Red jazz can call the tune
LAST week's Coral-Eclipse at Sandown turned out to be the cracker of a race that we'd hoped for, and saw the 2010 Arc winner Workforce battle it out with former Australian star So You Think.
As he stormed ahead, I thought the Michael Stoute-trained four-year-old had caught So You Think on the hop and the in-running punters on Betfair agreed, backing him all the way down to 1/3.
Workforce nearly got the job done, but nearly backing a winner never put bread on the table so, needless to say, it was a quiet weekend in the Bailey household following the loss. That's the terrible beauty for those of us involved in this punting business -- you win or you lose and there's no bull about it.
Winning is everything and once the race is over, offering excuses is a futile exercise -- you've got to 'man up', as the Yanks might say, and admit when you've called it wrong.
Indeed, the late great American Football coach Vince Lombardi summed success up well when he asked: "If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?"
The horse you backed coming second is as good as it coming last, but I suppose there's no point in me looking for pity here or elsewhere and it's time to dust myself down and get back to work.
So You Think trades at 4/1 for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, but he has plenty of options and it would be ill-advised to hastily take ante-post prices following last week's win.
Speaking of winning, I reckon Red Jazz has a fair chance of doing just that in today's Group Two totesport.com Summer Mile Stakes (3.45 Ascot), for which the bookies are generally going 'hand' (5/1).
Cityscape is likely to go off as favourite and will certainly be no pushover, but the five-year-old needs soft ground which I doubt he's going to get. Dick Turpin has good form under the belt including the Group One Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly and is another one that can't be dismissed lightly, although he's been disappointing this season.
Pat Dobbs, who rode the horse to victory back in 2009, will take Dick Turpin's reins with Richard Hughes out due to suspension.
While the selection did nothing of note in the Lockinge Stakes last time, he wasn't really expected to threaten Canford Cliffs, as his SP of 14/1 that day suggests. This is a fair drop down in class and this level is probably where he's at right now as a four-year-old. Before Newbury, he'd run a reasonably good race in a Group Two at Meydan and, all told, 5/1 for today is fair value.
EVEN Sherlock Holmes would have trouble figuring out the likely winner of The John Smith's Silver Cup Stakes (2.40 York), and a good case could be put forward for a few.
The one that catches my eye, however, is the William Knight-trained filly Western Pearl, priced around 12/1. She was third in a Listed contest at Newmarket back in September and ran well in third under top weight in a handicap at Goodwood last time.
It's nearly a year since she's won a race but I'm convinced there's more to come from this daughter of High Chaparral and wouldn't be surprised to see her take some prize money home this afternoon.
2.40 York: Western Pearl (e/w)
3.35 Newmarket: Dream Ahead
3.45 Ascot: Red Jazz
4.25 York: Discression
6.15 Salisbury: Redact