IT’S been an eventful old week in the world of horse racing.
Take a look at our latest instalment of Hotpots and Howlers, where we pick out the good, the bad and the downright ugly from the last seven days.
Everything that Mark Johnston saddles right now is hitting the target.
The master of Middleham was in red-hot form heading into the July Festival, a meeting he usually targets.
And boy did he have a good week, with four winners headlined by impressive Group 2 winner Communique.
Royal Ascot heroin Raffle Prize added another big race to her record when landing the Duchess Of Cambridge, while King’s Advice and Vale Of Kent each plundered a valuable handicap.
You could follow Johnston blind right now and come out smelling of roses. This is his time of year.
RYAN MOORE VERDICT Chappers, Nicholls and a pro punter have their say
A shout out also to trainer Ed Walker.
There will have been a few champagne corks popping at his Lambourn yard on Friday night after the stable enjoyed an across-the-cards treble.
A wonderful couple of hours was kicked off by Royal Intervention, who made all to win a Group 3 at York.
He game success was quickly followed by a brace of winners at Ascot, including the jaw-dropping victory of Swindler who is a sprinter going places. Hats off.
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It’s fair to say a memorable Saturday was overshadowed by the incredibly sad loss of Beat The Bank at Ascot.
Andrew Balding stable star won back-to-back Summer Mile’s in typically game fashion under Silvestre De Sousa, but in the last strides of his thrilling success he suffered fatal fractures to a hind leg.
It was a tragic end to a brilliant career which saw him win five Group 2 races with prize money earnings of over £600,000.
One of the most popular Flat horses in training, he has left a a huge hole at Balding’s Kingsclere yard and will be sorely missed by all.
The whip debate rumbles on, with trainer Charlie Fellowes announcing this week that his Royal Ascot winner Thanks Be should have been DISQUALIFIED after rider Hayley Turner broke the whip rules.
I don’t agree with this view and believe the answer to this whole debate is very straightforward.
Make it abundantly clear to the jockeys that if they breach the rules, they’ll be given a minimum two-week ban and receive no prize-money whatsoever.
I personally think the stroke limits (seven for Flat, eight for jumps) are strict enough. But the BHA have just got to make it black and white for riders going forward.