Monday, February 25, 2008

In short

The shortest distance by which a race can be won has been a short head - that is until today when a new measure, the nose, is introduced. Appropriately named suggestions for the first horse to win by a nose are welcomed.

Snowy Morning's indifferent performance behind Afistfullofdollars in the Bobbyjo at Fairyhouse on Saturday has seen him relinquish his position at the head of the Grand National ante-post market. Cloudy Lane is the new favourite; SM is quoted as a 16/1 chance by both William Hill and Ladbrokes.

A snippet in yesterday's Observer wasn't particularly kind to bookie Freddie Williams' horse Donaldson after the animal trailed in last of nine runners in Saturday's opener at Kempton. That doesn't tell the whole story. Donaldson was challenging eventual winner Pigeon Island at the penultimate flight but hit it rather hard and then fell away; perhaps he's one to keep in mind. Ultra tough Pigeon Island is 14/1 for the Supreme Novices', the first race of the Festival; there are worse bets around.

Well done to the betting shop punter who walked into a Hill's shop in Yorkshire on Friday and placed a 50p accumulator on eight winning selections, netting himself a cool £1 million in the process. It sounds so deceptively simple, doesn't it?

With Cheltenham a little over two weeks away, pressure is building in the Tips' family household. Recently a friend of our daughter's was unable to attend a concert practice as she had been called up to play water polo instead. Mrs. Tips, at the end of a busy day, on hearing this news commented, 'Oh, so your friend rides as well, does she?' I was left with this picture of local council employees struggling to get all the horses into their bathers and then down the swimming pool for the 7.30 start...

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