Monday, May 16, 2011

Recent racing titbits

I don't know why but since the royal wedding matters royal continue to crop up. A couple of weeks ago the Daily Mail reported that the Queen had looked after Frankie Dettori's lost dachsund Scruby. Then at York last Thursday Midday won the Middleton Stakes while half an hour later the Queen's Carlton House won the Dante in some style. Her Majesty's colt, apparently gifted to her by Sheikh Mohammed, is now a short-priced favourite for the Epsom Derby on Saturday June 4th. All that has encouraged further royal foraging - Marcus Armytage in the Daily Telegraph pointed out that:

The Queen has never won the Derby - in 1953, the year of her Coronation, Aureole finished second to Pinza;

The last monarch to win the Derby was King Edward VII in 1909 with Minoru.

Professor Gerda Reith of Glasgow University has carried out research of a different kind and discovered that the use of Fixed Odds Betting Terminal (FOBTs) in betting shops can lead to problems. 'Betting machines are particularly risky because of the enormous speed at which they take gamblers' money.'

Today's students are likely to be familiar with the idea of running up big debts, so perhaps it's unsurprising to see the BHA trying to entice them into the world of racehorse ownership. Love The Races has leased Tim Vaughan's Tae Kwon Do to a select band of students until the end of June as part of a prize in a recently-held comeptition. Last time out the gelding ran better than his 14/1 market price would have suggested beforehand, finishing third in a handicap hurdle at Wincanton. I'd imagine connections will be keen to land a small race before the lease runs out. In a somewhat similar vein Bangor blog selection Wake Board won with his head in his chest on Saturday despite pulling hard through most of the race and a hiccup two form home; have current connections found the key to this enigmatic individual?

Finally, I leave you with the thought that you tend to come across a different type of woman in the jumping game. At the Punchestown Festival Ladies' Day recently Daybreak presenter Grainne Seoige turned up wearing steel toe-capped heels, no doubt of particular use when dealing with the unwanted attentions of over-amourous male punters keen to try their luck...

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