Showing posts from October, 2014

A right good go

I was ready to bemoan the quality of Champions Day and hark back, again, to the balance of the pre-2011 Champions Stakes fixture that also boasted the Cesarewitch and the Dewhurst. Not least since the defections of Australia, Kingman and The Grey Gatsby had taken some gloss off the day. But I’ve been around that particular nostalgic hamster wheel before. We are where we are. I have warmed to the Qipco series, even though some of the divisions are a little thin. Overall, the programme deserves this end-of-season climax. If only the weather would oblige a little more often. So what of the quality of the racing? In this well thought out piece , Jamie Lynch of Timeform poses the question “is British Champions Day the best laid plan?” and answers with, “under the circumstances, yes. It might not do what it says on the tin and, related, it probably doesn't have the right name, but as a day, a draw and a definition for British racing it's a work-in-progress that's both wo


All that late Summer flat smash-and grab-seems like a long time ago. Tiggy Wiggy, G Force, Nafaqa. Ah, splendid stuff. Now in the fag end of the season, confidence has leached away like a Tory safe-seat majority. The list horses are dispiritingly uncompetitive and I’ve inevitably hung on to some for too long. Over-a-cliff-itis. My Achilles heel. A twitter compatriot made me laugh the other day when he said his "nag-me’s" were coming through and now all he needed to do was work out why he had put them in there in the first place. I know the feeling. Outside the mini-projects that keep me interested throughout the flat, I’m finding that I’m off the pace in the big handicaps too; and properly struggling in the graded pool. Arc weekend was a washout in punting terms. Though it’s hard to feel anything other than warm, moist-eyed, tingly emotions at the performance of Treve in the big one. The style of her swooping victory was sensation enough, without the stellar training

2015 Champion Hurdle

The 2015 Cheltenham Festival is now just five months away and the excitement for this showpiece of the national hunt season is already starting to build. It will all begin on March 10 th and the highlight of day one is undoubtedly the Champion Hurdle. Run at a ferocious clip over a trip of two miles, this grade 1 race is open to horses aged four years and upwards, and is run on Cheltenham’s Old Course. Being the premier hurdle race of the season, this event attracts the very best hurdlers from the UK and Ireland, and has been won by some real legends of the sport down the years. Notable Champion Hurdle winners include Istabraq, See You Then, Persian War and Sea Pigeon to name but a few. The Jessica Harrington trained Jezki will arrive in Prestbury Park as the defending champion following his impressive victory in the 2014 renewal, when seeing off both My Tent Or Yours and The New One. The layers at Betfair have put the Irish raider in as their 6/1third favourite behind the u