Showing posts from March, 2008

Post festival flat spot

Every season around this time, I free-wheel out of the Cheltenham Festival mayhem like Lance Armstrong down the Alpe D'Huez, before gently coming to rest in a flat spot wider than the Nevada Salt Lakes. Becalmed in the doldrums in between the festival, Aintree and the start of the flat season proper. No mans land. This usually means it's time to over-analyse my festival punting. Surprisingly, the first batch of Cheltenham ante-posts published here in January stood up reasonably well. This is not always the case. Not that they got off to a flyer on the first day. Silverburn never made it to the Arkle, so that long shot hope was dead long before the tapes went up: but maybe I can take crumb of a moral victory from the fact that he ran in the SunAlliance chase over a mile further AND PATENTLY DID NOT STAY! Ergo, he should have turned up in the Arkle! Marodima , from the same Paul Nicholls stable did turn up, though one would have been hard pushed to notice. He ran very freely

Cheltenham 2008 - The return of the three dayer

The festival is always special: the highest quality racing in one of nature's great amphitheatres played out in front of a raucous crowd packing the stands to the rafters and gambling their every last penny. But the festival is a test of endurance too. In the days of the three day festival I would collapse in a heap on the train home after the County Hurdle wrapped up proceedings feeling knackered. I would be emotionally drained, physically shattered, mentally overwhelmed and usually finacially bankrupt. The full four day festival has always been one-day further than I have been prepared to go. I know my limits. So this year provided an interesting return to the three-dayer. After a full day's helter skelter action at Prestbury Park cheering home a new Arkle hero in Tidal Bay and a new Champion Hurdler in Katchit, we awoke on Wednesday morning to find Champion Chase day had had been cancelled. Or at least postponed, dismembered and put back together in some crazy Frankenstein&#