Friday, October 12, 2018

Chepstow chinwag

Back in the middle of the long hot summer we've just enjoyed Harry Skelton was some twenty winners ahead of Richard Johnson in the race to become the 2018/19 champion jockey; the tally this evening reads: Johnson 98, Skelton 87.

Exeter's meeting yesterday may have been abandoned due to hard ground but it's raining and blowing a gale outside at the moment.

Tomorrow Chepstow stages its opening meeting of the core NH season.This two-day jamboree is one to watch with the future in mind; the falling rain further tempers enthusiasm for a wager.

Earlier this afternoon Maria's Benefit (fourth in the mares' hurdle at the Festival in March) ran out a comfortable winner on her chase debut on heavy ground at Newton Abbot with 2017 Fred Winter winner Flying Tiger failing to impress in the jumping department.

Several think Colin Tizzard holds a strong hand in the novice chase division this year.

Both Vision Des Flos (my each-way selection for the Ballymore where he finished sixth behind Samcro) and Lostintranslation (seventh behind Summerville Boy in the Supreme and then four weeks later beaten half a length by Black Op at Aintree) held five-day entries for the Smerdon Tree Novices' Chase (Chepstow 3.35) but neither has made the final cut.

Trained by Paul Nicholls, Master Tommytucker came to my attention a couple of months back but he's priced up favourite this evening and Monbeg Legend, officially rated 147, will be no pushover and could easily have a fitness edge.

With Chepstow such an idiosyncratic track it's easy to see why previous course and distance winner Rock The Kasbah is favourite for the handicap chase at 5.20. Cobra De Mai is of some interest; he was beaten by a smart sort in Javert at Uttoxeter over two and a half miles the last day - after this race connections will find out whether he needs further a little further these days.

Since my last post in July two racing-related publications from former times have come into my possession. Racing Review (May - June 1949) describes itself as 'the foremost illustrated monthly journal for Sportsmen of the Turf' and is priced at two shillings & sixpence; and the official racecard for the Ladbroke Chester Handicap meeting on 4th May 1976. Ladbroke's sponsorship of the Chester Handicap on that day was the princely sum of £2,100.

Finally a work colleague helpfully mailed me a link to this story

The BHA is set to give racecourse obstacles a yellow makeover in trials after researchers discovered horses tend to see the currently-used orange as a shade of green.

How my colleague thinks this research will help improve my betting selections is quite frankly beyond me. I pointed this out to him in a rather snappy reply.

"Making the obstacles easier to see is unlikely to be of any discernible benefit to the beasts I tend to waste my hard-earned on. As a general rule of thumb, the issue for the horses I tend to bet isn't so much they can't see the obstacles, rather it's they struggle to run fast enough to keep up with the other horses in the race."

Looking forward to losing more of my hard-earned with you over the coming months...


Mulldog said...

The jumps are back!

GeeDee said...

Love the jumps, Mully!