Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas considerations

From Cheltenham yesterday - the Twiston-Davies outfit seems to have found the key to Khyber Kim who is now 12/1 for the Champion Hurdle in March while Poquelin's clear victory in a competitive-looking Gold Cup was impressive. The Ryanair Chase at the Festival is his target now for which he's quoted at 5/1. Three pound claimer Danny Cook won't have fond memories of yesterday's race - he took the wrong course on Our Vic and, according to Alistair Down, will now be referred to BHA HQ as this is his second such transgression in the past twelve months.

Over at Doncaster the underrated Graham Lee was seen at his very best, taking the two concluding chases on Watch My Back and Calgary Bay.

For those of us still living in the world of analogue televsion, the news that the Teletext News and Information Service is closing down on December 14th / 15th is little short of a disaster. A reduced racing service continues on Channel 4; I've hung on in there for as long as possible but I think D-day (Digital day) draws ever closer in the Tips' household...

A couple of football related items... Firstly, a mention for the manic Stuart Hall whose football reports are pure joy; he's set to celebrate his eightieth birthday this Christmas Day. Recently asked if he'd ever thought he'd still be working at this ripe old age, Mr. Hall's reply was along the lines of 'I've never considered this work'. Marvellous stuff. Secondly, a colleague in his late twenties recently went into a William Hill shop in a different part of town intent on placing a £2 football accumulator wager. He walked up to the bloke behind the counter, clutching two one pound coins in his sweaty palm, and was promptly asked for ID! When he questioned the cashier (along the lines of 'Eh?'), bloke replied 'Well, I haven't seen you in here before.' Bookmakers knocking back opportunities to make money - it must be the recession.

...and two TV items to conclude with. The BBC's 'Live Sports Personailty of the Year' starts at 7.00 this evening. I shall be watching because, no matter what you think, it takes a special sort of skill to condense a racing year into two minutes forty odd seconds. Clare Balding's Inside Sport interview (entitled 'Kieren Fallon - The Road To Redemption') is likely to be far more interesting and is scheduled for transmission at 11.25pm on Monday evening.

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