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The Olympic Games or, The ‘If It’s Not British Then We’re Not Showing It Olympic Games’ as the BBC should rename it, is finally nearing its conclusion (feels a lot longer than two weeks). With the athletics being on far too late, it’s fallen a bit flat for me.
I never thought that watching young men in tight speedos or even tighter lycra would do it for me but I have to say that I enjoyed the track cycling and diving most. British people are very fast on bikes and Chinese people know how to jump into water without splashing extremely well. The tae-kwon-do was also interesting. There is not enough live kicking on prime Saturday TV in my opinion. I also never expected to ever hear the words shouted out: “kick her in the face” by my daughter at any stage in her life. I also quite enjoyed the end of the modern pentathlon, mainly as it reminded me of the European version of It’s A Knockout. All it required as far as I could see was people pouring water into different colour cylinders.
I can’t remember the last time when the Sports Personality of the Year wasn’t an Olympian in Olympic year so the likes of Andy Murray, Jason Kenny, Mo Farah, Laura Trott and Max Whitlock should dominate come the big night. I’ll take a look at that market later this week in the General Sports section where I have a view at the prices.
I do hope that Nick Skelton also makes it onto the final shortlist. I always enjoyed watching the show jumping when it was on the BBC on a Saturday night around three times a year during my early my teens. John Whitaker and Ryan’s Son (who often bucked out when completing a combination) were my favourites ahead of Towerlands Anglezarke (Malcolm Pyrah), Boomerang (Eddie Macken) and Deister (Paul Schockemohle) with Nick Skelton not far behind on Apollo. Caroline Bradley, Liz Edgar, David Broome, Harvey and Robert Smith – it’s all flooding back to me now. What an achievement it was for Dan and Harry Skelton’s dad to take the gold medal aged 58 to add to his OBE. Amazing to think now that show jumping had a prime TV slot when we had just three of four channels.
York went okay. As highlighted in the final summaries I fancied a few of the winners such as Barsanti, Seventh Heaven, Nemoralia, Blue Point, Rivet, Idaho, Scottish and the 1-2 in the Galtres Stakes (plus the nursery went well on Day 1 with the with nominated horse winning at 13/2 and the nominated each-way horse hitting the frame at 50/1) but I didn’t land on any of the bigger-priced winners. Perhaps I should concentrate more on nurseries after that and the Glorious Goodwood result? There is actually a book called Nursery Class written by Malcolm Boyle that gives insights into the best way to tackle those races. I read it a couple of years back and took a couple of things out of it.
The next big meetings I am covering will be the last three days of the St Leger Meeting at Doncaster and both days of Irish Champions Weekend so that will be a very busy weekend indeed, especially with the BMW Golf and US Open Tennis finals also taking place. The Celebration Mile is the feature race of next weekend so it’s a fairly quiet one so there will be no Ante-Post Focus this Wednesday.
With regards to golf, the Play-Offs for the Fed-Ex Cup start this week with The Barclays at Bethpage Black and I’ll be covering all four of those events and then the Ryder Cup. Of the 19 elements to the All-Inclusive Service, I was surprised to see golf up as high as sixth in the recent survey I sent out to members given that it’s primarily a horseracing website, only behind the five core elements of the Race Previews (Jumps and Flat) and Ante-Post (Cheltenham, Weekly Focus & Royal Ascot) so I will look to extend that coverage in 2017 in some way.
Carl Redden is currently climbing Mount Kilimanjaro but will back in time to cover the US Open Tennis which starts on August 29th. We have our noses slightly in front re the football after the first two weekends thanks to Burnley beating Liverpool at 6/1 and I’ll be back again on Friday for the next instalment of Premier League Picks.