Tanya's Blog - Thursday 20th June 2013
Proximity of golf course swings it for me
There were mixed reactions from bookmakers and punters alike on how they coped on day two of Royal Ascot.
Generally it was a good day for the bookmakers, the key being absorbing the piles of money for Camelot. It went hideously wrong for me and my pockets are empty. My confidence is knocked yet in all the punting despair, today I was bouyed by ticking a box I never thought could ever, ever tick.
Regular readers of this column will know I love my cricket to the point that if I’m not racing I can be found at a cricket ground. And as I love an underdog with true spirit, for almost 30 years the ‘Blackcaps’ or New Zealand cricket team have been my heroes.
They never drop their heads, despite sometimes hideous defeats and they have the odd little triumph which fills the heart. I’ve seen many generations of their team play and was an admirer of Stephen Fleming’s captaincy skills to motivate his colleagues.
Any sports fan will understand the dedication it takes to consistently go and watch your team, cheer them on in the knowledge of the odds against them, even when defeat is imminent. I met four Black Caps on Wednesday; Corey Anderson, Dougie Bracewell, James Franklin and current captain Brendan McCullum. I even had the luxury of chatting to them for ten minutes before going live to air.
Brendan McCullum loves his racing, in partnership with James Franklin he even owns horses in New Zealand. He could have talked for some time about pedigrees and the form of those in his ownership. There is real and true enthusiasm. Sadly, with live television time goes quickly.
Yet it was a thrill which I’m still buzzing now over and will be for some time to come. I sometimes stand in awe as James Franklin launches one into outer space for a six and reading his credentials it won’t be long before we see that on a regular basis with Corey Anderson. And yes you’ve guessed it I’ll be at both T20s next week.
I digress. With the real threat of heavy rain on Thursday the going of good to firm may change back to Good, if the forecast is right. It may even deteriorate further so watch the weather.
Tomorrow we start with the two-year-olds and probably more glory for Aidan O’Brien with Coach House in the Norfolk Stakes. Brian Gleeson, my Irish colleague, seems very, very keen on Alive Alive Oh in the Ribblesdale Stakes, yet I’m a huge Just Pretending fan, which means the Ribblesdale appears to be another race going across to Ireland.
Everyone quite rightly will be willing home Estimate in the Ascot Gold Cup owned by Her Majesty The Queen. It would be fitting for there to be a Royal winner.
Considering Ascot’s proximity to the great golf course it is only fitting with the sport to the forefront that Wentworth’s popularity could force his price down. He is my pick in the Britannia Stakes.
Toronado showed a new lease of life in the St James's Palace Stakes, so we could also see the same from Van Der Neer. Best just stick to one horse, though, and that is Wentworth.
Only nine winners since 1976 returned double-figure prices
There have been 10 winning favourites since 1976
Nine of the last ten winners won on their most recent start
Eight of the last ten winners came from the first three in the betting
Five of the last seven winners had won their only previous run
Nine of the last ten winners finished in the first three last time out
Nine of the last ten winners had won at least one of their last two starts
Seven of the last ten winners came from the first three in the betting
Eight of the last ten winners had won over at least ten furlongs
Frankie Dettori has won the race six times
Five of the last ten favourites have won the Gold Cup
Rite Of Passage and Estimate have won both their races at Ascot
There are ten multiple winners since 1965 (Sagaro three times a winner, Yeats four)
Nine of the last ten came from the first four in the betting
Eight of the last ten won on their most recent start
Only three winners older than six since 1946!
Five of the last ten winners had won a Group One
Eight of the last ten winners had won over at least 2miles
All but one of the last 11 winners had been beaten on their racecourse debut as a two-year-old
Eight of the last ten winners carried less than 9-1
All of the last 10 winners had run amongst a field of at least 15 runners prior to Ascot
Nine of the last ten winners had run in at least Class Two company prior
Three of the last seven winners had run in the Betfred Silver Bowl at Haydock on their most recent start
The draw of the last ten winners have been either six or lower or 18 or higher!
Eight of the last ten winners at Ascot finished no worse than third on their most recent start
Four of the last eight winners had run in the Dante
Five of the last eight winners had run in at least a Group 2 prior to Ascot
Nine of the last ten winners have run on more than six times in their career
Eight of the last ten Ascot winners had run no more than three times in the current campaign
Eight of the last ten winners came from the first six in the betting
Eight of the last ten winners had run against at least 14 or more runners
Eight of the last ten had no fewer than four career starts prior
Mark Johnston has won the race five times
Eight of the last ten came from the first six in the betting
All of the last ten Ascot winners had run in at least a Class Three
Seven of the last ten Ascot winners had won over ten furlongs
Nine of the last ten Ascot winners had finished in the first three on their most recent start (five of them had won)
Nine of the last eleven winners had run as a two-year-old
All of the last eleven winners carried 8-13 or less
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