Racing: Selkirk to celebrate

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GIVEN the deep affection which certain members of the Royal Family are alleged to have for their product, the makers of Beefeater Gin might have been better off sponsoring a race at Ascot, writes Greg Wood. But their money is still welcome and the Celebration Mile at Goodwood on Saturday is the best race of an otherwise uninspiring week. Still, there are just 51 to go before the next Ebor meeting at York.

It is not just half the population who take their vacation at this time of year; the form book tends to go on holiday, too, as the edge goes off the summer horses, the ground eases, and late-developing sorts finally realise what is expected of them. That said, it is hard to see the race amounting to much more than a light piece of work for Selkirk, so narrowly denied by Marling over course and distance in the Sussex Stakes last time. That race might have finished a lesser animal for the season, but Selkirk is tougher than that and reported to be in prime health by his yard.

The sole Flat meeting at Nottingham tomorrow has, predictably, attracted fields of a horrifying size. Salbyng (4.30) is one who should still make his presence felt, while Fyfield Flyer (4.15) can sustain Peter Chapple-Hyam's resurgence at Pontefract the following day and Farsi (4.45) can repeat last year's success in the Phil Bull Trophy. Wednesday is best forgotten about, with the possible exception of Smiling Chief at Brighton (4.45).