Sunday, October 10, 2010

Anticipation, fun and misuse of the whip

As the National Hunt season moves into gear, I'm reminded of the old saying: horse racing - half the fun is in the anticipation. Here's a selection of early seaon targets for some well known horses, as noted in Saturday's Times:

Twist Magic (P. Nicholls) Haldon Gold Cup, Exeter

Tataniano (P. Nicholls) Cheltenham Open meeting

Kauto Star (P. Nicholls) Down Royal, November 6th; King George

Denman (P. Nicholls) Hennessy Gold Cup, Newbury

Imperial Commander (N. Twiston-Davies) Betfair Chase, Haydock

What A Friend (P.Nicholls) Betfair Chase, Haydock

Master Minded (P.Nicholls) Ascot, late November

Additional running plans noted include:

Big Fella Thanks (F.Murphy) Hennessy Gold Cup, Newbury

Wolf Moon (M.Keighley) Cheltenham Showcase meeting, October 15th

Total Submission (M.Keighley) Cheltenham Showcase meeting, October 15th

Benbane Head (M.Keighley) Cheltenham Showcase meeting, October 16th

There's a whisper in some quarters that Nicky Henderson can take the trainers' title this season. John O'Hara's comment is worth noting: 'In all my time of talking to trainers for the Weekender I have never seen a jumps yard more full of quality than the one Nicholls is preparing for the 2010-11 season'. William Hill bet 4/9 Nicholls, 2/1 Henderson, 20/1 bar.

In a driving finish at Chepstow yesterday Ruby Walsh managed to get the Paul Nicholls trained Escort'men home a nose in front of 2/1 favourite Olofi ridden by Paddy Brennan. After Walsh had dismounted, he had recourse to resort to the whip once again before weighing in as a gentleman dressed in a red T-shirt entered the winner's enclosure and attempted to mount the chestnut gelding. The offender was promptly chased off by Walsh, the threat of a slap from the persuader enough to bring the him into line. The culprit was quickly escorted from the premises. Good Lord! Just what is the world coming to? Rumours that Walsh was subsequently given a one day ban by local stewards for misuse of the whip are wide of the mark.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Postcript to Chepstow / Ruby Walsh incident: Walsh actually was given a one day ban - for careless riding; as far as I'm aware, the date is set for Saturday Oct 23rd.

Rumours that the stewards gave the punter (who was putting up four and a half stone overweight) seven days for the same offence are knwon to be wide of the mark.