Monday, September 29, 2008

Bits and pieces

The outcome of the team tactics inquiry saw Aidan O'Brien fined £5,000 and jockeys Johnny Murtagh and Colm O'Donoghue both given seven-day riding bans. In my opinion none of this would have come to pass had Johnny Murtagh not spoken to the press immediately after the Juddmonte.

We're still not certain which horse will represent Ballydoyle in Sunday's Arc; at the time of writing Duke Of Marmalade is a best-priced 9/2 and Soldier Of Fortune 11/2.

Denman had his heart stopped and re-started as a treatment to correct its irregular beat. To use computing terminology, it sounded very similar to a 'cold reboot'. The press report last year's Gold Cup winner is back on track and will be out sometime after Christmas. Paul Nicholls has made no secret of the fact Denman is difficult to get fit - I wonder if there will be some value in opposing him next time out...

A snippet in the Weekender notes that on his comeback at Uttoxeter controversial jockey Paddy Merrigan was promptly served with a ban for riding an ill-judged race. His mount, 40/1 shot Bill's Echo, made up a lot of ground to take third in a competitive-looking handicap chase and will be worth a second look next time out.

The state of the ground at Ascot drew plenty of criticism over the weekend; an accurate going description might have read 'good, chewed up in places'. It was left to The Antiques Roadshow on Sunday evening to show the course in a more favourable light. The famous Alfred Munnings bronze of Brown Jack, described as 'Ascot's greatest horse', was discussed and valued in the region of £200,000. Quoting from 'Ascot: The History':
"Brown Jack won at the Royal Meeting seven years in a row, taking the Ascot Stakes in 1928 and then the Queen Alexandra Stakes ... for six consecutive years from 1929 to 1934."

Never mind the horses, what about the dancers? Last year Mrs Tips tipped the winner of Strictly Come Dancing. I know it's early days but Mrs T. tells me the four main players this time around are Austin Healey, Rachel Stevens, Tom Chambers and Cherie Lunghi.

No comments: