… that is the question, and in my opinion the answer is a big yes. Tariq runs in the Queen Anne, and gets the nap vote for the first day. He’s in great form and he won at this meeting last year. He’s progressive, he’ll be happy on the ground and the stable may finally have hit true form. The only question is whether he’ll get this trip, as the Ascot mile is a true mile. I think he will and he’s a confident selection.
There are hot favourites in both the King’s Stand and the St. James’s Palace. I’ll side with Fleeting Spirit, but I’ll oppose Henrythenavigator with Raven’s Pass, who has his beloved fast ground and runs here in preference to the Jersey over 7f – possibly a telling move.
In the Coventry I’ll go with Art Connoisseur, who was very early and interestingly comes here in preference to the Norfolk. I don’t like the Ascot Stakes as a race – if I have a bet it will probably be on Galient in the hope that Nicky Henderson has rejuvenated him. Mullionmileanhour tries to win the last for John Best, who so nearly won this race last year with Kingsgate Native. He’s a good looking type and I’ll side with him.
Skid Solo goes for the Norfolk now, and I hope we don’t get any rain – that would probably ruin his chances and also King’s Head‘s chance on Saturday.
Enough of that. It was a good weekend at the farm. I got up late on father’s day and did very little in the morning. In the afternoon I had a rare round of golf with my brother in law who runs www.golfbidder.com – I had a ten footer at the last to take the spoils but just slid it by. When I got back there was an enormous Virgin balloon landing in one of my fields – the pilot rushed round to apologise and he gave me some champagne, which was nice. I stayed up to watch the US Open Golf – Tiger had a very similar putt to mine on the last, but he slid it in. I guess I just have to accept that he’s a better golfer than me.
In honour of Tiger I wore a bright orange T-shirt with a tiger on it to the board meeting at Betfair today. Everyone else wore suits except for Josh, who flies in from California and doesn’t have a suit. It was a good board, but I was tired after my late night and was struggling to stay awake at the end.
I stuck around at Betfair to go through all my unanswered mail with Chantelle my PA. I get loads of mail these days – I bring it in in a big sack and drop it off before the board meeting – when I come out Chantelle has arranged it all into piles and we work through the whole lot. It’s all very cleansing – I can go into Ascot now with a clean slate and nothing eating away at me in the back of my mind. Bring it on.