Andy Ayres has all the latest paddock gossip and picks out his Saturday racing NAP

THE WORLD must have gone mad.

We’ve got a 2,000 Guineas where the favourite could start a bigger price than the Grand National winner and jumping giant Ruby Walsh has dropped a bombshell by hanging up his breeches.

It was business as usual at Ascot on Wednesday though, where fun-time Frankie Dettori rattled-up a big race hat-trick.

The lead vocalist in his trio was big John Gosden’s Calyx (8-15 to 1-3), who sweated up like a weight watcher at the pic n mix counter before running away with a hot 6f sprint.

He bagged the money buyers a nice few quid in the process and it’ll take an act of parliament to stop this bad boy when he heads back to town for the Commonwealth Cup at the Royal Meeting.

Every Billy Bunter on the track had been tipped the wink about Dee Ex Bee (11-4 to 11-8) who was well and truly expected in the Sagaro Stakes.


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He looked about as energetic as a Play Station addict in the first half of the contest, but found plenty when William Buick got busy and had clear water over his field at the line.

Magic Mark Johnston loves to earn a few quid and it’s a dollar to a dime he’ll try to pinch the £1-million stayers’ bonus with this fella.

Barney Roy (6-5 to 6-4) was a top-gun in 2017 but he fired more blanks than the Territorial Army during a brief stint at stud and is back in training.

The old fella looked fitter than Ronaldo on his return to action, but was a market slider and got nutted close home by Sir Michael Stoute’s moody old rascal Zaaki.

By the way, Stoutey’s team have made an unusually brisk start to the campaign and were double unlucky not to collect with the heavily punted Queen Power (9-4 to 11-8).

She got stuck behind the eight ball after a sluggish start and only went down by a gnat’s nadger after flying home in the straight.

Windsor’s summer long series of evening meetings kicked off this week which meant a return to the track for a racecourse regular nicknamed `Tickets’.

This fella earns his living minesweeping the floor for discarded betting slips that might have a return on them.

Gawd knows how he makes ends meet, but as long as there are late non-runners, disqualifications and well sozzled punters in attendance, Tickets gets by.

There’s an added string to our man’s bow at Windsor, where the track have started to pay out a nicker for every pint pot returned at the end of the evening.

Trouble is there’s a five pound limit on the returns any one person can make.

Well, Tickets circumnavigated that little problem by splashing out on a hat so he can trot up to the bar incognito to collect that little bit extra that makes all the difference.

And they say the age of enterprise is dead!

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