Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weighed in

The Glorious Goodwood meeting starts on Tuesday, with the Betfair Cup and the Gordon Stakes highlights on the opening day. Other races to look forward to include the Sussex Stakes on Wednesday, the two mile Goodwood Cup on Thursday, the Richmond Stakes on Friday while Saturday's features are the Nassau Stakes and the Stewards' Cup. A word to the wise - this isn't a meeting I've done particularly well at over the years.

Earlier in the week there was something of a shock when the Daily Mail reported that Michael Owen, currently on tour with Manchester United in the Far East, had sacked his trainer Nicky Vaughan. Now you can't help but feel some sympathy for Vaughan - the horses have the virus and you wake up one morning to be told by Owen's mother, Jeanette, that you've just joined the growing ranks of the unemployed. Reading between the lines, I don't think Mr Vaughan was particularly impressed with his treatment either... 'I haven't spoken to Michael, everything has been done by his mother. Working with high-profile people, these things are always likely to happen.' Mr Owen didn't appear to waste any time in arranging a replacement - the very next day both the Daily Mail and the Guardian reported that Tom Dascombe was set to take over the reins at the Cheshire stables, with financial backing coming from Betfair co-founder Andrew 'Bert' Black.

On the same day the Guardian also ran a story confirming that the BHA is investigating the running of Paul Nicholls' Predateur in a novice chase at Huntingdon on May 6th. Ridden by Christian Williams on this occasion, the horse, sent off second favourite in a field of four, went from 'every chance on bit 2 out' to 'ridden and found little' rather quickly. A trawl through his recent form would suggest this wasn't necessarily the first time this has happened.

Those of you who use the Racing Post website will know all about the recent introduction of charges for their Members' Club. I haven't subscribed and the other day, very helpfully, the Racing Post sent me an email pointing out the error of my ways. The mail lists the areas of the site I won't be able to access (thank you for that) unless I subscribe at a cost of £7.50 per month or 25p a day - 'that costs less than a third of a loaf of bread a day'. Now, I know what you're wondering - what's the price of a loaf of bread? Well, the loaf of bread the Racing Post has used for its comparison is the Hovis Wholemeal Thick (800g) from Sainsbury's which was on sale at £1.24 in June (but is actually reduced at the moment to £1). The mail finishes 'Use your loaf and make more dough. Keep in the know.' Lines like that - they're enough to make a grown man cry.

Finally, Mrs Tips spotted a potential bet in a snippet from Saturday's Times. Roger Federer and his wife Mirka have recently celebrated the birth of their twin daughters, Charlene Riva and Myla Rose. 'Bookmakers are offering 100-1 on either twin winning Wimbledon.' That has to be worth a tenner of anyone's money, doesn't it?

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