Flying Cloud can wash away semi-final Blues
DEAR, oh dear. Last weekend was an expensive one for this punter, and I could certainly do with some respite in the shape of a decent-priced winner today. I was the best man at my brother's wedding on Saturday, which was a great day out, but Sunday was less enjoyable when a couple of ton went down the drain on a bet on Dublin to get past Cork.
My brother's new father-in-law, a Corkman, gave us a right oul' slagging afterwards and was kind enough to buy a few pints of Beamish -- but I was raging with myself having missed a trick earlier when someone offered to buy my bookies docket off me at half-time.
Dublin looked like good things at that stage and really should have won, but inexperience saw them lose their discipline in the final stages, costing them the game. I should have sold on my bet when I had the chance but a potent mixture of loyalty and stout saw me hold on to the docket.
But we live and learn, and as the Greek tragic playwright Euripides once said: "Events will take their course, it is no good of being angry at them; he is happiest who wisely turns them to the best account."
Wise words indeed but not much consolation when you are staring into a half-empty wallet.
Anyhow, I'm going to stick with what I know best this week, so my attention turns back to horse racing, particularly Windsor's Group Three Totesport.com Winter Hill Stakes (6.40).
Saeed Bin Suroor's Flying Cloud would probably prefer faster ground than the expected soft, but the four-year-old filly won a race on such ground at Saint-Cloud earlier on in her career and I'm hoping she's one of those versatile sorts that can handle most conditions.
She won twice in Group company last year and ran a reasonable second on a visit to Ireland for the Audi Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh. She didn't set the world alight in her latest start in the Yorkshire Oaks, but this is a fair drop down in class and she should be able to make the most of it with Frankie Dettori holding the reins, priced around 9/2.
Likely favourite Hot Prospect is hard to assess, so I wouldn't be keen on taking 11/10 about the Michael Jarvis-trained Motivator colt. He was considered good enough to race in the Derby but has since been running in handicaps, and where exactly he's at right now is anyone's guess.
In Redcar, Alaskan Spirit will probably go off at a skinny price in the Buy Your Tickets On-line At Redcarracing.co.uk Novice Median Auction Stakes (6.20), but Anne Duffield's colt deserves to be short, based on his impressive handicap win at Hamilton last time.
The assessor was suitably impressed and decided to dish out some 12lbs of lead, but I can see this one improving even more going forward. In a very small field, connections are sure to fancy their chances today.
I was pleasantly surprised when I rang around to get early prices on Layla's Dancer for the Totesport.com Home Of Pool Betting Handicap (3.0 Beverley) and was offered odds of 20/1. It may be nearly a year since this Danehill Dancer colt found himself in the winner's enclosure (on his debut), but he's been making the frame in handicap company since and looked as good as ever when third last time at Haydock. A drop back in distance is likely to suit and I'm hoping to catch the layers napping on this one.
1.45 Newmarket -- Codemaster
3.0 Beverley -- Layla's Dancer (e-w)
3.55 Newmarket -- Zebedee
6.20 Redcar -- Alaskan Spirit
6.40 Windsor -- Flying Cloud