Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend round-up

Testing conditions at Leopardstown placed a premium on stamina in the Irish Champion Hurdle earlier today and the remarkable Brave Inca (11/4) collected the spoils at the grand old age of eleven. 2/1 favourite Sublimity proved a major disappointment, trailing in fourth. In an interview on Radio Five Live beforehand trainer Robert Hennessy was particularly bullish about his charge's chances but after the race connections reported the horse had scoped dirty.

Nicky Henderson decided not to run Barbers Shop in the Letheby & Christopher Chase at Cheltenham yesterday on account of the heavy ground. The Aon Chase at Newbury is being considered as an alternative; if the horse goes there, he's likely to bump into Denman. Teletext report that Henderson wasn't too downhearted following Punchestowns' defeat in the Cleeve Hurdle. Punchestowns failed by four lengths to concede eight pounds to Paul Nicholls' Big Buck's. The report implied the trainer had 'left something to work on'.

Here's a question - will the Tizzards enter Joe Lively for the Gold Cup?

Diamond Harry maintained his unbeaten run by taking the opener but he only just got there and looks a jolly tricky ride. The Ballymore Properties Novices' Hurdle is his Festival target; Ladbrokes offer a miserly-looking 3/1 about the horse for that race.

Over at Doncaster Malcolm Jefferson's Cape Tribulation ran out an impressive winner of the three mile Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle. His cause was helped somewhat by the fall of 11/10 favourite On Raglan Road as they entered the home straight for the final time. Cape Tribulation may have won anyway but the fall came too early to say anything with any certainty. In the winner's enclosure afterwards Derek Thompson asked the trainer for a comment and was promptly pointed in the direction of the jockey! Connections are now considering Cheltenham, Aintree and some high profile Flat races too.

Channel Four televised a bumper live for the first time on Saturday, the concluding race at Doncaster. As the runners waited for the off, Tommo informed viewers that 50/1 shot Switched Off looked very well in the paddock; the horse ran a blinder, going down one and a quarter lengths to 66/1 chance Par Avion. You're unlikely to see those fancy prices the next time they run!

Both of my regular readers will recall the anguish suffered in the Tips' household over a year ago when the BBC announced its decision to axe major parts of the Ceefax racing service. Even the Prime Minister offered me his support. Eventually I migrated to Teletext on Channel Four but, occasionally, when feeling nostalgic, I check out the racing pages on Ceefax, for old times' sake. Obviously the service doesn't compare, but imagine my horror last Thursday when the second of the two(!) reported stories discussed what action Mark Hughes was going to take after Robinho had gone AWOL from Manchester City's training camp in Tenerife. Just where has it all gone wrong? For those who might happen to be wondering, the lead story on the Ceefax racing pages last Thursday night was 'Red Rum wins third National'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Here's a question - will the Tizzards enter Joe Lively for the Gold Cup?"

Er, yes. They already have - the closing date for entry was January 6th. All entries available in the usual outlets.