Friday, April 12, 2013

National coverage

It barely seems a week since I was writing a post with selections for the 2013 National...

Racing breathed a collective sigh of relief as the participants returned safe and sound; it didn't seem to matter that the winner was an unconsidered 66/1 longshot, Auroras Encore.

Perhaps I should qualify that statement - it mattered to the layers, as William Hill CEO Ralph Topping made clear in his post-race blog: 'But I'm a bookmaker first and foremost and it's our William Hill shareholders who top the podium today.'


Generally Channel 4 appeared well satisfied with viewing figures which peaked at 8.9 million but certain aspects of their coverage left me decidedly dissatisfied.

After two false starts in the Topham the previous day, the start to this year's National was always going to come under close scrutiny. The C4 team very nearly missed the boat completely with commentator Simon Holt still talking to camera while in the background eagle-eyed viewers could spot the 40 runners merrily setting off on their way.

The post-race re-run was slow to be compiled and, when it arrived, verged on the shambolic. The editorial decision to show the field jumping selected fences from different angles quickly led to confusion amongst the commentators, never mind the viewers.

Nick Luck's valiant efforts to keep commentating colleagues in check as well as the show on the road were admirable but in vain; he was fighting something of a losing battle when his instructions to 'stop' the re-run in order to discuss a particular point were then completely ignored by the station's technical team.

I'm still not sure whether I saw a replay of the three unseated riders at the Canal Turn on the first circuit...

Naively, I thought I could hop off to the Channel 4 On Demand site (4oD) to catch a replay of the great race. Not so. I was offered a replay of Alan Carr's Grand National Specstacular and Friday evening's excellent How To Win the Grand National but no replay of the race itself.


Tomorrow's jumping cards have a low-key feel; I haven't done much homework. That said, I couldn't help but notice Claret Cloak heading the weights for the 4.15 handicap hurdle at Stratford. Now, Emma Lavelle has had a season from hell but this one was third behind Raya Star in a listed race at Ascot before Christmas and has form behind My Tent Or Yours in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and held an entry in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham before connections opted for the County Hurdle where the gelding finished mid-division.

Lavelle may have had only one winner since December 15th (Killyglass in the Aintree bumper last Saturday at odds of 20/1) but better ground is likely to suit her charge here and the tissue price of 10/1 looks decent each-way value for a horse with this profile running in a Stratford Class 3 handicap.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Well, no fancy 10/1 prices about Claret Cloak but the selection, sent off 11/4 favourite, went to the head of affairs before the last and, despite hitting that obstacle hard enough, had one and a quarter lengths in hand over Seventh Sky (9/2) on the line.