Sunday, November 21, 2010

Racing bytes

Imperial Commander took the Betfair Chase in impressive fashion at Haydock yesterday. Coral has taken a stance betting 11/8 Kauto Star 13/2 Imperial Commander for the King George on Boxing Day; Long Run is generally available at 7/1. Earlier today Sam Twiston-Davies' burgeoning career took another giant step forward when Hello Bud collected the Becher Handicap Chase but, speaking personally, this weekend's stand-out performance was Silviniaco Conti's facile victory in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot; layers quote Paul Nicholls' four-year-old at 14s for the Champion Hurdle and 10s for the World Hurdle at Cheltenham next March.

Two older members of the training fraternity have been in the news over the past few days. On Thursday Reg Brown, 89, saddled Tiptronic to take Hereford's opening juvenile hurdle at odds of 100/1 (112.3/1 on the Tote) while Michael Banks, a mere youngster by comparison at the age of 70, was inclined to blame the ground for the defeat of the well-fancied Clerk's Choice in yesterday's four-year-old hurdle at Haydock.

Matt Crawley put in a superb round of riding at Musselburgh on Friday aboard Lastroseofsummer. In the course of the race the rider lost both irons and then the saddle slipped but the seven pound claimer kept the partnership intact to win the Scottish Mares' Maiden Hurdle at odds of 11/2. Pulling up proved slightly more difficult - the mare unceremoniously dumped the jock on the turf after they'd passed the winning post. Something of a lady's prerogative, I suppose...

Adapted from a piece in last Monday's Times which looked at family ties in racing... Niall "Boots" Madden could finish no better than fifth in the Grand National but son Niall "Slippers" Madden won the 2006 running of the great race aboard Numbersixvalverde. 12-year-old brother Tom "Socks" Madden is now cutting his teeth in pony races... [Socks and Teeth? What's all that about?]

Finally, I see Irish point winner Kilcrea Kim takes on seasoned handicappers in the Gwynne Price Handicap Hurdle at Ffos Las tomorrow. The novice beat Drill Sergeant eight lengths on his seasonal debut which looks decent enough form but the chestneut gelding is priced up 7/4 favourite in the tissue this evening which doesn't make much appeal at all.

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