BLACK CAVIAR made Saturday at Royal Ascot one of the most exciting day’s racing that I can recall but blow me down didn’t jockey Luke Nolen do his best to get her beaten by dropping his hands close home?
Overall for the sport it was the right result but if the wonder mare had been chinned, it would have made a tremendous difference to the week for us.
We first inserted Black Caviar at 6-4 favourite for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes before the Cheltenham Festival and she went off at 1-6 favourite so you can imagine how much money we took on her.
But we’re not complaining as overall for the week it was pretty even between bookies and punters and the next instalment of the age old battle can play out at this weekend’s Curragh Derby Festival.
I was hoping to tip up Brendan Duke’s two-year-old Frank Lloyd Wright in the opening maiden on the Sunday, but although the Curragh trainer thinks that he is a very nice horse, he has taken a bit of time to strengthen up so he might just need the run this time.
In Saturday’s Derby itself I can’t oppose English Derby hero Camelot but he is likely to start as short as Black Caviar or even Frankel did at Royal Ascot so I won’t embarrass myself by tipping him up!
So instead I’m going to opt for Rae Guest’s Mirza in the same day’s Group 3 Woodies DIY Sapphire Stakes who is in the form of his career after wins at both Newmarket and Cork.
I was impressed by the manner of his success at the latter with Fran Berry giving him a confident ride before swooping late to master My Girl Anna by half a length.
Sometimes these sprinters are able to just keep winning and he reportedly did a lovely piece of solo work in Newmarket recently.
Most of his winning form has come on ground with a bit of juice in it but he has won on good and Guest certainly won’t be travelling to Ireland solely for a glass of champagne in the Dubai Duty Free box.
More immediately I hope you read this before 7.30pm on Wednesday because Dermot Weld asked Naas to upgrade their Oaks Trial and he looks likely to run last month’s Gowran Park scorer Caponata in the race.
She was an easy winner of that only start and even though she may have been flattered by the five and a half length scoring margin on account of the testing ground, the master trainer indicated that she has a future.
He has been patient with this filly, who is related to the stable’s star mare Emulous, as she is a lovely, big animal and that taking of time is expected to pay off this year.
Last year Weld won this heat with Sapphire and that filly went on to finish runner-up in the Group 2 Blandford Stakes at The Curragh in September.
England have now joined Ireland in being eliminated from Euro 2012 and while you do have to feel sorry for them at the manner of their departure, losing on penalties yet again, their conquerors Italy fully deserved to win the game and, on this occasion, justice was done.
Although I was quite impressed with the Azzurri, I think Germany at a current 10-11 are a good bet to beat them on Thursday evening.
Apart from anything else the Germans have the benefit of two days extra rest which could prove crucial after Italy endured a hard 120 minutes against England and key players De Rossi and Abate both had to be substituted with muscle injuries.
Whatever the result, let’s hope for a crackerjack match.
Wednesday 7.30pm Naas Caponata
Thursday 7.45m Germany to beat Italy
Saturday 7pm The Curragh Mirza