Trackman has all the latest paddoock gossip and picks out his Saturday racing NAP at Ascot

YOU CAN’T keep a good man down.

William Buick has been more elusive than a deck-hand on the Marie Celeste this summer but he’s back looking lean, mean and hungry for winners. 

Wee Willie flexed his guns at Sandown on Thursday night, muscling well-bet Native Tribe (4-5 to 8-15) home after a humdinger of a scrap with Oisin Murphy and Dubai Mirage.

Both ran in Godolphin blue but there was no love lost in the drive to the line and Mighty Murph looked properly miffed when he got chinned.

That came a day after busy Buick forced Expressionism home at Kempton, which was no mean feat as his filly had all the acceleration of a clapped-out Skoda.

By the way, this race was a right video nasty for the in-running players who did £20,000 when Illumined traded at 1-100 before wilting like a bunch of two-bob flowers.

Luckily the Billy Bunters claimed their dough back when Ed Walker’s Garbanzo (10-1 to 13-2) landed a monster gamble later on the card.

This big boy is built like a well-fed farm labourer and I’ll give the game up if he can’t win races over hurdles.

This big boy is built like a well-fed farm labourer and I’ll give the game up if he can’t win races over hurdles…


Richard Hannon ran riot at Newbury on Tuesday, racking-up a 4,458-1 five-timer and hitting the crossbar with The Queen’s Divine Covey.

I’m not sure whether that equates to a knighthood or short stint in the tower, but either way it was a cracking afternoon’s work.

Happy Hannon left clutching a bottle of bubbly that was certain to be polished off before you could say `pop the cork’ and gave us an update on Mystery Power who flopped when fancied at Glorious Goodwood.

Apparently the colt came home from Sussex with lungs like a chain-smoker and was obviously several degrees under the weather.

A spot of ‘R & R’ is on the cards and he might resurface for Doncaster’s Champagne Stakes in September.

ADD IT UP All you need for Saturday’s card at Haydock with the Sun Racing preview

Former top-jockey Richard Hills was at Kempton Park on Monday to supervise his governor, Hamdan Al Maktoum’s runners.

Unluckily for Richard he was collared by my mucker `Tracksuit Dave’ and had to ward the old rogue off by telling him Mutasaamy (2-1 to 6-4) was an absolute certainty.

The advice was spot-on, which is diabolical news for Hillsy as `Tracksuit’ will be all over him like a rash when their paths cross again.

There were a couple of well attended two-year-old races on this card and it’s worth noting that Oisin Murphy reckoned the first was a desperate contest but the second felt way above average.

Using that as a barometer Melnikova, Tanita and Alqifaar should be hitting the bullseye soon.

Peter Crate’s list of winning two-year-olds is about as long as Ryan Moore’s book of humour. 

But the Surrey-trainer might just have unearthed a smart one in Sand Diego who made well-bet Master McGrath sweat in a 5f Sandown maiden.

Patient Pat Dobbs jumped off and told Crate’s canny team the gelding was only beaten by inexperience and that he would fancy his chance in a rematch.

All that makes this young-gun a decent sprinting prospect and he’s nailed on to win races.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU Who are the international jockeys riding in the Shergar Cup?

DANZENO (1.05, Ascot) can get punters off to a flyer in the Shergar Cup today, while VICTORY DAY (4.00, Ascot) could pounce fast and late under Jamie Spencer in the finale.

Between those races Mick Channon’s BILLY RAY (1.40, Ascot) should do the business for red-hot Danny Tudhope.


BILLY RAY (1.40, Ascot) ran a blinder behind a Group horse last time and will be given plenty of assistance from the saddle by Danny Tudhope.

This fella ran into a brick wall when chasing classy Withhold home in a £100,000 handicap at Newbury last time and sets sail in calmer waters today.


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