Sunday, October 25, 2009

Noted this weekend

The two star performances over the weekend were St Nicholas Abbey winning the Racing Post Trophy and over in Ireland Dunguib taking the maiden hurdle at Galway. This evening St Nicholas Abbey is generally 3/1 and 7/2 for next year's 2000 Guineas and 3/1 for the Derby, but Stan James go as short as 2/1. Dunguib is generally a 5/2 shot for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham next March.

Paul Nicholls may have come away from Chepstow without a winner yesterday but it was no surprise to see his Pepe Simo (5/2) take the Paul Nicholls Racing 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle at Wincanton today, beating the 13/8 favourite Henry King a length and a quarter.

During the BBC's coverage from Aintree on Saturday Clare Balding mentioned the John Smith's marketing campaign which is set to offer drinkers a share in the people's racehorse, a three-year-old called Smithy. Viewers were encouraged to check the John Smith's website for details. I've just had a quick peek - there are 'bogof' offers to several interesting meets but finding details of Smithy wasn't easy. An article from Marketing informed us we can register our interest from January 2010, and it was that article that pointed me in the direction of the link to Smithy's Yard, Home of the People's Racehorse.

With Christmas creeping ever closer, two more books of interest - Marcus Armytage offers some frivolous racing tales in 'Turn Me On Guv: 'Tails' from the Racecourse', while those looking for something a little more serious may want to consider fellow blogger Ben Aitken's 'Narrowing The Field - Using the Dosage Method to Win at National Hunt Racing', available from the High Stakes bookshop.

Several acquaintances have been quick to tell me about Wrexham's indifferent start in the Blue Square Premiership this season. Mrs Tips, ever the helpful one, suggested the club sent a scout to run his eye over some dolphins who were filmed off the north Wales coast, playing football with jellyfish... Staying with the football theme, I had to smile at the commentator's introduction to the Chelsea versus Blackburn Rovers match on Match Of The Day last night. "If football was played on paper," he boomed, "we would win the pools every week!" Doesn't sound a bad idea to me.

Finally, spare a thought for amateur rider Victoria Cartmel who made history yesterday by becoming the first jockey to be banned for misuse of the whip and dropping her hands in the same race, the finale at Newbury yesterday. Sometimes, you just can't do right for doing wrong...

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