Sunday, May 08, 2011

Quick points

Haydock's Swinton Hurdle looked extremely competitive beforehand but Nicky Henderson's Eradicate ran out an impressive 13 length winner and in the process became the first horse to win consecutive runnings of the race.

In Ireland overall attendance at the Punchestown Festival was, remarkably, higher than last year while Paul Townend claimed his first champion jockeys' title.

The decsion of connections to go to Royal Ascot with 2000 Guineas winner Frankel means Thursday's Dante Stakes at York should prove informative. At the time of writing, 11 are declared; in the ante-post market layers seem unable to choose a favourite from World Domination, Seville and Carlton House, owned by The Queen.

My mate Mike Cattermole didn't appear at the top of his game during Channel Four's coverage from Ascot on Saturday. Immediately after three pound claimer Gary Bartley had ridden Hawkeyethenoo to victory in the Victoria Cup, Cattermole used the rather dodgy link... 'Let's find out what it was like on top - Emma's with the winning jockey.' He then went on to call 5/1 favourite Horseradish the fourth horse home when in fact the favourite had been pipped a nose for that spot by 9/1 chance Brae Hill. I'm not going to be too harsh on uncle Mike - I'm sure he'll improve as the season progresses...

Finally, for reasons beyond comprehension, last week's royal wedding continues to haunt. A couple of days ago a colleague approached and asked if I'd appointed Angela Rippon to work as a correspondent for the blog. It transpires the lady in question has been appointed PG Tips' Official Royal-Tea Expert. I suspect that on current form Ms Rippon has more chance of tipping you a winner than me; in the words of songwriter Irving Berlin:

'There may be trouble ahead
But while there's moonlight and music
And love and romance
Let's face the music and dance.'

After that I'm off for a lie-down.

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