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Today is the first day of the Hennessy Meeting which is a most competitive card and features a cracking renewal of the Grade 2 staying novice chase plus the exciting Modus has his second start over hurdles. Shaneshill also makes his chase debut at Thurles this afternoon. I will be uploading a preview of Friday’s card later this afternoon and, in case you missed it, I gave my updated view on the Hennessy plus a look at the Fighting Fifth in yesterday’s Big Race Focus.
The seven-runner novice chase I am referring to today which features Un Temps Pour Tout, Value At Risk and Beast Of Burden (all three receive weight from their four rivals), takes place over an extended 2m7f so you might therefore think that should be a better RSA guide than the 2m4f novice chase that takes place at Newbury tomorrow but only Lord Noelie of RSA winners that I can recall has run here. Tomorrow’s shorter novice chase has, however, been a recent launch pad for three Gold Cup winners; Denman, Bobs Worth and Coneygree. You may also want to keep an eye on this three-day meeting with regards to the NH Chase at the Festival as four of the last eight British-trained winners of the Four Miler ran at this fixture.
Four more trainers (Jonjo O’Neill, Rebecca Curtis, Evan Williams and Charlie Longsdon) have been added to the Trainer Trends section taking us up to 20. I am slowly building up towards Messrs, Nicholls, Henderson and Mullins! Andy Richmond’s weekly Thursday column, Trading Talk, is also available to read and Mike Henderson will be covering the latest in a frenetic series of televised darts events, The Players’ Championship, tomorrow with Michael Van Gerwen bidding for a fourth straight victory in recent weeks on TV.
I don’t want to get you all too excited too early but I received an email this morning from the official Eurovision Song Contest organisers saying that tickets are going on sale today at 10.00 a.m. They usually sell out in 15 minutes. Next year there will be a record-equalling 43 participants matching 2008 and 2011. Australia are invited back but this time need to qualify from the semi-finals rather than being given a bye straight into the final and 2016 will see the return of Croatia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine, you seriously lucky people!