Hannon's Invincible Soul the one they all have to beat.
WHAT does a May bank holiday mean to you? Extra work trying to cover all the meetings, or are you like my next door neighbour, who spends all day trying to become the Capability Brown of Locksbottom? Boring Billy usually pokes his head over the fence just as my main bet of the afternoon is receiving his first reminder of many, and boasts: "Have you seen how high my daffs have grown?" Over the years, I've found the best way to deal with these non-entities who don't play the ponies is to just ignore them until they return to their grey, dull world.
But as soon as the last gee-gee passes the post, number one and two sons are dispatched to my garden with orders to launch as many footballs as possible into the adjacent grounds, with a strawberry Cornetto up for grabs for the first to land a round missile in the yellow flowers.
With so much action taking place, one of the first things I look for today is where are the elite jockeys heading? Windsor without a Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes winner would be like Christmas without the turkey, so have a few quid on Invincible Soul in the Virgin Holidays Handicap (3.25) over a mile.
At the five-day stage, Hannon had five horses entered for this event, so the fact he relies on this beast is a strong tip in itself.
Invincible Soul landed a strong Newmarket maiden over today's trip in October, when he beat subsequent Newbury maiden winner Fair Trade, who wasn't disgraced in the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday, by a head, Fatanah, seventh in that Newmarket race, captured a Sandown maiden last Friday week, while the eighth-placed horse, Judiciary, landed a maiden at Southwell, so the form is as warm as toast.
Invincible Soul was heavily backed to land the Esher Cup on his seasonal bow at Sandown ten days ago, but a good paddock judge told me the colt was carrying more condition than John Prescott. With that run under his belt, and Hughesy back in the irons, the 84-rated Invincible Soul is the one they all have to beat.
At Warwick, Mick Channon's Golden Shine looks a good thing in the 5f European Breeders' Fund Primrose Maiden Fillies' Stakes (3.10). Like so many of the stable's juveniles, this daughter of Royal Applause looked in need of the experience on her racecourse bow at Newmarket in April.
Golden Shine ran a race full of promise when third to Penny's Pearl and the form received a boost when the fifth, Phoebs, obliged at Lingers on Friday. Channon saddled another two-year-old scorer in Prophet In A Dream at Brighton on Thursday evening. That horse obviously learned plenty from his initial outing, and I expect Golden Shine to follow that trait.
Kieren Fallon is off to Kempton, where he rides Moynahan in the 1m Jubilee Handicap (4.00). With 14 experienced horses facing the starter, a high number is a big advantage and my hope is well housed in stall nine.
The ex-champ rides the five-year-old for the first time and Paul Cole's gelding ran a cracker over course and distance when third to Splendorinthegrass off a mark of 87 13 days ago. Racing off the same perch today and with Fallon taking over in the plate, Moynahan should run a big race.
My best bet on a very busy day is without doubt Youm Jamil, who rocks up in the Wineaux.co.uk Handicap (5.35) over a mile at Chepstow.
Brian Meehan's three-year-olds burst into life last week with Seafarer and He's Invincible and, after a slow start, I've a feeling the master of Manton is about to hit top form.
Youm Jamil holds entries in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes and the Derby, so Meehan will be gutted if the son of Mizzen Mast can't win a Class 4 0-80 handicap at the Welsh gaff. The horse has been placed in top-class maidens at Salisbury, Newmarket and Newbury, so he should bolt up off a mark of 80.
If Youm Jamil doesn't win as twilight is falling, I will be lobbing balls at the daffs next door as well.
Today's bets Invincible Soul 3.25 Windsor 2pts win Golden Shine 2.35 Warwick 3pts win Moynahan 4.00 Kempton 1pt win Youm Jamil 5.35 Chepstow 5pts win