Sunday, October 24, 2010

Some Sunday snippets

Following a number of disappointments last season, Alan King would have been keen to hit the ground running this weekend. Some of the yard's big names returned to action but I'm guessing the handler won't be full of smiles this evening. At Aintree yesterday Mille Chief finished fifth, over fifteen lengths behind the Philip Hobbs trained winner Nearby while at Chepstow Lidar's first try at two and a half miles in the Persian War Novices' Hurdle saw the chestnut gelding pulled up three from home. Earlier today trainer's pick and Triumph Hurdle favourite Franklino could only finish third, seventeen adrift of 50/1 winner Mason Hindmarsh and Pena Dorada. At least Medermit (1/5f) won on his chasing debut but it was something of a bloodless victory against two rivals and his tendency to jump low would be a cause for concern in the future.

There were no problems for Cheltenham bumper winner Cue Card though - the King's Theatre gelding won at Aintree this afternoon on his first try over hurdles (at the rather prohibitive odds of 1/2).

On the first day of conditional trading, shares in the betting exchange operator Betfair showed a profit of 20%, finishing the day at £15.50, £2.50 ahead of the offer price of £13. According to The Times, founders Edward Wray and Andrew Black sold shares to the value of £14.4 million and £16.5 million respectively; Mr Wray's stake is now valued at £180 million while Mr Black's is worth £172 million. Unconditional trading in the shares starts on Wednesday.

Wanted: agreement on the horse racing levy before the end of this week - otherwise the Government will be called on to step in.

Julian David Bonhote Wilson, the former BBC racing correspondent, wouldn't necessarily be everybody's cup of tea but you can't help admire the bloke. In a Weekender interview he slates current BBC coverage, comparing the corporation's output in the 1980s (100 days) to the present day (12 days). Asked if he's ever thought of giving it all up, he replies at least once a month and when asked who he would invite to a dinner party at home, he comes up with '...and any good-looking intelligent, wealthy woman, who ended the evening with the magic words..."Will you buy me a horse?"'

Finally, just in case you missed them, recently compiled a selection of comedy racing clips. My favourite has to be Lee Mack as the Fast Talking Jockey on The Sketch Show. Enjoy.

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