stodge

Royal Ascot 2022 - 14th to the 19th June

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A huge opening day for the southern hemisphere - not so good with the cricket at Nottingham.

Final declarations are through for Gold Cup day on Thursday.

10 stand in the 4000m championship race which retains its lustre at the meeting despite the blandishments of the 1600 and 2000m races. STRADIVARIUS bids for a final time to surpass YEATS and win his fifth renewal but he was well held last year (albeit under a poor Dettori ride and the emergence of the ill-fated SUBJECTIVIST) . His erstwhile rival TRUESHAN probably won't run given the quick ground but a new young talent is emerging in Ireland - KYPRIOS, trained by Aidan O'Brien.

This 4-y-o returned after nearly a year off to put up a convincing performance in the Vintage Crop beating SEARCH FOR A SONG. From there, the Group 3 Levmoss was a procession - starting at 1/10 he won by 14 lengths. To be honest, he beat trees, this is 1200m further and he's 6/4 which doesn't scream value to this observer. He wouldn't be the first young pretender or the first Ballydoyle challenger to fail against STRADIVARIUS.

PRINCESS ZOE is my idea of the winner - she was second in this last year finishing well in front of STRADIVARIUS and won a hard fought success in the Sagaro beating QUICKTHORN who has since followed up in the Henry II. We know she stays and she goes on the ground and 7s looks a knocking price. MOJO STAR is a bit like KYPRIOS but without the form this year. He was second in the Leger and ran a creditable tenth in the Arc but his stamina is unproven.

The scratching of EMILY UPJOHN has left the Group 2 Ribblesdale over 2400m for the 3-y-o fillies a weak event. MAGICAL LAGOON just went down to CONCERT HALL at Navan and that looks better form than SEA SILK ROAD's Goodwood success but the latter is bred for this trip if not further and could improve past her rival.

11 go in the Group 2 Norfolk for the speedy juvenile colts over 1000m. Ten have won a race - favourite is the unbeaten THE ANTARCTIC from Aidan O'Brien's yard. He won at Naas last time - the ground would be my only query. I prefer WALBANK who bolted up on quick ground at York and he may be too fast for the Ballydoyle runner. 

Selections for Thursday:

2.30: WALBANK

3.45: SEA SILK ROAD

4.20: PRINCESS ZOE

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10 hours ago, Ohokaman said:

Interesting to see that Gai Waterhouse has laid out £1.2m for Derby runner up Hoo Ya Mal at the Goffs London Sale.

Will be owned by a syndicate headed up by Sir Owen Glenn’s Go Bloodstock.

 

813D2594-8E22-4D45-B049-E934994C2005.jpeg

Has been supplemented for Friday's Group 2 King Edward VII for which he is third favourite at 7/2.

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First, thanks to everyone for their input - I'm really delighted to see how interested everyone is in the Royal meeting and thanks to all for their contributions.

Friday's final declarations are through - it's due to be a toasty 31c at the track and I'm not glad I won't be there in full morning suit.

The ground has, as we know, dried to Good to Firm all around and it wouldn't be surprising to see some Firm patches by the end of day four.

Two Group 1 races on another great afternoon's sport.

The Commonwealth Cup is for the 3-y-o over 1200m and 20 will go to post. Some times this race goes to an out-and-out sprinter while on other occasions a classic failure has dropped back in trip and prevailed. PERFECT POWER is top rated, the 4/1 favourite and a bit of both to be honest. He won the Morny and the Middle Park as a juvenile and followed up in the Greenham over 1400m in April. Despite doubts about his stamina, connections opted for a tilt at the 2000 Guineas and he finished seventh fading up the hill. On that evidence, 1200m will be ideal and he brings solid Group 1 form to the table.

So too does GO BEARS GO who won the Phoenix as a juvenile and won the trial race over the course and distance on quick ground. He was fourth to EL CABALLO in the Sandy Lane at Haydock - the second and third, FLAMING RIB and WINGS OF WAR are also in the field.

EL CABALLO has won six of his seven races - his only defeat was as a juvenile on quick ground and that's my slight niggle. The American runner SLIPSTREAM looks less of a trailblazer than some of his compatriots and he lacks nothing in experience though the draw (18) could have been kinder.

