Friday, January 18, 2013

Snow patrol

Saturday's scheduled turf fixtures at Ascot, Haydock and Taunton have all been abandoned, as has Sunday's card at Towcester. The weather has certainly played its part this NH season - soft / heavy ground practically everywhere through autumn and now the snow has arrived.

You know, with the abandonment of Cheltenham on New Year's Day, Channel 4 Racing seems to have unwittingly kicked off the Festival Preview merry-go-round some six weeks early.

In last Saturday's Racing Post Carl Hicks, the man now at the helm of Channel 4's racing coverage, said: 'I'd give us seven out of ten so far.' I'm inclined to mark a little more harshly - as was often noted on my 'old school' school reports, IMG Sports Media 'needs to try harder'. In the Weekender the previous week Tom Segal said he thought Highflyer's offering was better; I agree - at the moment I'm struggling to give Carl and his team a six.

Still, with the weather the way it is and the Festival seven and a half weeks distant, it would seem churlish not to make at least one suggestion. Over the years the ante-post market for the Festival Bumper (last race on the Wednesday) has proved particularly volatile but Mick Channon's Sgt Reckless is of interest, although I admit I've missed the boat with his price now 16/1, having been 33s earlier in the week.

The handler nominated this one for the bumper at the Open meeting in November but the gelding missed that appointment on account of a pulled muscle. Since then he has given weight and a beating to a field on the all-weather at Lingfield in a time over five seconds faster than the corresponding division of the race run 30 minutes earlier.

Of course, it wouldn't be particularly diligent to read too much into times recorded in bumper races and I'm not particularly keen on ante-post wagers but if some of that previously-mentioned market volatility were to surface in the next week or two, I could be tempted into taking an interest.

In the meantime, with no prospect of turf racing for the foreseeable future, Snow Patrol suggest:

'Let's waste time
Chasing cars
Around our heads.'

[Snow Patrol, Chasing Cars]   


Mulldog said...

Very good PG. Snow Patrol...I like the apt pun.

GeeDee said...

Cheers, Mully ;)

Snowing quite heavily here at the moment - see Cheltenham are considering a move to Sunday for the Trials Day card.