Sunday, May 04, 2008

Guineas weekend roundup

New Approach was beaten for the first time in his racing career when going down by a nose to Henrythenavigator in a thrilling finish to yesterday's 2000 Guineas. Natagora proved beyond doubt that she stays a mile by deservedly taking the 1000 Guineas but Nahoodh would have been a big threat if she'd had a clear run. It's back to the drawing board for Godolphin with Ibn Khaldun giving a most disappointing display on Saturday and Laureldean Gale getting worked up beforehand on Sunday. Sir Alex Ferguson isn't accustomed to finishing last but the horse in which he owns a share, Fireside, did exactly that in the colts' race. To be fair, the horse struck into himself early on; connections say the plan is to lower their sights a little and look for a handicap or listed race.

It's that time of year. I've just switched off the central heating and next week one of my favourite Flat meetings, the Chester May Festival, takes centre stage from Wednesday to Friday. The highlight on the first day is the Chester Cup run over two miles three furlongs. I draw your attention to Philip Hobbs' comments about Fair Along from the Weekender dated 20-24 February - "Whatever happens [at Cheltenham] or at Aintree, make a note of him for the Flat because his big target is the Chester Cup..." Hobbs goes on to say he'd like Jamie Spencer, who gets on very well with the horse, to ride; looking at the entries on Sunday evening Spencer is booked to ride Highland Legacy while Ryan Moore is booked for Fair Along. Read into that what you will.

Regular readers will be aware that my home town team, Wrexham, were relegated from the Football League a couple of weeks ago. In their last league match, at Lincoln City, Wrexham went out with a bang, winning by four goals to two. A rather unsympathetic work colleague (who happens to support Chester City) kindly sent me an email link to the Conference website. Manager Brian Little has recently signed a new two-year contract; can Wrexham bounce straight back next season? They may well do, but I, for one, won't have any money on it.

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