Don’t expect bucketfuls of birdies when the long-delayed US Open finally reaches hallowed Winged Foot this week.
History shows how hard it is to defend a Premier League title but after their dominance last season, Liverpool are sure to give a bold defence of their crown. Manchester City have strengthened their hand with the addition of Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake, whilst Klopp has been very quiet in terms of bringing big names to Anfield.
Chelsea have been by far the most active, signing a host of quality in the shape of Timo Werner, Kai Haverts, Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell. With the possibility of a few more additions to come, the Blues could easily mount a serious title challenge and get in amongst last season’s top two.
The lofty positions held by the racecourses at Ascot, Epsom, Newbury and Newmarket in the racing life of the Queen are regularly well documented. In contrast, the significance of leafy Fontwell Park, the partially figure-of-eight jumps track nestling beside the main Chichester-to-Worthing road in West Sussex, is spoken of less often. But it was here that Her Majesty tasted the first of her 1,011 (and counting) British successes.
The year was 1949, and the horse Monaveen. He was owned in partnership with her mother, Queen Elizabeth, and prepared by Peter Cazalet, subsequently the Queen Mother’s principal trainer, at Fairlawne in Kent. With Princess Elizabeth present to watch, jockey Tony Grantham rode the eight-year-old to victory against two opponents. One of whom was trained by “Towser” Gosden, father of John, in the Chichester Handicap Chase.
You should always expect the unexpected in sport, even when the miracles of 2019 are staring you down.
Gunner B, Le Moss, Ardross, Bosra Sham... Henry Cecil sent out so many stars to deliver equine excellence at Royal Ascot. However, it’s hard to believe there can have been a performance at racing’s most prestigious meeting that gave him more satisfaction than Frankel’s astonishing victory in the 2012 Queen Anne Stakes.