Sunday, February 08, 2009

Displacement activity

I'm sure you'll have noticed that the latest cold snap has led to a marked reduction in the number of betting opportunities presenting themselves to racing fans. In an attempt to address this shortcoming, at the back end of last week I picked up a boxed version of Chad Valley's 'Gallop' game. For those who are unfamiliar with this product, think Waddington's 'Escalado' except it's manufactured by Chad Valley.

We've run a number of six runner races over the one mile two furlong straight course, watching several thrilling finishes in the process. There was drama indeed in last Thursday's 12.35, pictured above with the runners approaching the four furlong pole. The current leader, Plastic Showman, a 5/1 shot carrying the yellow silks, went off like a scalded cat and started to drift towards his right as he tired. The trainer had decided to put up a lightweight amateur who struggled to keep the mount straight, depsite having the whip in the correct hand.

Near the finish the horse veered violently when still in the lead, dumping the unfortunate jock onto the turf in the process, and gifting the prize to the only grey in the race, Little White Lie (14/1). A stewards' inquiry followed but the result was allowed to stand.

A photo was called for the minor placings with Brown Envelope (green colours nearest the camera) just pipping Bay Leaf (3/1) on the line. The 11/8 favourite, furthest from the camera in the light blue, appeared to have been given far too much to do by his jockey and was allowed to come home in his own time. When interviewed after the race the trainer said he thought the firm going hadn't suited the horse. The one bookmaker at the track reported there were no suspicious betting patterns on the race but he had noticed a large lump of Blu-Tack stuck to the favourite's tail as he crossed the line. The matter has been referred to the Jockey Club, although a date has not yet been set for the hearing. No matter what anyone tells you, it has to be better than all-weather racing, doesn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've heard from a source of mine that Bay Leaf might be running over the (match) sticks next season.