Clear, concise, comprehensive horseracing analysis and insight from Paul Jones, former author of the Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide, concentrating on jump racing in addition to the best of the Flat and leading Sports events.
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Warwick's Close Escape!

12/1/16

I made reference to the big market move for Limini in the last week in last night’s Cheltenham Ante-Post copy and news has emerged this morning that “she’s ready to come out” according to Willie Mullins. As big as 7/1 for the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle a week ago, she is now as low as 4/1 and looks like being sent over to England for her first start since May with her trainer commenting that she is just coming to herself now. He didn’t state which English racecourse though.

Mullins looks set to bring over some of his quality novices to Warwick on Saturday which looks a cracking card in the making, even if the Hobbs office have entered Onenightinvienna for the wrong race that he is not qualified for, so it’s very likely that I’ll be in attendance.

I actually came pretty close to being Warwick’s Racecourse Manager around 1999 (I can’t remember which year exactly but it was before I wrote the first Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide in 2000) having got down to the final two but, after a two-hour second interview with Jerry Dennis (chairman at the time), Adam Waterworth (now the big cheese at Goodwood) and Lisa Hancock (former MD of Newmarket and now Chief Executive of the Injured Jockeys’ Fund), I found out a couple of days later that they had offered it to the other person first, who then turned it down, so the stubborn pig in me then decided that if I wasn’t first choice then I would withdraw! Which I did.

That then left them with no shortlisted candidates so, as Jockey Club Racecourses were also interviewing for the Huntingdon Racecourse Manager position at the same time, the final two candidates for that job were split up so Christian Leech ended up getting the Warwick seat. He’s now the husband and assistant trainer to Sophie Leech. Had I not been so pig headed, my career would have taken a very different path. I have plenty to thank the interviewing panel for!

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