All events on the track were brought into stark perspective by the sad death of groom Ken Dooley at Kempton on Saturday evening.
Racing’s footprint is a wide one, incorporating many brought together not with the aim of great financial reward but simply because of a love of a way of life and of the horses they care for.
Often all that links them is a passing nod or greeting as they cross at the track but all feel the loss and extend their thoughts and support to Ken’s family, friends and colleagues at Coombelands.
My port of call has switched from Hereford to Worcester today and along with Huntingdon it provides two of the four meetings. It is still the transition period between summer jumping ending and the established starts appearing and so today’s selections still concentrate on the Flat.
The key here is the presence of a couple of confirmed front runners in both Custom Cut and London.
This should ensure the decent early gallop, which has been lacking in Sir Dancelot’s recent runs resulting in him racing too freely and also counting against his hold up style.
When things drop right he is a very smart performer, as shown by his Bunbury Cup second and having been highly tried in Group races in his last two starts this looks a far more realistic goal.
Another to have just missed out on a big handicap when second in the Portland Handicap at Donaster last month, Vibrant Chords deserves a success to round off what has been a consistent season that arguably deserved more than a solitary Goodwood victory.
The danger with all horses of his profile is their consistency sees them edge up the weights with every run but with the Henry Candy yard finishing the season off really strongly and the booking of Ryan Moore it looks a risk worth taking.
Moore is seven wins from 18 for the yard from rides spaced back as far as 2002 (A/E 1.43) and is two from five this season and hopefully can eke out enough improvement to land another victory.
Malcolm Saunders is one of my favourite trainers. He has done really well with a largely static bunch of horses and continues to find openings for them every season.
Lucky Clover is a case in point, usually popping up once or twice a season when the cards fall right.
Her best form has always been over 5f so it was no surprise to see her fail to last home over 6f at Kempton last week but here with a nice draw for her usual trailing run style she can give a much better account.
My Racing UK horse to follow on the Flat this season - Beyond Recall, has been something of a let down.
Her first two runs at Kempton screamed future progress in handicaps but after perhaps showing her hand a little too much on her third run she has generally struggled and the application of a visor suggests connections' patience is also wearing thin.
Waqt will undeniably be popular after the eye-catching second last time but remains unproven at the mile so Beyond Recall gets one more glass in the last chance saloon!
Richard Hoiles's Tuesday tips: (Prices correct at 9am)
5.15 Kempton: Lucky Clover at a generally available 7-1
7.15 Kempton: Beyond Recall at a generally available 6-1