Monday, June 07, 2010

Another one horse race?

In what Kempton Park racecourse describes as 'an exciting UK first', the last race at their meeting on Wednesday 30th June will see Olympic silver medalist Jamie Baulch run against a horse over the final 100 metres of the all-weather track. In this unique Man v. Horse handicap, the horse has to start 20 metres behind the human, the winner claiming £10,000 prize money for their charity. With Fergus Sweeney in the plate, the horse is expected to complete the course in less than twelve seconds and consequently the bookmakers have installed the equine contestant as their favourite.

The names of two Brendan Powell trained sprinters have been put forward to take on Baulch - Peopleton Brook, an eight year old entire who has won 9 of his 88 starts to date and Who's Winning, a nine year old chestnut gelding who has won 11 of his 114 starts. A quick look through the form shows that Peopleton Brook tends to be held up at the start of his races while Who's Winning receives the comment 'quickly away' on a couple of occasions.

Aged 37 Baulch would be the first to acknowledge he's probably past his prime but he has been training hard in recent months. On New Year's Day 1995 he ran a personal best of 10.51 seconds over 100 metres. Anything near that puts him in with a fighting chance; should the horse miss the break, surely the deficit will be too big to make up? Of course, the weather will have an important part to play as will the fact the horse is set to race with the benefit of the inside rail.

I'll keep an eye on this story - I don't think Jamie's is a hopeless cause by any stretch of the imagination.

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