Social Discourse – Monday 15th July

So, this was my planned intro when I started writing:

Every week in this long hot summer of racing brings us something to sink our teeth into, but we are so often reminded of what we have in this great game by the sadness of losing a star. Sincerest condolences to all connections of Beat The Bank, who sadly lost his life despite the best efforts of all involved after winning what had been a thrilling Summer Mile.

That sad note aside, there was a hell of a lot to discuss from a week that gave us a lot of winners, but the biggest of them might have been The Lads. Oh, and a couple of small debates too.




Anyway, let’s begin.

  1. Ten and All Over

It had been a relatively trying summer for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. Royal Ascot brought a string of notable defeats – for all they had a hatful of winners – and whilst O’Brien won theDerby and the Irish Derby, it’s fair to say the latter result was not the most satisfactory for him, and neither was defeat in the Pretty Polly Stakes for Pink Dogwood.

So when it came to the July Cup and Ten Sovereigns, a victory would have been exceptionally timely. The early money that came for him – he was 10/1 on Friday – suggested that we were about to see a return to form. The money was right.


From 10/1 the night before, he touched 7/2 on the morning of the race, and despite a drift in the afternoon, went off just 9/2. Going into the last furlong, it was clear that there was only going to be one winner.


From The Horse’s Mouth (The Lads Special)

A victory for the sectionals perhaps?


We Don’t Need Your Education: The jury is out on this season’s three-year-olds at longer trips, but the first five home in the July Cup were from the younger generation (Ten Sovereigns, Advertise, Fairyland, Pretty Pollyanna and So Perfect). The trainer of three of them? You guessed it, Aidan O’Brien.

A number of horses disappointed, including Dream of Dreams, Cape Bryon, and Limato, although it won’t be the last we see of them.


  1. Whipping Up A Storm

Even in 2019, there are some things that you don’t quite expect to see. This is one of them.

Yes, indeed, that is Charlie Fellowes arguing that his Royal Ascot winner (Thanks Be, Sandringham Stakes) should have been disqualified. It makes for some reading.

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The Situation: Following a detailed review – not without its own controversies – the whip rules were changed to some of the strictest in world racing a few years ago.

The Bottom Line: “The whip can be used a maximum of seven times in a Flat race or eight times in a Jump race. Any more than this will prompt the stewards to review the ride.” – From the BHA

The debate about the whip is ever present, but the penalty that Hayley Turner – the first woman to win a race at the Royal meeting in 33 years – picked up for winning was a nine-day suspension and £1,600 fine, and the age old question came back – what is the right punishment for breaking the rules?

Fellowes evidently doesn’t think that bigger suspensions are the answer, according to his piece in the Post:

“I don’t think the threat of a bigger suspension would have made a difference. I don’t think the threat of a bigger fine would have made a difference. The only thing that would make a difference is the knowledge that going just one strike above the seven-hit limit would lead to disqualification.”

It goes without saying that we all had something to say, with plenty of coverage on the racing channels.

It is an issue with plenty of viewpoints, and Sky Sports Racing held an interesting set of debates in the week.


Something to think about:
“As a young trainer coming through the ranks, I do not see racing as a thriving sport. We are a sport that has to adapt in order to stimulate interest from new people. We need all the help we can get. By maintaining the status quo we are not helping ourselves.”

– Charlie Fellowes, again, in his Racing Post column.


  1. The Summer Of Multiples

You know the drill. It’s a big summer racecard, so Frankie Dettori will have a winner. Possibly more than one. And those winners are likely to be a short price. And that spells trouble for bookmakers.

We’ve seen it already this summer, we’ve talked about it already, and guess what, it’s happened again.


All’s Well That Ends Well: Withdrawal of Honest Albert, favourite for the 2.20, led to the restrictions being lifted. It all works out in the end.


  1. Too Many Races Spoil The Saturday

Three hours and fifteen minutes. TEN televised races on ITV. One Group 1. Four Group races. Three Heritage Handicaps.

Saturday gave racing fans an overwhelming bounty of televised action in the UK – and this was before you got to the overseas action on offer later!

Too much? Or is that impossible? People have been asking the question:


Perspective: Yes, perhaps there is overkill in this one day. But we don’t have the figures for the course takings on this Saturday. Chester, for instance, welcomed a full house crowd of over 21,000. And could you have imagined the one unfortunate meeting to be moved to Sunday, the Cricket World Cup final featuring England, of all days?


  1. Winners and Losers


Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien had suffered a fair few reverses through the summer but in taking the two Group 1’s of the weekend, have perhaps won the most important battles of the summer so far. The victories were particularly notable for Moore, who had been facing scrutiny for a rare slump in his form.

Mark Johnston & Richard Hannon took eight of the 21 races at the July Festival, including two Group juvenile winners between them, along with two heritage handicaps for Johnston.


Oisin Murphy took the Falmouth Stakes with a fine ride on Veracious and then was at his strongest to win the Superlative on Mystery Power


Chad Brown continued his domination of the American Turf with a 1-2-3 in the Diana Stakes, led by two former Breeders’ Cup winners.



It might be considered harsh by some to put Godolphin in here, but they would have been hoping for better from Masar, despite Charlie Appleby’s best efforts to put a positive spin on his disappointment, and especially King’s Command, whilst they also had Inns Of Court beaten.

French trainers? Following on from the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, another raiding party took nearly all the races with Marmelo beaten just a head in the Maurice de Nieuil.


  1. And This Happened

    Oh, and Japan won. It’s alright. We were all too busy but he won the Grand Prix de Paris and the Arc is the target now.



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