Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend washout

The Saturday cards at both Cheltenham and Lingfield were abandoned due to heavy overnight rain. Racing went ahead at Doncaster where the finale had been selected as the 'bonus' race for the two Scoop6 punters hoping to share over £1.6 million. Their chances looked to have increased significantly with the withdrawal of three runners on account of the going, leaving a field of just nine from which to make their two picks. Ray Stubbs and Lawrence Ireland chose Duke of Touraine (6/1) and Riguez Dancer (4/1). Up the home straight both horses were in a group of three that pulled away from the rest; Duke of Touraine looked to go half a length up on Charlie Crab (12/1) after the last but on the long run to the line the outsider fought back tenaciously next to the running rail to win by half a length. Both punters took it all very well really considering Channel Four insisted on repeatedly replaying the finish. The Tote estimate the bonus fund for Saturday December 27th will top £2 million; to be in with a chance of winning it, you just have to select six winners on Saturday...

Efforts were being made today to re-schedule the Boylesports International Hurdle to Ascot this weekend - at the moment it doesn't look as though those efforts have been successful. The unbeaten Diamond Harry, an entry in the cancelled Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, now has the Challow Hurdle at Newbury as his target.

Today's Racing Post leads with an article that compares the BBC's commitment to racing a decade ago with its plans for the coming decade. Ten years ago 79 days of racing were scheduled to be covered; from 2010 the BBC intend to broadcast just 14 days. Of course, the other terrestrial broadcaster, Channel Four, is known to have serious financial problems and may be taken over by Channel Five.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2008 is Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy. I certainly enjoyed last night's programme; nonetheless it still remains a source of wonder to me how the racing year can be summarised in thirty seconds flat.

Comment on a Christmas card, recently received: 'Went to Chepstow last month; seen better horses on Blackpool beach.'

Finally, is anybody else having difficulty finding what they want on the new Racing Post website...?

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