Monday, October 13, 2008

Matters arising...

One approach I've tried in the past when searching for value is to oppose Paul Nicholls' runners early in the season, before the stable gets into full swing. Mr. Nicholls' four-timer at Chepstow on Saturday, complemented by Breedsbreeze's victory at Bangor, would appear to indicate I'll need to come up with something different this year.

Talk of Paul Nicholls and before long the subject of Denman crops up. The horse is a best-priced 13/8 shot to win the Gold Cup for a second time next March. The Aon Chase at Newbury in February is pencilled in as his target; no horse has returned to action so late and gone on to win chasing's Blue Riband in the last twenty years. Alan Lee's piece in Saturday's Times contained this interesting quote from the trainer about his charge: "It worried the hell out of me until we knew what it was ... He was losing condition and getting so tired he wouldn't even put his head over the door. The treatment knocked him back further but there's an 85 per cent chance he'll have no further problems..." Denman is presently confined to his box.

I didn't get time to look at the Bangor card before my post on Friday evening. More's the pity as I would probably have referred to an earlier blog note on Bill's Echo. "Bill's Echo ... will be worth a second look next time out." The blessed beast won Bangor's 2.25 at odds of 14/1.

You knew it had to happen - connections have decided to retire unbeaten filly Zarkava to stud. Her victory in the Arc will live long in the memory.

With the demise of Superform I have just purchased The Form Book Jumps Annual for the first time. This definitive reference work retails at £30 but is available from Amazon for just £19.50 with free delivery thrown in - the best book bargain I've bagged in ages!

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