Tip Of The Day: The Speciosa One
There's some great racing at Cheltenham and on the Flat – so our man naturally looks to the lady amateurs' race at Newbury for his tip of the day.
Pam Sly: A trainer with whom our man appears to have an unhealthy obsession.
I've only ever known one jockey well enough to have attended their wedding and she's riding today. Back then, she wasn't a jockey, and it's only now that she's slipped just a couple of years past being a teenager that Mrs C Pownall has decided to try and give it a go, the crazy fool.
I watched her in action in her last race and thought she gave her mount Zipedeedoodah, a pretty good ride – as good a ride as 99% of her fellow amateurs – despite her relative lack of experience since getting the bug, a la Pendleton, when riding in a charity event a couple of years back.
I admire anyone who achieves their ambitions, but I particularly admire them when they are a busy working mum with plenty of other fish to fry. Good luck today Char.
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I say good luck, but of course there's no place for sentimentality in this great game and I'm backing top-weight Syncopate against her in the same race, the Rayner Bosch Car Service Lady Amateurs' Handicap. Yes, that is indeed the sort of bloke I am.
When Pam Sly won the 1000 Guineas with Speciosa, I wondered if it might mark a turning point in her life. Instead, she quickly retreated back to being the simple 'farmer from the Fens' that she liked to portray herself as, with barely a noticeable ripple apart from a handful more horses.
For some reason, I've always found Sly a fascinating trainer to follow, and perhaps that's why I find herself fancying her horses on an uncomfortably regular basis.
But Syncopate looks a classic job today, having won this race off 75 last year, the ceiling rating for the contest, and then having had three runs to bring him back down from 80 for a repeat bid.
Going conditions look ideal, as does the repeat booking of the experienced Gina Andrews, and I suspect this race has been on the agenda for a while.
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