Blog Archives

Happy Derby Day Ma’am (as in jam)

The stunning Manduro, Bonfire’s sire

HM the Queen, celebrates her Jubilee Saturday at Epsom today. I hope she sees that handsome headcase, Bonfire (by Manduro), win. There is nothing so yawnsome as the Ballydoyle mafia winning all the classics and, so far, this season, their record is 3 out of 3.

I am not sure what the purpose of a jubilee is, never having had one of my own. Are we meant to be celebrating longevity, or just the fact that she hasn’t thrown the crown in? Does having a Queen make *a material difference to our lives, or has she provided decoration for our currency and postage stamps. It’s just a question, I do not have the answers.

This is a snapdat I took of Her Maj racing at Newbury a few years ago.

*Constitutional experts can consider themselves in the same category as the Ballydoyle mafia.


One winner (short priced tight looking 2yo), a second (talked myself out of the paddock pick winner on pedigree), two split stake nowheres (when I should have put my purse away) and a close up fourth (of five).

It was about this point I wished I had brought a torch as the ground was bound to have been littered with paper money…

Epsom is a funny course, it always amazes me how they come down the hill at all. If it were me being asked to pedal full tilt from Tattenham Corner I would politely decline and wait for the Stannah stair lift.

Anyway, all this was a prelude to the main event of the Boy Band, for which we managed to find a Box to watch it from which was the result of the night. More of that later.

Brannagh, Lord Shanakill's half-bruv, failed to do the biz

It’s the flat kids, but not as we know it…

Our Ladies Day at Epsom featured countless zebras, but none in the paddock, various stilt walkers, golden fauns, swing singers, plus pink feathers and pizzas.

We were coralled on the top of a very hot hill and therefore entirely at the mercy of the sideshows, the feather ticklers and the water-sellers: that’ll be two quid please.

The best result was finding a free car-park, in the middle of a travellers’ encampment. It was hard by the £25 version. When we came back to get the car there was some kind of really serious coin tossing game going on. A showman in the middle of an enraptured circle of shirtless men was offering a 20 note if…

I would liked to have stayed to find out if? but I erred on the side of caution for this occasion. Maybe next time, with a picnic.

Up on the Downs

Me and the youngest are having a day out tomorrow.

Me and the eldest had a good walk this evening on an Common. Tomorrow it won’t be a Common, a Moor, a Mire or indeed a Heath. We will be spending a nice sunny afternoon on some chalky Ups that are only Downs from Tattenham Corner.

I am taking a hat (but not the fish), a camera is a definite and I will be hoping for a Series of Excitements…

I would love to say and the NAP is, but I’ve no idea. I have done a slightly speculative accumulator involving Shakespearean, Alexandros, Marie de Medici and Youmzain but other than that, I hope Henry wins it.

And I’ve heard I’ve a washing machine to fix en route. Better take my overalls too.

The Oaks Preview – without the strength and depth of the Derby epic!

I just took a phone call from my friend – did I want to go to the Oaks tomorrow (setting off for Epsom in about 12 hours time)?  We went last year, when I had about three days notice…

Sadly I had to decline just now because I am bound for something much more boring (delivering a workshop at a conference that has nothing whatsoever to do with horses, although I have hidden a Derby question in the interactive quiz :-)).  What a disappointment.  March in the fens or Epsom on the downs.  No contest 😦

Anyway, I took the opportunity to pick the horseracing journo’s brains and he said he has Sariska but he is worried she will be outpaced down the hill.  He said he also backed the Bolger filly last year at 50/1, Oh Goodness Me.  So that’s the expert’s view.  He also particularly wants to be there when Jamie Spencer wins his first English Classic, that’s a big fact that had escaped my notice.  Well I hope it happens for them both.

My own position is this.  I don’t have time to tie myself in the comprehensive knots I have over the colts race on Saturday and I have been busy doing Powerpoint slides for the conference when I could have been studying the form, so I am forced into a Little Britain, Lou and and Andy type decision.

“I want that one!” 

That one being Henry Cecil’s MIDDAY.  I like that she has course experience behind a useful colt, Debussy who has then finished behind two of the Ballydoyle Derby runners at Chester.  I like that she won her trial very nicely at Lingfield, albeit against a nothing sort of field.  I like her sire Oasis Dream and I like Henry, a lot.  He has a great record in the Oaks and at Midday tomorrow although I will be in March, my heart will be at Epsom.

Midday aims to give Henry Cecil his 9th Oaks winner tomorrow

Midday aims to give Henry Cecil his 9th Oaks winner tomorrow