7 OCTOBER 1972, Page 26

Juliette's Weekly Frolic

I have only to turn my back for a few days and some mischievious ruffian is rummaging in the treasure trove. It's as well he burnt his fingers as a nonchalant touch of genius would have made mockery of those lengthy communions with Raceform and ' essential ' outings to Ascot for which I fight so hard. All the same, considering no one sought my permission for this infamous escapade, I have no hesitation in disregarding the £4 loss incurred on my behalf.

After a fortnight's removal from the racecourse, a victorious return is easier to imagine than achieve and I was not sorry to be diverted from my task wnen a large and lavish publication surfaced among the pile of dead betting slips on my desk. It is a sizeable step from the best-selling Passion Flower Hotel to The History of Horse Racing (Macmillan £6.50), but Roger Longrigg appears to have completed the journey with the minimum of fuss. A book that sets out to trace the sport from Homer's Greece to Mill Reef's ' Arc' in 300 pages, half of which are illustrated, is clearly not for the learned, though even they could not but admire the superb selection and quality of the reproductions. A volume to buy as a Christmas present and keep yourself. But to business and the 53rd renewal of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe which has lost so much of its glitter over the last two months that the BBC are not taking up their television rights. After the Ayr Gold Cup and Cambridgeshire, for the third time in the space of a month, Lester Piggott has been heavily backed to take a prize that makes an.uncanny habit of eluding him. And with the British. jockey's title all but flown out of the window plus persistent rumours of his imminent retirement, the maestro will be more determined than ever that Hard to Beat should live up to his name. The bookmakers appear to have little doubt that he will succeed, but remembering, perhaps, the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup where Roberto was allowed to start at the incredibly generous odds of 12-1, Tuesday saw significant support for our Epsom Derby winner. Twice beaten by the favourite, the Irish challenger is nevertheless something out of the ordinary on his day and it is reasonable to suppose he will be produced to run the race of his life.

By contrast, the weekend meeting at Ascot has a tame appearance but I shall be happy enough if Patosky, after narrowly failing to catch the much improved colts, Balliol and Lucky Monkey, in her last two starts, can outrun Miss Paris in Friday's Marlborough House Stakes. The following day's feature, the Bovis Stakes, is a rich and competitive sprint that could go to another filly, Rambling Rose. A top flight five-furlong handicapper last year she has had only two outings this season and is reasonably treated on her best form.

Assets: £134.08. Outlay £3 to win Roberto, Patosky and Rambling Rose.