies as So You Think is turned over by Rewilding. Ryan Moore looked to have a lot of horse left turning for home, did he send him to the front too early? He set it up nicely for Frankie and he took his chance.
1st Rewilding 17/2
2nd So You Think
3.47pm: They’re away for the Prince Of Wales Stakes …
3.40pm: Five minutes to go before the highlight of day 2. It’s all about So You Think and the next best in the betting, Planteur is on the drift.
3.31pm: The hype machine is firing on all cylinders for So You Think. Judging by all the fulsome praise in that package on the BBC, even a 15 length victory would be a disappointment.
3.24pm: Former England cricket captain, Michael Vaughan is being interviewed now. There literally isn’t a freebie he won’t turn up to.
3.20pm: It’s now over to BBC2 for the rest of the action at Royal Ascot.
3.15pm: Another kick in the nuts for punters as the race opens up for Lolly For Dolly and she seizes her chance with aplomb. The favourites disappoint which probably isn’t a big surprise judging by how she was going down to post.
1st Lolly For Dolly 11/1
3rd First City
3.10pm: They’re away for the Windsor Forest Stakes …
3.05pm: There’s going to be a slight delay to the race because everyone wants to hear what John Parrott has to say.
2.55pm: More looking at hats makes it a perfect time to look ahead to the Windsor Forest Stakes. Sajjhaa is the favourite, but the sight of Frankie Dettori barely keeping her under control isn’t the most encouraging. She looks quirky to say the least. I’m A Dreamer is vying for favouritism and there’s nothing else major to report in the betting heat.
2.51pm: That was a quality interview of Henry Cecil by Clare Balding. If you missed it’s here on the BBC Sport website. Well worth a watch. Now back to ripping the piss out of hats that look like a massacre of gamefowl.
2.40pm: Queen Mary Stakes Preview
Next season’s Classic fillies do battle in this race and although time will probably show us there’s a lot of talent amongst the field, there’s not a great deal of form to go on in the book. The only filly I’ve ever trusted at a short price is Quevega and I’m going to give hot favourite Shumoos the swerve in this race. It’s hard to know how highly to rate Gypsy Robin’s win in Keeneland back in April, but she won in style. She may only have beaten a couple of American mules, but clearly her connections think she’s good enough to send across the Pond for a tilt at the Queen Mary Stakes. I think she’s the value bet of the race.
2.33pm: One in the eye for the market and a kick in the nuts for the punters. Despite a big drift, Strong Suit returns to form to hold off the heavily backed Codemater by about half a length.
1st Strong Suit 11/1
3rd Western Aristocrat
2.30pm: They’re away in the Jersey Stakes …
Codemaster now 7/4 for the Jersey Stakes
Not long to go until the Jersey Stakes and it’s all about Codemaster. He’s been backed all morning and he’s now 15/8. Going the other way is last year’s winner of the Coventry Stakes, Strong Suit – he’s now 11/1 after being 8/1.
2.15pm: People say Paddy Power spends most of Royal Ascot knocking back the champers and arsing around, but he’s got a lot on his hands. Clearly:
2.12pm: That’s number 2! Willie’s with John and Gary. John’s towering over him and Gary looks like he’s about to eat him.
2.08pm: Jennie Bond: “The Queen still rides”. WWWWOOOOWWWW! I know you used to be royal corrrespondent, but that’s impressive access! The saucy …
Oh right. I see what you mean.
2pm: The Queen and her homies have arrived. Her Majesty’s outfit could best be described as Wedding Cake Chic.
1.53pm: Call the RSPCA – Suzi Perry has murdered a pheasant. Mia-ooowwww
1.50pm: WOOHOO! This is counting as our first ‘Someone’s Stolen Willie’s Box’ of the afternoon:
1.46pm: Is Clare Balding not wearing the same outfit she was wearing yesterday? Must have got lucky.
1.45pm: Let the extra wanky credits roll! It’s over to BBC 1 for the first part of this afternoon’s coverage.
1.41pm: There’s been a going change ahead of the first race at Royal Ascot. The going is now good all over which makes it sound a lot like an Iceberger.
1.35pm: Ever the diplomat, Big Mac starts an interview with an Australian journalist by saying “We all know you Australians are uncouth …”. Leave the mindless stereotyping out Mac – that’s my job.
1.20pm: Royal Hunt Cup Preview
It’s our first Shameless Plug of the day and what a Shameless Plug to have. We’re paying 1/4 ODDS 1-2-3-4-5 Places on the Royal Hunt Cup and it’s badly needed because Berkshire hasn’t had a harder mystery to solve since Lenny Hnery and Dawn French broke up. It’s going to be a thundering handicap over a mile, so I’m not going to spend too long wondering about tactics. pedigree or going – basically all the stuff a proper tipster would be studying. I’m going to go for Bronze Prince because he’s improving and he’s got a decent draw. All he needs is a bit of luck and to run a little bit faster than everyone else and it’s his for the taking.
