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Today is the official start of both The Jumps Season Service and the All-Inclusive Service. Up until this point all the content has been live testing so has been extra free copy for those who subscribed early which I hope you have benefitted from, but now we start properly with my preview of the first day of the Cheltenham three-day Open Meeting which will be uploaded late afternoon in Race Previews. I have already given my early views on the Paddy Power Gold Cup in Big Race Focus. Andy Richmond’s second article in his weekly Trading Talk feature is now available to read in Guest Contributions and Mike Henderson will be continuing with daily darts previews this week in Sport. The weekend preview will be uploaded on Friday late afternoon and the first proper Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post service will be uploaded at 7pm on Monday.
I was sorry to hear about the loss of Pat Eddery. During my most formative years he was my favourite jockey and he rode two of my three favourite Flat horses as a kid in Pebbles and Dancing Brave. Soba being the other. He may not have been as charismatic of some of his peers but he was the best of his era for many years with a potent combination of a tactical brain and strength in a finish. As much as I admired Cauthen and Carson, Eddery was the man. My only visit to the St Leger coincided with Eddery winning his 4000th race aboard Silver Patriarch but my strongest memory of him was aboard Rainbow Quest when he won the Arc on the rightful disqualification of Sagace. A £20 win was a big win for me back in 1985.
As you know I am putting together Trainer Trends for the jumps season and am around halfway through that process and will keep adding to it. On Tuesday the Racing Post produced a 12 page statistical guide to the Flat Season and what jumped out at me most was that Simon Crisford topped the strike rate table at 28% (21-76). That is some achievement for a first-season trainer and illustrates what an adept placer of horses he is.