ZAIN CLAUDETTE won the Lowther as a juvenile but hasn't been seen since flopping in the Cheveley Park.

With the two favourites drawn 1 and 20 respectively, this could be one of those "across the course" races Ascot so often produces. I quite like WINGS OF WAR for Clive Cox from a low draw and he looks a decent each way shout at 12s. PERFECT POWER has the stands side and could just jump, run and make all. 

As you can tell, I'm not strongly convinced about anything but it's a fascinating open race which could be very informative going forward.

12 go in the Coronation and unfortunately (and not entirely unexpected) HOMELESS SONGS is a scratching. In, however, has come the Pouliches winner MANGOUSTINE to clash with the second, the English Guineas winner, CACHET.  The American filly SPENDERELLA didn't race at two but has won all three races this term including the Grade 2 Appalachian last time. Favourite is the champion 2-y-o filly of last year, INSPIRAL, who beat PROSPEROUS VOYAGE in both the May Hill and the Fillies' Mile. The absence is a concern but she was so good last year.

DISCOVERIES won the Moyglare last year but was well held in the Guineas as was TENEBRISM who had looked very good in the Cheveley Park. 

PIZZA BIANCA won the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf but her form this season hasn't quite inspired.

It's a wonderful race and I'd love to see INSPIRAL return in triumph - I expect CACHET will be very close and SPENDERELLA will perhaps be the better of the American fillies.

The Group 2 King Edward VII over 2400m is known as the "Ascot Derby" and the Epsom also-rans often come on here but this year's renewal looks weak. CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD was fifth at Epsom and that may well be enough - OTTOMAN FLEET won a Listed at Newmarket last time and looks the main challenger.

Friday's Selections:

3.05: WINGS OF WAR (each way)

4.20: CACHET

5.35: CHANGINGOFTHEGUARD

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Great performance from STATE OF REST who is a world class horse.

Could he take on BAAEED at York in August with perhaps DESERT CROWN also in the field - that would be a proper horse race.?

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30 minutes ago, stodge said:

Great performance from STATE OF REST who is a world class horse.

Could he take on BAAEED at York in August with perhaps DESERT CROWN also in the field - that would be a proper horse race.?

Certainly would be. Baaeed’s turn of foot would get him home for mine.

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2 hours ago, stodge said:

Great performance from STATE OF REST who is a world class horse.

Could he take on BAAEED at York in August with perhaps DESERT CROWN also in the field - that would be a proper horse race.?

Incredible that State of Rest paid $8.60 and $3.00 here in a 5 horse field…..Cox Plate long forgotten apparently……🙈

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Saturday is the final day of the meeting and a chance of some storms which, if they dropped a lot of rain, could radically alter the ground.

The final day sees the final Group 1 - the Platinum Jubilee- which has attracted a near maximum field of 27 across the 1200m straight track. With NATURE STRIP declining the gig, Chris Waller relies on top-rated HOME AFFAIRS to bring home the bacon (or lobster or whatever). He's 2/1 but the old adage says the bigger the field the bigger the certainty so that may not be a bad price. My reading of his Newmarket run suggests you could put a line through it and on earlier Flemington form he comes out close to Tuesday's winner which should make him more than good enough.

Wesley Ward's GOLDEN PAL lost his race at the start but we know CAMPANELLE loves the course and the ground shouldn't be a factor - she won the 2020 Queen Mary when it was quick and the 2021 Commonwealth Cup when it was heavy. Her latest run in America shows she's in good form but she'll need to be against the Australian.

CREATIVE FORCE is the Godolphin hope - he won the Jersey last year and the Champions Day Sprint on slow ground - I just doubt his ability to be fast enough at this trip on quick ground. A CASE OF YOU won the Abbaye last year and the Al Quoz Sprint in the spring but is another for whom the ground might be an issue.

I am fascinated by SACRED - off over 300 days since winning the Hungerford at Newbury in turn off a long break following a disappointing effort in the 1000 Guineas. We know she goes really well fresh and a stiff 1200m might be ideal - I'm going to have a little each way at 12s.

