Sunday, January 20, 2008

Weekend round-up

Haydock fell to the weather but there was drama aplenty at Ascot with Twist Magic beaten soundly by Tamarinbleu. Paul Nicholls blamed the heavy ground while Teletext reported that jockey Ruby Walsh told the trainer after the race TM would win the Champion Chase on decent ground.

Tamarinbleu's performance reminded me somewhat of Lough Derg's front running exploits when taking the Long Walk Hurdle last month. A David Pipe trained outsider at Ascot, ridden from the front by Tom Scudamore, gallops his rivals into submission to secure a big prize - could this be the beginning of a trend?

I know many heathens don't understand horse racing's appeal but the graphic pictures the BBC transmitted, after the race, of Nigel Twiston-Davies urging Mahogany Blaze to the line spoke volumes. The horse was collared in the shadow of the post by Nick Gifford's Wee Robbie; Twiston-Davies, literally quivering, practically rode the finish himself. That's why we do it, for the sheer damn excitement of it all.

As has been widely reported, Tony McCoy is on the mend following an operation on his back earlier in the week. He remains confident he'll be riding at the Cheltenham Festival. I dare say he'll be aiming to return before then in order to build up his physical fitness.

The abandonment of Haydock meant there was no Scoop6 this weekend, but I'm sure it remains a mystery to many punters why, when racing is taking place on a Saturday, they can't have a Scoop6 bet.

The BBC's Ceefax racing service is suffering death by a thousand cuts. The Teletext service is now far more comprehensive, although I've found the RSS feed provided by the site flaky on occasions.

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