Kevin Ryan and Peter Makin look a ‘Hot’ trainer/jockey combination for the opening Maiden Stakes over five furlongs at Ayr today, when ground conditions are forecast ‘good to firm.’ Twice-raced Hototo faces five rivals, unless the Jim Goldie-trained newcomer, Classy Anne, is above average or my selection runs below par, this should prove a good start for followers of this column which has been in tremendous form this month. Tomorrow it will be June! That, of course, means the Epsom Derby and still, we don’t know which five horses will line up for Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien and his billionaire clutch - John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derryck Smith. Presumably, hot-favourite Camelot is certain to run, having been backed into long odds-on favouritism. Will they risk their own Imperial Monarch spoiling a tremendous party? It’s a long time since one has had a thick, ‘four-figures’ bet but if Imperial Monarch is declared, there simply wont be any reason why not because on my time-handicap, he’s as big a certainty as should have been Dancing Brave!
Unfortunately, none of us can make a move because O’Brien also has, both Imperial Monarch (what a name in Diamond Jubilee year!) and Astrology entered for the French Derby on Sunday! Does the ‘Irish mafia’ not want us to back a winner? At least, it can’t prevent readers backing Everlong, one of eleven declarations for the Maiden Stakes, over ten furlongs at Newcastle tonight. It is significant that Peter Chapple-Hyam should journey one so far! Must be imperative to get winning brackets for consistent, hitherto luckless Everlong, my idea of a ‘good thing’ worth backing individually and including in an each-way double with Hototo. Brighton’s nudist beach and an eight-race programme should make it worthwhile to journey south and Gunner Will should make the trip worthwhile in the six-runner Maiden Stakes, over a mile of the famous coastal venue where Max Miller lived his wonderful life. ‘There’ll never be another,’ as he mentioned so often and they say that cheeky chuckle can still be heard, if you go onto the pier! Let’s hope we have reason to be chuckling, eh?
RACE 1 (#1) HOTOTO
RACE 14 (#3) GUNNER WILL
RACE 38 (#6) EVERLONG (nap)