Good morning all,
The latest in my series of hidden gems at Britain's racecourses today.
I have had a look at the Hennessy/Ladbrokes Trophy yesterday but until be can be sure of ground, I'm leaving it alone ante-post. Have to say it doesn't look the most inspiring of races either…
I have done the comments for the Taunton card for the Sporting Life website today and my best bet is on the main piece.
Newmarket July Course – the pre-parade ring
Quite simply, the best pre-parade ring anywhere and even if you just want ten minutes to have a bit of relaxation, there's nowhere better than here.
It feels so natural for the horses to be walking around under a big canopy of trees, but that's what they do. The whole ring is in the shade, has seats by the trees for you to sit down on, and it gives you a tremendous opportunity to get very close up to the horses. It's actually a really good test for unraced two year olds as it's something they won't have come across before, and the wind can whistle between the trees on a windy day. As beautiful a place in racing as you'll get.
Nowhere on the course in particular, just Fakenham. From the minute you get there to the minute you leave, you are constantly reminded the customer comes first. And it's in a lovely country setting – okay, it's rural and it takes some getting there but it's worth the effort. The locals have their favourite horses and they cheer them home with gusto, the food and drink is reasonably priced, the burger vans only have local produce. And there's a home-made cake stall.
Clerk of the course David Hunter is a one-off, too. As we left at the last meeting he grabbed the megaphone, announced that he hoped we'd all had a good time and that mobile speed cameras had been reported around Kings Lynn, so take your time. Customer service plus!
On to Taunton and I'm not surprised to see money for the Jeremy Scott pair in the first two races, I thought they both had good chances. But at 25-1 I'm going to chance Serveontime e/w in the 2.40, trained by Helen Nelmes. Helen is probably best known for training Unowhatimeanharry before Harry Fry got his mitts on him and turned him into a star, but she might be able to get a race out of Serveontime somewhere down the line. He is consistent if low-grade, likes Taunton (some of his better efforts have come here) and will strip fitter for a recent outing. Ought not be 25s in my book!
Good luck with all your bets today,