Of the others, ALCOHOL FREE, a proven Group 1 winner at 1600m, is interesting back at this trip while the Japanese raider GRENADIER GUARDS could be anything - excuse the last run on wet turf and some of the Group 1 form makes interesting reading.

It's a big field and anything could happen - I'm on SACRED but this is a race to savour.

The Group 2 Hardwicke over 2400m sees the return to action of last year's Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and Leger winner HURRICANE LANE. Rated 123, he was a very good 3-y-o ending his season with a fine third in the Arc finishing upsides TARNAWA and in front of his stable companion ADAYAR. He should be too good for these - BROOME was eleventh in the Arc but we know he much prefers quick ground and his second to YIBIR in the Breeders Cup Turf is a serious piece of form. Even so, I'll be disappointed if HURRICANE LANE doesn't begin his road to Paris with a win.

TRUESHAN, who swerved today's Gold Cup, is 5/4 to win the traditional night cap on the final day, the Queen Alexandra, the longest race of the whole British season over just short of 4400m.

Saturday's Selections:

3.45: HURRICANE LANE

4.20: SACRED (each way)

 

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Stodges very well informed  Picks tonight with NZ times are:

 

2 05 AM   nz TIME   R2  WINGS OF WAR   # 15    ( 14 ff)

3.20 AM nz  Time   R4   CACHET               #1         (  7 ff  )

 and Changing of The Guard.

NZ TAB wont allow an all up place or win .

Off shore agencies have taken my small all up place and win combo.with  Stodges's selections plus  R 4 Inspiral

Race 7  Called the Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes (1010m) 

             Amazing Palace. The Queen stays there.

Looks like this. 300 rooms.

 

              Palace-Of-Holyroodhouse-5.jpg

Sir Ivor the great Stallion was weaned here ??

 

 

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There’s something about opening day at Royal Ascot.

It’s an integral part of the summer social season but from a racing perspective, any card with three championship races on it has to be worthy of some attention.

The three Group 1 races were the Queen Anne for the older horses over the straight mile, the King’s Stand for the sprinters over 1000m and the St James’s Palace for the classic colts over the Round or Old Mile.

Queen Anne Stakes:

This time last year BAAEED was winning a small conditions race at Newmarket – the journey from that to being 1/6 for the championship older milers’ race has been nothing short of remarkable. IN truth, you could argue the older mile division doesn’t have a lot of strength especially with recent retirements, but the opposition featured REAL WORLD and former Breeders Cup Mile winner ORDER OF AUSTRALIA.

Straightforward, workmanlike, if anything a little dull would be my initial verdict. Jim Crowley never had to resort to the whip and while there was none of the Frankel brilliance of 2012 this was still an extremely authoritative performance. Yes, REAL WORLD got slightly closer than at Newbury and ORDER OF AUSTRALIA put up a better performance, but this was still very classy.

We know he’ll go to stud at the end of the season, and we also know Haggas and connections are keen to step up to 2000m – a Group 1 at that trip will do this boy’s stallion prospects no harm at all.

Next stop looks like the Sussex and a potential clash with the top 3-y-o milers followed by the Juddmonte which could be a clash with the Derby winner DESERT CROWN, the Oaks runner up EMILY UPJOHN amongst others. The Juddmonte is often the race of the season and this year’s renewal is already looking no exception.

REAL WORLD looks more of a miler – I wonder if one of the Deauville races might be on his radar.

King’s Stand Stakes:

Probably the most “global” race run in the UK since the pandemic. Challengers from America, Australia, the Czech Republic, France and Ireland all turned up, but the betting suggested a match between the American GOLDEN PAL and the Australian NATURE STRIP.

A hugely impressive performance by NATURE STRIP who dominated this field and could be called the winner from halfway if not before. GOLDEN PAL blew the start just as in the Nunthorpe at York last year – there’s no bell in the UK as there is in the US and he seems to try to anticipate the gate. Irad Ortiz Junior tried to move him forward, but his race was run.

KHAADEM reared as the stalls opened and left Jamie Spencer on the superstructure – unhurt but annoyed. Fortunately, KHAADEM was deemed a non-runner, so punters got their stakes refunded.

