Monday, April 10, 2006

Jockeys and their racing demons

Tony McCoy gave an interview to the BBC after last year's National in which it was clear he was tormented by his demons. Travelling well in the lead on the second circuit, Clan Royal had been taken out by a loose horse.

This year both Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh were interviewed by the BBC. McCoy appeared relaxed; he'd had his wish for a 'proper race' and his horse had been found wanting, finishing a gallant third. His questions had been answered.

Ruby on the other hand looked perplexed. Hedgehunter had finished second conceding 18lb to Numbersixvalverde. Had the weight told? Was it the soft ground? Should he have gone for the horse earlier? Had he concentrated too much on McCoy's horse?

A mention for two other jockeys. Leighton Aspell was 6 lengths clear when 80/1 shot Ballycassidy fell at Valentine's on the second circuit. What must he be thinking? It wasn't a tired fall - the horse was travelling well within himself but appeared to put down right in front of the fence.

Nina Carberry did well on Forest Gunner. Given the right ammunition she must have an excellent chance of becoming the first woman to win the race.

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