Sunday, January 16, 2011

The day after the King George...

Kauto's brave attempt to win the King George for a fifth consecutive time failed yesterday but talk of his demise and early retirement are perhaps premature after it came to light that the eleven-year-old burst a blood vessel in yesterday's race. Fighting talk from owner Clive Smith indicates he doesn't think age has caught up with Kauto - connections are to prepare for another tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. Layers take differing views this evening - Betfred offer 7/1, Stan James and William Hill 12/1.

Nicky Henderson had a fabulous day training five winners, including the winner of the King George, Long Run. Well done to amateur jockey Mr Sam Waley-Cohen who gave his mount a fine ride. Off the top of my head, the last amateur I can recall winning a high profile race is Mr Marcus Armytage who rode Mr Frisk to victory in the 1990 Grand National in a record time. Marcus Armytage now earns a living as a racing reporter for The Daily Telegraph.

If jumping is the name of the game, two horses whose jumping really caught the eye were Long Run and Binocular. Connections have clearly been hard at work with Long Run and it paid dividends yesterday. In the post-race interview Sam Waley-Cohen indicated this horse had problems shortening up at fences and Yogi Bresner had been called in to help. In the Christmas Hurdle Binocular was frighteningly quick over the obstacles - JP McManus' gelding is now as low as 5/2 to retain the Champion Hurdle in March.

Nicholls' other runner in the King George, The Nightingale, was disappointing - Sam Thomas pulled up the gelding three from home; later the horse was found to be suffering from a fibrillating heart, a condition from which stablemate Denman suffered in 2008.

Finally - bookmaker reaction to Henderson's five-timer? Half the odds on the handler winning the trainers' title!

No comments: