Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend notes

Expresso Star proved to be the proverbial Group horse in a handicap, taking Saturday's Lincoln by two and and a half lengths from Zaahid. Bookmakers had indicated earlier in the week that they feared Expresso Star. In Saturday's Racing Post Kate Miller of William Hill notes the eventual winner was the only loser in their book; the money arrived for the horse over the past fortnight.

This week's racing will be dominated by the big Aintree meeting which starts Thursday. If allowed to take his chance, Denman will be worth watching on the first day in the Totesport Bowl Steeple Chase. Trainer Paul Nicholls in yesterday's Racing Post: "I'm making Denman my pigeon catcher as no horse has impressed me more since Cheltenham." Denman was 7/1 to win the Gold Cup two and a half weeks ago; at the time of writing he's odds on with Betfair to take this event. Friday is Ladies' Day - I guess there will be plenty of opportunity to spot the rich and famous - and news is that apparently Wayne Rooney's wife Coleen is expecting their first child. Saturday is the day of the big race itself, the Grand National. The National is the one omission on Tony McCoy's impressive CV - this will be his fourteenth attempt to land the spoils. His mount, Butler's Cabin, currently trades at around 10/1.

After watching ITV's tribute to Brian Clough earlier in the week, my mind wandered back to the days of black and white television, John Rickman, the 'ITV Seven' and racing results which were displayed on screen in a grid/table type form that, I'm guessing, had to be written out manually, probably by one of the ladies you could see working behind Dickie Davies. I'm sure it was Graham Goode who used to say '...and now for some full SPs' by way of introduction. Will we ever see the like again?

What's Paul Merson doing these days? Well, he's struck himself an advertising deal with a bookmaker called Better... I have nothing else to say.

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