Monday, May 03, 2010

In brief

At Newmarket's Guineas meeting the layers were happy enough with a 33/1 winner in the colts' Classic (although I note the return was only £12.80 on the Tote) but the stewards' decision to reverse placings in the fillies' equivalent is thought to have cost the industry £5 million.

Having said that, bookmakers can't be doing too badly - look what they've been spending our money on. William Hill has sponsored the Monster Raving Loony Party during this election while Paddy Power has paid £10,000 for a new confessional box at a Catholic church in Newmarket.

Equiano's all-the-way win in the Palace House Stakes on Saturday was impressive. Channel 4's Emma Spencer interviewed winning jockey Michael Hills on the walk back to the winner's enclosure, while John Francome observed the entire looked 'ready run in the next'. With the bay still taking a strong hold, the microphone picked up Michael remarking to Emma, 'He'll be the first man to run away from you!'

Last week's Racing For Change initiative, offering racegoers free admission to several courses, appears to have been a resounding success but the trial of decimal odds at Ascot on Wednesday was branded a failure by several layers who reported a big drop in turnover and, as we all know, for bookmakers turnover is everything.

Finally, a National Hunt footnote to finish on; best wishes go to Robert and Sally Alner who have announced they intend to retire from training this summer. The yard won the 1998 Cheltenham Gold Cup with Cool Dawn (returned at odds of 25/1) while Sir Rembrandt was a particular favourite of mine.

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