The locals were left to chase the shadow of NATURE STRIP – TWILIGHT CALLS ran a solid race in second while my old mate ACKLAM EXPRESS (to whom I should have stayed loyal) rewarded his more devout followers at 200/1 with a third place. A word also for MOONEISTA who put up a decent effort in fourth and could be worth following in a race like the Flying Five later on.

Of the others, EQUILATERAL ran very well after a long layoff in fifth, but he’s never been the most consistent (as is the way with some sprinters). The likes of KING’S LYNN and MAN OF PROMISE could never go with the real speedballs, and both look as though an extra 200m might suit.

GOLDEN PAL ended up last having been eased in the final 200m and I doubt we’ll see him here again.

St James’s Palace Stakes:

The championship race for the classic colt milers and often known as the “Ascot Guineas” but unlike Newmarket it’s round a bend and it can get very congested in the short straight. CORROEBUS came here from his Newmarket triumph but with some questions to answer – this was his first run away from Newmarket, his first race round a bend and there was a lingering suspicion the first three in the Guineas had enjoyed the best of the ground up the middle of the Heath whereas those running nearer the stand side rail had some issues.

The principal challengers to CORROEBUS, according to the market, weren’t those whom he had beaten at Newmarket but two William Haggas colts. MY PROSPERO had won the Heron at Sandown beating the royal runner REACH FOR THE MOON while MALJOOM, who hadn’t raced at two, had won three in a row including last time the Group 2 German 2000 Guineas.

A messy race with a lot to chew over.

CORROEBUS got the job done but it wasn’t pretty, and William Buick can probably thank Pat Dobbs (the rider of LUSAIL) for the win. Dobbs kept this mount straight and that allowed Buick to find the gap on the winner and get through. Had LUSAIL drifted to his right and closed the door, who knows?

Dobbs rode a superb ride on LUSAIL – he was where you need to be in a slow-run race, and they dawdled through the first 1000m and it was basically a 500m sprint up the straight.

MY PROSPERO came with his run, but it just flattened in the final 50m – he’s obviously a very good horse and a Group 1 should come his way.

Ciaran Fallon came in distraught after the run of fast-finishing MALJOOM. As at Cologne, the horse didn’t break well and in a slow, packed field Fallon had to sit and suffer while others got position and first run. When the gaps opened, MALJOOM flew home and was beaten half a length in fourth. After the race, Haggas was all class but opined MY PROSPERO might go over further while MALJOOM sticks to a mile and the intriguing notion of a clash with stable companion BAAEED at Goodwood heaves into view.

Frankie went wide on MIGHTY ULYSSES but used too much petrol getting position and didn’t quite get home while several the others weren’t suited by the slow early.

CORROEBUS goes to Goodwood and a real test against BAAEED, but I think the biggest danger to the Queen Anne winner might be from within his own stable but it’s going to be a serious horse race.

Undercard:

The main supporting race was the Group 2 Coventry for the juveniles over 1200m. This produced an impressive performance by BRADSELL, a son of freshman sire Tasleet, who followed up an impressive debut win at York on slower ground by just holding PERSIAN FORCE and ROYAL SCOTSMAN. The winner looks a very nice type and is of course a huge advert for his sire.

Ballydoyle favourite BLACKBEARD finished fourth – he couldn’t live with the injection of pace 300m down but finished off well and I’m sure 1400m will be on the agenda.

The 4000m Ascot Stakes Handicap saw a punt on a couple of Irish horses go amiss as COLTRANE collected in a race he’s run well in before. I did think the third, ARCADIAN SUNRISE, was unlucky having not had the best of trips round.

DUBAI FUTURE has bene pitched into the last two Sheema Classics so a drop to Listed company in the Wolferton was ideal – he was 11 lengths behind Prince of Wales favourite BAY BRIDGE at Sandown last time.

In the final race, the Golden Gates Handicap over 2800m, another gamble on an Irish horse went awry as Chester Cup winner CLEVELAND was backed into 2/1 but came off second best to GET SHIRTY on whom Danny Tudhope was rising his second winner of the day. OKITA SOUSHI didn't have a good run round but kept on nicely for third - one to note.

