Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jumps season review 2007/8

This hasn't been the most successful of seasons for me personally and, worse still, I haven't managed to get to a meeting since Aintree last October. The biggest disappointment had to be the abandonment of the Wednesday card at the Cheltenham Festival on account of high winds.

Some things never seem to change - Tony McCoy was champion jockey and Paul Nicholls champion trainer; Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins took the equivalent honours in Ireland. David Johnson was top owner.

This was Denman's season, although he never carried any of my money. His performance in the Hennessy was exceptional, as was his Gold Cup victory. Master Minded's performance in the Champion Chase will live long in the memory. Kauto Star won the Order Of Merit after a prolonged duel with Lough Derg.

Last year Katchit was nominated blog horse of the year. Although I didn't tip him as often this season, I was tempted to nominate him again following his tenacious victory in the Champion Hurdle. Instead, I'm going to nominate Reg Hollinshead's Norma Hill. Back in August I tipped the mare and she duly obliged at 20/1 - we haven't seen her out since.

The New Year started well enough; I took 14/1 offered by Betfred about Hills Of Aran at Cheltenham and Keith Goldsworthy's gelding did the necessary. It proved a false dawn and the beginning of a downhill slope, with too many losers, particularly around February / March time.

The Grand National tips were a little nearer the mark with three of the four selections finishing in the first five home.

The focus shifts to the Flat now, with the Guineas taking centre stage at Newmarket next weekend.

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