This meeting is my favourite of the Flat racing calendar and this years meeting was exceptionally enjoyable. Wednesday’s Group 1 Falmouth Stakes, run in the pouring rain, showed how unlucky Nahoodh (pictured) was in the 1000 Guineas. She was given a great ride by Frankie Dettori and clearly relished the softer ground. Majestic Roi appeared not to act on the ground.
On Thursday Jimmy Fortune stole the riding honours on Lucarno in winning the Princess of Wales’s Stakes. Papul Bull was catching Lucarno fast but Ryan Moore had been out ridden by Jimmy Fortune.
On Friday we were joined by my old school chum Pete and the proceedings started well with Duntulm from the Henry Candy yard winning the first race by a short head. This gave me my stake for a punt on Marchand D’Or in the July Cup. He won in the last stride but I had to suffer another photo finish. In the Bunbury Cup Handicap, run before the July Cup, Lovelace looked a very unlucky loser. Ryan Moore again appeared to give his mount too much to do. The Henry Candy stable very nearly won the last race with Candle in the Egerton House Stables Handicap over one and a half miles. Candle went down by 1/2 a length in a driving finish. So finished a terrific days racing. We then moved on to one of our favourite watering holes, The White Hart at Great Yeldham, where our dear friends Steve and Julie joined us. They had not seen Pete for 30 odd years so there was a lot of catching up to do with plenty of reminising.
With the Candy stable horses in great form I started to reminisce of the early eighties and that great filly Henry Candy trained, Time Charter. After seeing her run second in the 1000 Guineas of 1982 I decided to follow her. She did not let me down, winning the Oaks at 12/1 and then the Sun Chariot Stakes followed by the Champion Stakes when she fairly slaughted the field and won by seven lengths. She was kept in training for a four year old campaign and her first run of the 1983 season was to be in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket. I went along to Newmarket in order to have a right punt on her. I managed to get 4/1 about her and thought I was going to collect when she came through to lead halfway through the final furlong. Billy Newnes did not touch her with the whip and she was collared by Electric ridden by Walter Swinburn, going down by a head. I am sure to this day that if maximum pressure had been applied she would have won. Still I am talking through my pocket as I still have the losing betting ticket! How sad is that. Time Charter repaid my faith and won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in the July. She won the Coronation Cup at Epsom as a five year old when ridden by Steve Cauthan, but that was her only victory that season. In her career she won nine of her twenty races and ran some cracking races in defeat. She was very well handled by Henry Candy who obviously learnt his craft from his father Derrick Candy. He too was a trainer I followed in the early sixties. He trained a mile and half handicapper called Dear Gazelle who did me a few favours back then. He won eight races over 1959, 1960 and 1961. He was a thoroughly game, genuine and consistent horse. Happy memories.
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