With Ron away and no podcast I found myself at a bit of a loose end, so thought I would chuck in a brief review of the Huntingdon card this afternoon though to be fair, no promise I have too many future winners for you!
Confessions first, and I invariably leave the handicaps alone with regard to future clues as I leave that for Ron and also feel that whatever I spot has been seen in triplicate by the official handicappers so nay so called good thing could well be weighted out of contention by the time he next gets to the track?
Running through the other races, Une Artiste beat Baby Run (who is a favourite of mine), landing the odds for those who like to back 8/15 shots, doing so comfortably, but not really beating very much to be honest. Being a Nicky Henderson inmate she is bound to be backed as if defeat is impossible every time she gets to the track, and to be fair I was the only one on track less than impressed -one to oppose against horses from the bigger stables of up against the boys perhaps?
The big race of the day was, as always, the Peterborough Chase, a two and a half mile contest that saw Riverside Theatre best in at the weights with Captain Chris penalised for last season’s victories, but after a poor 2012 the nine year old was not for me. Stood near the winning line I did at least get to witness a terrific finish that saw three horses pull away from the rest with the favourite victorious from the desperately unlucky Champion Court who I had also written off as a Cheltenham specialist! A slipped saddle meant defeat for Ian Popham’s mount as well as the embarrassment of being unseated after the finishing line but he is the moral victor and it was good to see him back to somewhere near to his very best here.
With the novice hurdle lacking any depth in my opinion it is hardly worth a mention but the bumper that rounded things off told me a few stories all on its own. Before the race, word on the track was all about Mick Channon’s Paradise Valley, an unraced son of Presenting who was backed as if defeat was not a realistic option. All the early 2/1 in the morning soon disappeared and he was sent off a skinny 5/4 favourite but was done on the line by Brother Tedd who was given an inspired ride by Richard Johnson. Green as grass he was coaxed and cajoled in to just enough effort to see of the jolly by a head at the line, though I suspect they will both be worth following. The winner will need to if he is to score again under a winners’ penalty BUT did look as if he would improve mentally for the run, while the runner up will be unlucky to run in to anything that classy next time out – two winners just waiting to happen!