48,000 or so for Day One - the course have capped attendance at 50,000 or so to make it a bit more pleasant for the patrons (many of whom are paying quite a lot of money before they've even set foot in the place)

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9 minutes ago, stodge said:

Frankie went wide on MIGHTY ULYSSES but used too much petrol getting position and didn’t quite get home while several the others weren’t suited by the slow early.

Apart from Coronation Stakes has FD ridden any other  winners at this years Ascot Stodge?

 

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1 hour ago, JJ Flash said:

Apart from Coronation Stakes has FD ridden any other  winners at this years Ascot Stodge?

 

It's not been the best of meetings for Frankie in all honesty though knowing him he'll probably kick home a 5-timer tomorrow.

His best chance looks to be HONITON in the 5.35.

He's not in with some of the big battalions and emerging forces like Amo Racing and Victorious Racing are looking for younger riders.

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On 6/17/2022 at 5:42 AM, stodge said:

Saturday is the final day of the meeting and a chance of some storms which, if they dropped a lot of rain, could radically alter the ground.

The final day sees the final Group 1 - the Platinum Jubilee- which has attracted a near maximum field of 27 across the 1200m straight track. With NATURE STRIP declining the gig, Chris Waller relies on top-rated HOME AFFAIRS to bring home the bacon (or lobster or whatever). He's 2/1 but the old adage says the bigger the field the bigger the certainty so that may not be a bad price. My reading of his Newmarket run suggests you could put a line through it and on earlier Flemington form he comes out close to Tuesday's winner which should make him more than good enough.

Wesley Ward's GOLDEN PAL lost his race at the start but we know CAMPANELLE loves the course and the ground shouldn't be a factor - she won the 2020 Queen Mary when it was quick and the 2021 Commonwealth Cup when it was heavy. Her latest run in America shows she's in good form but she'll need to be against the Australian.

CREATIVE FORCE is the Godolphin hope - he won the Jersey last year and the Champions Day Sprint on slow ground - I just doubt his ability to be fast enough at this trip on quick ground. A CASE OF YOU won the Abbaye last year and the Al Quoz Sprint in the spring but is another for whom the ground might be an issue.

I am fascinated by SACRED - off over 300 days since winning the Hungerford at Newbury in turn off a long break following a disappointing effort in the 1000 Guineas. We know she goes really well fresh and a stiff 1200m might be ideal - I'm going to have a little each way at 12s.

Of the others, ALCOHOL FREE, a proven Group 1 winner at 1600m, is interesting back at this trip while the Japanese raider GRENADIER GUARDS could be anything - excuse the last run on wet turf and some of the Group 1 form makes interesting reading.

It's a big field and anything could happen - I'm on SACRED but this is a race to savour.

The Group 2 Hardwicke over 2400m sees the return to action of last year's Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and Leger winner HURRICANE LANE. Rated 123, he was a very good 3-y-o ending his season with a fine third in the Arc finishing upsides TARNAWA and in front of his stable companion ADAYAR. He should be too good for these - BROOME was eleventh in the Arc but we know he much prefers quick ground and his second to YIBIR in the Breeders Cup Turf is a serious piece of form. Even so, I'll be disappointed if HURRICANE LANE doesn't begin his road to Paris with a win.

TRUESHAN, who swerved today's Gold Cup, is 5/4 to win the traditional night cap on the final day, the Queen Alexandra, the longest race of the whole British season over just short of 4400m.

Saturday's Selections:

3.45: HURRICANE LANE

4.20: SACRED (each way)

 

Wouldn’t discount Artorious in the sprint Stodge. Has done very well there according to Freedman and he has beaten Home Affairs home twice in three meetings in Australia. He’s a get back, fly home type so that uphill run home might suit his style at good odds.

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Just watched Day 4 video. Anyone who bets on UK races should keep an eye on horse from the 5th race (Sandringham Stakes) --did not get its name but if you watch the race about 2/3 rds into the race there is a horse, in mainly yellow colours (on the right of your computer screen) who gets a major check, goes down on it's knees basically but get up and continues on. It was running on well at the end, given what it had gone through

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The second day of the Royal Ascot meeting took place on Good to Firm ground and another fine, dry and sunny afternoon.

