Sunday, October 18, 2009

Taking stock

The jumps season starts to take centre stage in the next couple of weeks but a couple of events this week haven't necessarily shown the game in the best light. There were four fatalities at Wetherby on Wednesday; the course will have to pass an inspection before the meeting scheduled for Friday and Saturday October 30th / 31st will be allowed to go ahead - the Charlie Hall Chase is the feature of the Saturday. Meanwhile, yesterday at Cheltenham of all places, the four runners in the five o'clock race were forced to take the wrong course after staff failed to remove a temporary running rail. A stewards' inquiry ensued and all jockeys were exonerated - how often do we see that happen? The incident has been referred to the BHA - rumours that the groundstaff concerned have been served with a one-day ban for misuse of the rails are wide of the mark.

Two impressive winners this weekend... The proverbial handicap snip Darley Sun ran out an easy winner of the Cesarewitch and the Kempton Christmas Hurdle is now on the agenda for Starluck after the gelding won on his seasonal debut whilst remaining in second gear.

Earlier this week in The Times Paul Nicholls put up three dark horses from the yard to watch out for - Aiteen Thirtythree, Royal Charm and Valentine Vic. Don't say I didn't tell you.

Finally, as Sea The Stars prepares to take up a new career at stud, Julian Muscat composed a fascinating double-page spread for Thursday's The Times that gave a glimpse into the esoteric world of the horse breeder. Hills offer 12/1 that any of Sea The Stars' first crop of three-year-olds will win a classic.


Ben Aitken said...

Did Paul Nicholls suggest where his "Dark Horses" are likely to end up?

Royal Charm looks interesting, being a half brother to Big Bucks.

GeeDee said...

Ben - of Royal Charm says he'll start at Exeter next month; Valentine Vic will go novice hurdling but is chaser of the future.

Of Aiteen Thirtythree [not *Alteen* Thirtythree - my eyesight's going...]: "If ever there was another Denman, this is it."

In today's RP Philip Hobbs points out that Timeform have his Qroktou as one of their top half dozen bumper horses from last season; Qroktou finished three quarters of a length behind Aiteen Thirtythee at Chepstow, giving the Nicholls' charge seven pounds. Hobbs says he hopes Timefrom are right as Qroktou 'is not quick and is going to want 2m 4f when he makes his debut over hurdles'.
Further information likely to be available in next Monday's RP (Oct 26) when 'Stable Tour' deals with Paul Nicholls' and Noel Meade's yards.