No time to sit on your laurels in this game as Ron and I work away to make Post Racing bigger and better over the months ahead, while never forgetting that racing, fun, and a winner or two will always be the name of the game.
With so much racing to look forward to (which is why I am early this week), I won’t be wasting too much time on small talk but I am going back in on one of my pet hates again so apologies in advance, especially to Ron, but I am trying to spark a bit of debate. Last Saturday Ron threw the bones, consulted the oracle, read the tarot cards, and everything else he does before coming up with 14/1 shot Bayan who took the Ladbroke Hurdle and well done Ron – but you tell me how on earth he got to keep the race? Jockey Davy Condon used his whip on the winner and I quote ”above the permitted level” and was banned for fifteen days and fined him £3,150. I may be in the minority here but are we not acknowledging he effectively broke the rules to win – so why oh why does he get to keep the race? Admittedly Sam Twiston-Davies (on the runner up) was found guilty of the same offence but in theory you could argue that third placed Activial may have done better had Noel Fehily also broken the rules? Personally, it seems horrific to me that we can admit the winner broke the rules and then let him keep the race, and the sooner the horse is thrown out along with the jockey the better -and no I am not talking through my wallet for a change. While we are talking arguments, I see some of our foreign colleagues in the media room have been putting down the new deal signed up to by Goodwood – jealousy I assume? Qatar are kindly putting in an extra £2,000,000 in prize money for the Glorious Goodwood Festival in 2015 and have signed a ten year deal, which I feel is far more important as it safeguards the next decade and allows the forward thinking Goodwood executive to make some serious plans with all the back up they can need so watch this space for future developments.
Lastly for the “news” section, good to see that Sprinter Sacre is due to work at Newbury on Monday including schooling over fences. We all agree our sport needs a horse of his quality (as we do Simonsig and Sire De Grugy to name but two), and if they can get him back to the track in one pride I can but hope he is still the class act he was before? Sadly, we wont find out for sure until the chips are down but it does at least appear that connections are erring on the side of caution which as to be a good thing as none of us would like to see anything happen to him should they send him back to the track in earnest.
Anyway, Boxing Day is nearly upon us so we ought to start there and although all the best races are at Kempton, I plan on starting at Wincanton. I am forced to assume the infamous Pipe helicopter will be in the air to take Tom Scudamore down to Kempton in time to ride Dynaste in the King George VI Chase, but only after he has ridden the penalized Batavir in the 1.40pm this afternoon. Brought over from France he started his British career with a third over two miles at Leicester but showed a liking for the step up in trip when hacking up at Ascot and it seems unlikely that a six-pound penalty will stop him here.
No doubt to Ron’s disgust, my next bet runs on the all-weather at Wolverhampton when I am hoping that Urban Castle can improve again to shrug off a mark of 72 for his handicap debut at 2.25pm. By Street Cry out of an In The Wings mare I rather doubt her breeders expected to see her in this class on the Tapeta but those are the risks of flat racing and the sales, and at least she has already won a race after taking her maiden over course and distance. Adam Kirby keeps the ride and I am pretty confident she is a fair bit better than her official rating – if not I have done my dough yet again.
Back over the jumps at Huntingdon, and there is a good word for the expensively bought O O Seven ahead of his debut in the bumper at 3.00pm. 130,000 Euros cannot be called cheap, especially as he races for a first prize of £1,560 here, but he is thought to be a bit special and although sure to improve for the experience, there will be some very long faces at Seven Barrows if he fails to score first time out this afternoon.
Extra Extra read all about it?!
After two out of three winners yesterday (the other one was beaten a neck), I did promise Ron I would have a quick look at Saturday’s meetings to see if I could add one more horse to keep you all happy over the weekend as you sleep off your Christmas Festivities. Grandouet is the poor horse lumbered with that honour at Kempton as I am willing to give him one more chance to redeem himself over fences as he would surely eat these alive were the race over hurdles? Nicky Henderson has his string in good order of late and with a back up team of chiropractors and schooling experts (step forward Yogi Breisner), I am hoping they have left no stone unturned to transfer his abilities to the larger obstacles, in which case he could be out of the top drawer – and a decent price this afternoon as well.
Good luck one and all…..
Selections this week:
Grandouet 1.10pm Kempton Saturday
Batavir 1.40pm Wincanton Boxing Day
Urban Castle 2.25pm Wolverhampton Boxing Day
O O Seven 3.00pm Huntingdon Boxing Day
Horses to follow:
Creepy – well supported on his debut over fences this week at Chepstow when making all and jumping well throughout to score by twenty lengths easing down. Trainer Martin Keighley thinks a lot of him and he will surely add more races to that success this season with the Sun Alliance Chase at Cheltenham presumably his long-term objective. Looked well beaten when unseating Richard Johnson last weekend at Cheltenham but can still win races if kept to a sensible grade.
***Runs at Kempton Boxing Day but I expect him to be outclassed***
Broxbourne – used to be well above average on the flat when trained by Mark Johnston and looked like a machine when winning at lowly Fakenham for Nicky Henderson this week. More of a confidence booster than a real race he is entitled to improve for his first run in over a year and he could be pretty decent over two and a half miles or further over hurdles and seems sure to add to that victory.
*** No current entries***
Ballyallia Man – Tom George is off to a flyer and this nine year old returned to action with little more than an exercise canter to win at Wincanton by a long looking six lengths. This was his first run for seven months or so and he is entitled to strip a little bit fitter next time out, so as long as the handicapper isn’t too punitive he ought to score next time out as well, after which he may be in the grips and can be removed with profit made!
*** No current entries***
Hargam – an unlucky runner up on his hurdling debut the three year old was travelling as if it was a matter of how far not if at Cheltenham before fading up the infamous hill. With that run behind him he is surely a shoe in to win next time out and could win a few more if sensibly entered.
***No current entries***