The Group 1 feature was the Prince of Wales Stakes over 2000m for the older horses. Only five went to post but they were a select field. BAY BRIDGE, who had won his las five including a five-length romp in the Brigadier Gerard, went off favourite but he had never run in a Group 1.

He faced the Japanese Derby and Sheema Classic winner SHAHRYAR and the Cox Plate and Ganay winner STATE OF REST as well as LORD NORTH, a former winner of the race and twice winner of the Dubai Turf.

Prince of Wales Stakes: 

One of the best rides you’ll see from young Shane Crosse who produced a peach to land the spoils making every yard. He had learnt from the Tattersalls Gold Cup STATE OF REST is much better up with the pace and struggles to make the ground up in the tactical races. SHAHRYAR flattened out 300m out and his jockey suggested the horse didn’t enjoy the undulations of Ascot – I believe most Japanese tracks are flat ovals. BAY BRIDGE’s limitations at the very highest level were exposed but he still remains a good horse.

As for LORD NORTH, a nightmare for Dettori with the blindfold getting caught up and not being easily freed.

The winner will head back for the Cox Plate in an attempt to win the race a second time and will be a shuttle stallion in time between Ireland and Australia. I’d love to see SHAHRYAR in the Breeders Cup Turf which looks tailor made.

Oddly enough, that was the only championship race but a strong undercard with three Group 2 races.

The opening Queen Mary over 1000m for the juvenile fillies saw an impressive performance by DRAMATISED who had won nicely at Newmarket on debut, but this was if anything better. Irad Ortiz Junior got a better start on the American LOVE REIGNS, but she had no answer to the winner in the final 200m. DRAMATISED is a daughter of Showcasing and her performance can be upgraded given her rider, Danny Tudhope, who was riding his third successive winner at the meeting, dropped his whip at halfway.

MAYLANDSEA chased home the winner and her connections are sending her to the Nunthorpe – as we know, juveniles can run in that championship race and get loads of weight from the older types. MARIA BRAMWELL and LOVE REIGNS were third and fourth.

The Queen’s Vase for the staying 3-y-o over 2800m saw a desperate finish with favourite ELDAR ELDAROV just running down ZECHARIAH in the last stride. The winner is as we know named after an MMA fighter resident in Bahrain and the owners, KHK Racing, are a Bahrani syndicate. It’s likely ELDAR ELDAROV will head for the Leger – he’s beautifully bred, by Dubawi out of the Oaks winner All at Sea.

ZECHARIAH ran a huge race in defeat and the two were nicely on from HAFIT who looks a little one-paced even at this trip but could be a real stayer next year.

The Duke of Cambridge is for the older fillies and mares over the straight mile. Disappointment for Christopher Head, the trainer and son of the great Freddie Head, as his SIBILA SPAIN got very agitated in the stalls and had to be withdrawn.

That left the way clear for SAFFRON BEACH to dominate and win impressively for Jane Chapple-Hyam. The winner will go for the Falmouth and the Sun Chariot and then a tilt at the Breeders Cup Mile. I’d worry it will all happen too quick in America – I’d run her in the Turf as a bold move. BASHKIROVA’s limitations were exposed, and MOTHER EARTH was disappointing.

SAFFRON BEACH has an Antipodean connection with the Sangsters a big part of the winning ownership. Perhaps, given her links to Australia, she could try the Cox Plate.

It had been twelve races with twelve different trainers and none of them called Aidan O’Brien (though he’d seen Joseph saddle STATE OF REST) but that was righted with a narrow win for the well-backed favourite LITTLE BIG BEAR in the 1000m Windsor Castle, a Listed for the juveniles. The favourite was backed from 5/2 early doors to 11/10.

ROCKET RODNEY ran really well for the Victorious Racing syndicate in second.

Finally, two big field handicaps made up the card – the Hunt Cup over the straight mile saw J-Mac (as I believe he is called) bag a second meeting winner on DARK SHIFT for his old friend Charlie Hills while the concluding Kensington Palace over the round mile went to the filly RISING STAR, ridden by former Hong Kong veteran Neil Callan.

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