Friday 13 September 2019

Karl Burke Hoping To Be In Seventh Heaven At Chester (Plus Ramblings)

How Disappointing Has Doncaster Been?

After what was a great week of 2-year-old racing last week I have to say this week has been a disappointment. Maybe it's just me, but the Doncaster meeting has been a letdown. I think the highlight for me was the lightly-raced Andrew Balding 2-year-old King’s Lynn who picked up decent prize money for owner the Queen (like she needs it hey) against a quality field in the Weatherbys Racing Bank 300,000 2-Y-O Stakes on Friday.

So Near Yet So Far For Global Esteem

I wrote about Gay Kelleway's horse Global Esteem in Tuesday's post. The headline was Can Lightning Really Strike Twice. Last year we saw Global Spectrum win in style and proved to be a very talented horse. Perhaps I was being hopeful - but bloody hell lightning nearly did strike twice. 

Race: 2:50 Leicester.

Would lightning really strike twice? I think the 25/1 starting price raised a few doubts in my mind, and I was thinking before the race that I would be happy with a place and a few quid back at least.

The race started and the thing that I was dreading happened - Global Esteem was very keen. I guess with the first time hood applied it was likely to happen. No need to be alarmed. He soon settled and cruising along as the surrounding horses were being asked questions. I was thinking bloody hell I have a chance here. Then, Global Esteem hit a flat spot a couple of furlongs out and Sean Kelly began to get to work on the Gay Kelleway runner before he got a second wind and finished well in what was a very encouraging performance for his first run.

Even though Global Esteem didn't win I was made up with that debut and am sure trainer Miss Kelleway was too. One to put in the trackers for sure.

Just One Thing Away From Living The Dream

I was back in the hospital this week to see if I could finally get the go-ahead to get back to work after fracturing my wrist. I guess it didn't go to plan. When asking the doctor to give me some good news his reply was: ''Yes I have good news, we don't have to operate!''. Erm hang on a minute, I didn't even think that was being considered, so to cut a long story short, I have to keep my cast on another two weeks and hopefully back to work in the near future. 

If I was getting a few quid sick pay I would be happy as Larry chilling and watching the racing each day but when you're not it's not good. 

The thing I have most enjoyed about being off work is putting my old neighbour Dave's bets on for him while he's recovering from a recent spell in hospital. He's a right character who has been to nearly every racecourse in England. At the age of 78, he can still tell me stories about each one. When he was in hospital I had to get clean clothes for him out of his wardrobe and no word of a lie he has bin bags full of racecards. 

Putting his bets on has been an experience too as I don't have big bets on a daily basis but Dave thinks nothing of laying a hundred quid out. I imagine that's because he always wins. It's great picking hundreds up off the bookmakers and seeing their faces like its actually their own money. One thing I need to do is start getting Dave's bets on my blog as am sure the views would go sky-high.

Saturday's Preview:

I think with the flat season tailing off now I seem to be getting fewer trackers through and that is the case on Saturday too but the show must go on.

13:30 Chester 14th September 2019

6f Novice Stakes Plus 10 | Class 4 | 2YO only

Not my favourite course to be honest, but we have a couple of nice colts plus another who I am hoping is a nice colt. Let's get cracking then. Deb’s delight is a lightly raced Richard Fahey colt who has won his only start to date. He is a lovely looking Dark Angel colt who is a half brother to Irreverent who looks a fair horse himself. Has to burden a win penalty. Looked an average race that day, but he couldn't have been more impressive.

Huboor also has a win penalty after winning last timeout. The Mark Johnston trained More Than Ready filly made a pleasing debut when third behind the useful Charlie Appleby filly Summer Romance at Yarmouth in June. She progressed further a month later when breaking her maiden at Chepstow. Off course since so I am interested to see how she runs. Franny Norton takes the ride. He loves a winner at his local course. 

SEVEN EMIRATES is a colt I have been looking forward to seeing again. The Karl Burke trained Dark Angel colt was a 31,000 euro purchase for owner Ahmad Al Shaikh. Interesting that the same owner and trainer combination also own Dubai Station who won the second timeout and went onto run a tremendous race to finish third in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. Dubai Station showed a lot more promise on his debut than Seven Emirate. Ben Curtis was in the saddle that day and despite showing speed for most of the race Seven Emirates faded disappointingly to finish out the places. After that performance, the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes entry seems a world away but with Jamie Spencer taking over the reins I am hoping he can, at least, hit the frame here although a tricky contest. I'm hoping Seven Emirates doesn’t take a drift so I can get an each-way bet on. (9/2 at time of writing)

Thanks for reading and good luck.             


  1. Great post, Craig. Very enjoyable read. Hope your wrist gets better very soon. Not ideal to be off work and not getting paid. Not good at all. The old bloke sounds fun and knowledgeable.


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