Blakeney Point for the Ebor?

July 12th, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

A run of near misses has to end sometime, of course, and in my case it may happen with Century Dream at Ascot on Saturday, not that he will be a great price. Most of the way up the straight at Ascot I thought he might win the Queen Anne or at least be placed but in the end he was beaten inches into fourth at 20/1.

A catalogue of losers is tiresome for the reader so I shall content myself with Blakeney Point, who probably needed stronger handling when overtaking all bar four of them in the old Newton Cup at Haydock, having been twenty lengths adrift at half-way. He started favourite for last year’s Chester Cup but is clearly effective at a mile and a half plus. I shall be in a minority of one here, but I see him running a big race in the Ebor if that race is in Roger Charlton’s thoughts. A mile and three-quarters and a strong gallop would suit him perfectly but I’m not sure he’s the right sort of ride for a 7lb boy.

Roy Rocket has achieved cult hero status at Brighton and it was good to be there the other evening, when his enthusiastic owners treated his third (an impossible task at the weights) as another victory. John Berry has done wonderfully well with the horse, who remains as keen and committed as ever.

David Probert, who rides plenty of winners every year without attracting attention, completed a double but also gave the tricky Spanish Star quite a ride in the six-furlong handicap. Spanish Star came careering down the hill, fighting for his head and edging this way and that until Probert finally saw some sort of gap and let him storm through it. I hoped he would win at this point but the favourite, enjoying a trouble-free run on the outside, came past them all. Even then the apprentice took things too easily and Spanish Star lunged forward to make it close.

I don’t think the visor helped much but I’ve never seen a sprinter pull so hard and still have something left at the finish. If Pat Chamings drops Spanish Star to five furlongs and tells the jockey to let him lead, I can see him pulverising a modest field    if he settles down, that is.

I have become crabby in my old age and let too many winners go because not everything ‘fits’, so to speak. I did risk a small win and place on Burnt Sugar in the Royal Hunt Cup, though, and then noticed that Tom Segal in Pricewise was thinking along the same lines. Well, the horse was never sighted but he does have bits and pieces of form and there is a good chance the seven furlongs of the Bunbury Cup on Saturday will suit him better. We are talking truly humble stakes here, Tote win and place once again.

A final point for the moment. It’s raining gently in Bristol as I write this on Thursday morning and that will be welcome at Bath. I watched a sprint there the other evening when they’d had no rain for a month and it was better to come up the middle because the inside rail is parched and bare. Frankly, betting at Bath until the rain does its work is a mite hazardous. They used to be honest and use the going description ‘hard’ and I think we’re not far off that now. But it’s raining, as I say.