1pm: Prince Of Wales Stakes Preview
‘Preview’ many be the wrong word to use for the Prince Of Wales Stakes because it’s So You Think’s to lose and it’s hard to argue against that. On the off chance he does have a bad day at the office, I’d be looking at Twice Over as the value bet. He’s only a pound behind the O’Brien import on official ratings and although that stat doesn’t tell the whole story, he’s clearly got the talent to run well, despite recent form.
12.34pm: Wow! That At The Races studio is running like a well oiled ship. Not.
12.27pm: I’ve got a feeling Matt Chapman’s love for Martin Dwyer is very much a one-way street.
12.21pm: News is emerging that Fury is lame.
‘Lamer than updating your facebook status to ‘In A Relationship’ after a couple of casual dates’ is the official word not coming from the yard.
12.13pm: NON RUNNER: We’ve a big non-runner in the Jersey Stakes Betting. Kieren Fllon’s return to the saddle is going to have to wait slightly longer as his mount, Fury has been ruled out of the race.
11.55am: That Livin’ Joy reference was obscure, even by the standards of my obscure references. For anyone born after 1985 or with musical taste, this is what I was getting at:
11.45am: Windsor Forest Stakes Preview
The second race of the day is Royal Ascot’s equivalent of Grab A Granny night in your local nightclub. The older fillies and mares get their chance of success over a mile and it’s Goldolphin’s Sajjhaa who leads the betting. Staying true to my illogical and generally ill-advised ‘avoiding the favourites’ policy, I’m going to look elsewhere for my bet. It’s dam hard, because Sajjhaa really does look to have the best chance of winning this one. Partially because I think she’s an improving sort and partially because I’m a big fan of mid-90s Italian house music, I’m going to go for I’m A Dreamer to win the Windsor Forest Stakes
11.30am: It’s over to At The Races now where Garry O’Brien seems to have a hairy George Clooney clinging to his tie and it looks like John McCririck has stolen the costume of some Eurovision performer from the 1980s.
11.10am: Jersey Stakes Preview
It’s a slow news day at Royal Ascot so far, so it’s time for a wishy-washy preview of the first race of the day, which is a real tricky one to solve. We’ve got a load of horses who will probably prove to be better than Group 3 standard in future, but probably won’t be good enough for Group 1 and it all means it’s hard to rule too many out. There’s already been money for Codemaster this morning, but due to my resoundingly inconclusive tactic of never backing favourites, I’m going to look elsewhere for my bet in the Jersey Stakes. Fury, Havane Smoker and Western Aristocrat have strong claims, but for no vaild reason I’m going to rule them out and put the whole biscuit fund on Oracle. I’ve been raised on Aidan O’Brien’s enjoying remarkable success at Royal Ascot followed by the obligatory overly modest post-race interview and this fits the bill of a Ballydoyle runner who could come good at the Royal meeting. I’m expecting to see another overly modest interview at bout 2.35 this afternoon.
Not just because I can’t find anyone to slag off this early in the morning, it’s time to have a look at this morning’s market movers from Royal Ascot. It’s been a busy morning so far. Codemaster is into 3/1 from 7/2 for the Jersey Stakes. Seta and Dever Dream (one of Pricewise’s tips for the day) are the movers in the Windsor Forest Stakes Betting. The former drifting out to 5/1 and the latter being trimmed to 10/1 from 12/1. There’s an interesting move in the Royal Hunt Cup Betting. Chapter And Verse had been rated a 40/1 chance for the race earlier, but he’s been trimmed to 28/1 after some strong support. In the last race of the day – the Sandringham Handicap, Dubai Queen has strengthened her position at the head of the market after being trimemd to 7/2 from 4/1.
10.12am: We’ve had our first bit of feedback about our Live Blog that isn’t from the Paddy Power legal team or people offering to sell us viagra on the cheap.
It’s from the brilliant @_tips4punters_ on Twitter and after reading yesterday’s live blog, he or indeed she got in contact to say:
@AidanWaffles_PP Great blog Aidan
Thank you @_tips4punters_ – clearly you are a person or spam robot of incredibly good taste and I’ll send eveyone I know to your website.
10.04am: To step on the toes of Michael Fish, Ulrika Jonsson and other outdated references that young folk won’t remember as weather forecasters, here’s the weather report for the day ahead at Royal Ascot. Yesterday was a scorcher with the Queen heard to comment “I’m sweating worse than Ryan Giggs in his brother’s wardrobe”, but it’s set to be a little cooler this Wednesday. The high is expected to be around 18 and there’s a chance of showers this afternoon and an even higher chance of unwanted frizzy hair around the VIP tents.
9.54am: Good morning everyone. Let’s get the ball rolling for Day 2 of Posh-fest 2011 with something remotely useful. The ground at Royal Ascot is said to be drying out with the going on the straight course given as Good and the going on the round course down as Good, Good To Soft in places.