Saturday, June 09, 2007

Tales from Towcester

Recently 'demonised' middle class wine drinkers, together with accompanying picnics, were out in force yesterday evening at Towcester, and jolly civilised it all was too. I freely admit I've never been particularly well versed in the dark art of eating alfresco; after all National Hunt racing is primarily a winter sport. It was a fascinating sight to behold. The air of civility even extended to the betting ring where, on several occasions, punters formed orderly queues to strike a bet with the bookmaker of their choice.

I'd estimate the crowd between 5,000 and 6,000. The ground looked to be riding quite fast; Nicky Henderson pulled out his declared runners, No Regrets and Tisseman. Two performaces stood out.

Tom Scudamore made plenty of use of French import Ronald Jack (pictured leading over the last) in the Maiden Chase to win with something in hand. Market leader Noble Ben never seemed able to land a blow while second favourite Berhamsted broke down badly before the third.

Metal Detector literally hosed up in the three mile chase, winning by an eased down 18 lengths. Last time out, running in a first time visor over course and distance, the formbook reports the horse 'downed tools completely 11th'. Reverting back to the previously used blinkers, MD swept past his rivals on the turn for home and effectively had the race in the bag in a matter of strides. Middleham Park won the separate race for second place.
Mark Beesley, writing in the racecard, reports that by the end of racing at the next meeting on Thursday June 21st 'four seasons of virtual free admission at Towcester will be complete'. Long may it continue.
Thanks to my daughter for the photos taken at her inaugral race meeting, with Ashwell giving us the win we were looking for...

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