Ante Post Focus uploaded - Cheltenham Festival 'Wash Up' Days 1 & 2 uploaded - Ryder Cup Ante Post uploaded - Ante Post Focus on Tingle Creek & King George VI Chase uploaded - Naas Monday (start of Irish Flat Turf Season) uploaded - Paul's Blog uploaded
The Champions Day analysis went quite well I think. Solow touched 6/4 which was the priced I listed in my end summary to get involved, Wicklow Brave hit the frame having suggested that at 14/1 he was an each-way bet and my on-the-day each-way alternative to Jack Hobbs (after Ribbons from ten days earlier) of Fascinating Rock won. Journey was good in the Fillies and Mares race but not quite as good as Simple Verse and I hear that Strath Burn finished lame. I will take an interest in the Breeders’ Cup and give a few thoughts about it in the blog but that’s now it as far as I am concerned with the Flat this season, which I thought was the most boring Flat season for many a year.
Moon Racer might well be the Pipe stable star this season and Sky Bet, who sponsor the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, have enhanced his price today to a standout 10/1 in a nice piece of timing as the jumps season aperitif of The Racing Post stable tour series kicks off today with eight pages on David Pipe where he is going to give us all his well handicapped horses for the next six months. In Kings Palace and Monetaire he could have two big players for the Paddy Power Gold Cup, a race that Nicholashayne have won nine times and I’ll be looking at that race in ‘Big Race Focus’ from an ante-post perspective sometime in the next couple of weeks. I can’t say exactly when I’m afraid at present as the timing on these things is important which is why I feel a little sorry for Tom Segal when he is given certain races to do on certain days. If you ever need to find out if any section has been updated, just check out the moving ticker along the top.
I haven’t properly introduced Cameron Stansfield who will be giving us the benefit of his paddock wisdom in Guest Contributions throughout the winter and beyond and his first editorial on Chepstow was uploaded last week. We used to edit The Form Book together between 1989-1994 in the Raceform office at Weatherbys alongside John Baker who has had the small job of being in charge of the Grand National for the last three years and Graham Wheldon who wrote two books on the effect of the draw. We were like The Bash Street Kids in those days given all the messing about we did but it was certainly the most fun environment I have worked in. Tom Segal took my position when I moved to the marketing department.
Anyway, Cameron has been the person who I have most bounced some of my ideas off down the years and his biggest strength is his an eye for a horse, and especially young horses and their wellbeing, having been brought up with livestock. We have plenty of disagreements on the strength of certain horses’ abilities which is only natural but I always listen closely to his views. An amusing example looking back (though not for him!) of his keen eye was last season when he was all over Coneygree at 16/1 for the RSA after he won at Kempton and had also backed Djakadam at 40/1 for the Gold Cup at the start of the season. You have to laugh at things in retrospect but, looking at the Gold Cup result, if it was me I think I would have thrown myself off the grandstand!
We will both at Cheltenham on Saturday and I’ll be there on Friday too if anyone wants to say hello.