I have never experienced Manchester City becoming top dogs during my lifetime and the last time their team captured the title in 1968 featured the likes of Colin Bell, Frannie Lee and Tony Book.
What was amazing this time was the fact that the usually dependable Manchester United squandered an eight point lead a month ago to give their bitter Mancunian rivals the spoils.
United under the leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson have often come from behind but I am absolutely amazed that his team have literally thrown it away this year and the great man must be having absolute nightmares.
It’s not an exceptional week of Irish racing with no big races listed either in my company or my Racing UK diaries so I’m going to have a look at York and start off by tipping Ernest Hemingway at a current 9-2 in Thursday’s Dante Stakes.
Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien has landed this event three times in the last six seasons courtesy of Septimus (2006), Black Bear Island (2009) and Cape Blanco the following term and while the selection is something of an unknown, the fact that he has three top-class entries would indicate that the ability is there.
It may turn out that the 5-2 the bookies were offering at Dundalk last month when the son of Galileo made his racecourse bow was the best price in racing history as he literally blew the opposition away. The winner literally never saw another rival all race as he made all under Joseph O’Brien and was clear even before the furlong pole. The rider then just pushed him home under hands and heels and if he wasn’t such a clean-living young man, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had lit up a Hamlet cigar as he cruised to success.
Now I am well aware that it’s a big jump up from winning a Dundalk maiden by 10 lengths to scoring in a Dante, but to win any race by such a wide margin takes a lot of doing and I’m guessing that this fellow is in Aidan’s ‘A’ team.
He’s going to have his work cut out against the likes of Andrew Balding’s Bonfire, who is second favourite behind Camelot for the English Derby, and Godolphin’s Mandaean, and will only run if the ground is good but make sure you support him whenever he runs next.
Now I don’t know if Fame And Glory is a definite for Friday’s Yorkshire Cup, but I hope he runs and it will give us some idea of where he stands for another Ascot Gold Cup bid.
But if the ground does ride soft on the Knavesmire, I could see connections looking elsewhere as I’m putting a disappointing run in last year’s Irish St Leger down to the ground.
Godolphin’s Opinion Poll probably also prefers better ground but has decent form on softish ground and should give us a run for our money if turning up as he hasn’t finished out of the first two in seven outings.
We’ve been treated to some nail biting Premiership action in recent weeks and Saturday sees the Champions League Final.
Like or loathe John Terry, Chelsea will miss him and fellow defender Branislav Ivanovic, but Bayern Munich have similar problems with David Alaba and Holger Badstuber out of action.
So perhaps it’s my heart ruling my head but I’m going to opt for Chelsea to win at 100-30. Some of you will accuse me of being mad but the blues didn’t half defy the odds in the Nou Camp and perhaps it is just their year. Munich were thrashed by Borussia Dortmund in the German cup final on Saturday and morale may still be low.
Thursday 2.30pm York Ernest Hemingway
Friday 2.30pm York Opinion Poll
Saturday 7.45pm Chelsea to beat Bayern Munich
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