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Holidays hang on carnation

IRELAND beating Macedonia in the football plus a couple of short-priced winners on the horses saw this column show a modest profit last week.

Nothing to send a postcard home about, but profit is profit and I guess the sensible thing to do would be to add the winnings to the summer holiday fund that herself has been accumulating over the last few weeks.

Bringing the family to the remote part of Newfoundland where she's from is an expensive business and I'm tempted to play up the winnings at Sandown today in an effort to find an easy way to pay for the flights.

Mark Twain hit the nail on the head when he said that "there are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it, and when he can" and those sentiments pretty much sum up my situation as I try in vain to make this horse racing lark pay the never-ending bills.

They say that having half a loaf is better than no bread at all, but there's no such thing as having half a holiday, so I think I'll throw caution to the wind and go for glory with the money by backing Night Carnation in the Listed totesport.com Scurry Stakes (3.30 Sandown), for which she's generally available around 13/8.


With Royal Ascot just around the corner, today's racing lacks a little quality, but the selection's form is solid and she's already beaten Move In Time, The Thrill Is Gone and Ahtoug, each of which reoppose again today (although the last-named horse has since impressed in a good handicap at Ascot and may well be a fly in the ointment).

Night Carnation didn't quite look at her best last time when taking the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Sprint Conditions Stakes at York, but in fairness, she overcame a poor draw on the outside and still had the answers when Jimmy Fortune asked the questions.

Her trainer, Andrew Balding, reckons she prefers a bit of cut in the ground and while the going at the time of writing is described as 'good, good to soft in places' there are more showers expected in the Surrey area this morning, any of which will help her cause.


The early birds have chalked up Acclamazing at 8/1 for the Bond Tyres Trophy at York (3.15), and that price looks a couple of ticks too high based on a good season to date and the potential for more.

The Marco Botti-trained gelding narrowly missed out on making it five in-a-row in a useful handicap at Ascot last time, but he finished strongly and I'm not convinced that the handicapper has his measure just yet.

He looks a proper sprinter and the drop back down to six furlongs should help him make the placings at the very least. Desert Law and Seal Rock appear to be the biggest threats to the bet.


3.15 York: Acclamazing (e/w)

3.25 Bath: Arnold Lane

3.30 Sandown: Night Carnation

Irish Independent