WOW. What a weekend of Group race European action and it's fair to say it's not been hard to fill the 'Good' column in my latest Good, Bad and Ugly offerings.
But who has made it into the most coveted spot in racing? Let's find out…
A dead-heat here between the O'Brien family here – harbouring Aidan, Joseph and Donnacha – and now Classic winning rider Tom Marquand.
Yes I know, the O'Briens train some of the best bred horses on planet earth. But you can still mess things up.
Most of the time – and we'll come on to that later haha – Aidan and his two sons don't seem to. To each win a Group 1 on Sunday is extraordinary.
That's the mark of not only talent but hard work. Aidan won yesterday's Grand Prix de Paris with Mogul – a horse that's hard to predict – who looked a monster, while Joseph took the National Stakes with the exciting Thunder Moon and Donnacha the Moyglare with Shale.
That's unprecedented family success. One thing about the O'Briens which is something that annoys me. These three guys are great fun. They have a wicked sense of humour and are genuinely funny.
Donnacha has always been a little bit more naughty than he should be as well. What I'm trying to say is that they are not only great horse people, but they are also terrific characters. That needs to come across more.
As for Marquand, well after a bout of seconditis that must have even ruffles the feathers of the man himself, despite being one of the most affable people you will meet, he was brilliant on Galileo Chrome in the Pertemps St Leger.
Aussie Tom, as he was known due to his talent Down Under during the winter, is covering himself in glory in everything he does.
Of course he won't be champion while Oisin Murphy wants to be (that should get him going) but if Murph ever takes his foot off the gas Marquand will be right there to pick up the pieces.
You can't help that feel that in racing circles if Marquand and Hollie Doyle ever get married it will be the equivalent of Kylie and Jason from that famous episode of Neighbours!
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Now Aidan, why oh why do you change tactics with a horse like Serpentine?
Look, most of us were under the impression Serpentine was gifted a Derby success from the front. But he had also made all when hacking up at the Curragh prior to Epsom. Why then change tactics completely behind Mogul? It's beyond me.
But it was a deliberate decision. I don't believe in Serpentine. But I'll give him another chance when he's ridden aggressively on the front end. After all, that's what he has told us all he loves to do.
It's hard to know whether officials at Chester are trying to get people to react, or that they mean what they say, but the suggestion is that Chester won't exist for much longer if crowds are not back at the track in the nearest future. And I can't see that happening.
Things are getting very ugly indeed. Chief executive Richard Thomas painted a bleak picture for the business should Covid-19 restrictions continue to limit its ability to bring crowds to the site.
Thomas said: "If we were told we weren't having a crowd next year, we wouldn't be racing behind closed doors at Chester because we couldn't afford to do it.
“Any money we make from racing behind closed doors, we put back into prize-money, but we can't do that next year, and you wouldn't see Chester at all. We'd have to mothball the whole business, which is really scary."
There has been a feeling in the past that media payments to racecourses kept them going. That it was so much money crowds were just about irrelevant. That, I'm afraid, is a nonsense.
The times for racing, as for so many businesses, are very very troubled.
What would punters say if they faced a 'racecourse survival' tax on winnings?
Of course, it's been a long time since punters had to pay 10p in the £1 due to tax demands.
But if it meant racecourses survived would we mind? I certainly wouldn't.
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