Showing posts from February, 2012

Deja Vu

Déjà vu…all over again! This time last year I was blogging about pitching up at the rescheduled Totesport Trophy meeting at Newbury after its electrocuting abandonment the previous weekend. Today the blog is about the same fixture, saved this time from more predictable frost and snow. But the fixture’s consecutive rescheduling, and my shifty appearance at both, are about the only similarities between the two years. Prior to postponement, the 2012 card had already been augmented with the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Chase, plucked from Sandown’s frosted-off card two weeks ago. And since last year Betfair had supplanted Totesport (now hived off the public roster to Betfred) as sponsors. They brought with them a hike in prize money and publicity that had been rewarded with high quality, competitive fields right across the card. Postponement usually means watered down fodder – last year, the Game Spirit and the Aon Chase both became shallow and weak renewals, followed by a Totesport Trophy

Hide The Evidence

Oddschecker’s Festival Countdown nags away at me. Each clicking second tapping out an impatient rhythm, like fingertips drumming on a table. “28 days, 13 hours and 22 minutes, Davoski. Is that all you’ve got?” I haven’t added significantly to the ante-post portfolio. Clues have been a bit thin on the ground lately. I’ve had a couple of quid on Kid Cassidy for the Arkle before his last outing. Whilst he won well enough, he still looks a massive handful. He may be Grand Annual bound instead, though JP McManus’ only other live Arkle contender is Shot From The Hip who was well beaten on Sunday.   Last weekend saw one of Ireland’s main trials weekends. In truth, a well-trained beagle would have struggled to sniff out high grade evidence. There was a poor turnout for the Hennessy Gold Cup and the Moriarty Chase. In the former, Quel Esprit showed a touch of class in a weak renewal; in the latter, Last Instalment franked his strong RSA credentials, but wouldn’t turn up if the groun

A Burns Supper

An icy blast is putting paid to the racing right now. A screaming north-easterly, screwing down the mercury into negativity will probably be enough to freeze out most of the racing this weekend too, Fos Llas fleecy frost covers and all. And I don’t think they will be racing in Poland or the Ukraine any time soon. -30°C and counting earlier today, with the wind chill slicing off another 15-20 degrees. Maybe abandonment might save me from further humiliation at the hands of the bookies. I notched up an impressive ten losers on the bounce last weekend. It was grim. But I’m not sure I’m in the mood for self-flagellation. My brain, crowded with pre-festival conundrums, scarcely has the capacity to pick over the grisly details. Suffice to say the losing sequence kicked off with a crippling 12-1 disqualified winner at 1.55 on Saturday and was only ended by frosted-off Sedgefield which, no doubt, saved Swinging Sultan’s blushes, at 4.15 on Sunday. I’d prefer instead to dwell on some in