Tanya's Blog - October 2014
October, what a month, Arc weekend, Cesarewitch, Future Champions Day, Champions Day, Racing Post Trophy, more NFL, a chance to watch golf live and my favourite judging SIS/Racing Post Betting Shop Manager of the Year.
First and foremost all eyes on Longchamp, where thousands of Brits will embark on the annual pilgrimage to see the Arc, of course there are other Group 1s on the day to enjoy which cause the amalgamation of some of the world's best equine stars. My passport won't be getting a stamp this time around although to be fair it's not had an entry for over ten years!
Being back at home gives me the benefit of being across all the betting platforms and cherry picking the value and all the concessions available.
Japan are to be admired in their determination to land this prize and there's part of me willing them and hoping they finally achieve their ambitious objective, the race has added colour and intrigue with their inclusion and made our horses bigger prices on the Paris-Mutuel! Although the Japanese interest will be diluted three-ways their investment is bound to balance out if not be more than that of funds wagered on our runners. An opportune moment to emphasise double check the rules, be sure to state your preference at the time of placing your wager, ie take a price, or Paris Mutuel. The onus really is on us.
The betting on the Arc has had some 'Richter Scale' shake-ups due to the retirement of Sea The Moon and the results on Arc Trials day, but there is a reluctance to waiver from Treve despite her indifferent season. She wasn't beaten far in the Vermeille and has since reportedly worked well.
Ectot's stamina doubts are a concern, Taghrooda's had a busy season, Ruler Of The World will find it impossible to dictate from the front. Avenir Certain shouldn't be dismissed so easily, I know her jockey prefers Ectot but remember she has won two Classics. Kingston Hill has no stamina doubts and he has had a relatively quiet season, so comes into this relatively fresh. In summary heart says Treve and head says Kingston Hill.
The defection of Tiggy Wiggy and Muthmir from the Abbaye has paved the way for Sole Power to move closer to the winners enclosure providing the ground stays good. Any semblance of moisture and I'd lean towards Catcall.
Back on these shores Fintry created a favourable impression in Sandown's Atalanta Stakes and for me should make the smooth transition to Group One with victory in the Sun Chariot Stakes. Meanwhile I'll be stood in the Ascot betting ring no doubt watching Muthmir follow up on his Portland victory.
On October 11 Newmarket is the destination as it plays host to leg two of the Autumn double. Pallasator heads the market at this stage, but I'm leaning towards Quick Jack and Ray Ward. Ray Ward has been a long range pick since his Royal Ascot hard luck story and Glorious Goodwood second plus the trainer has already won the race with Darley Sun.
I sense by then the thermals will be in the boot if not worn as this unseasonably warm weather can't continue. Gloves, jumpers, bobble hats at the ready for watching golf at the London Club which makes me a non runner at Future Champions Day at Newmarket. I don't know about you but Friday traffic has taken its toll over many years of driving so it's sensible to miss the odd one. I do feel at times I work just to pay for the upkeep of my car. My vehicle would challenge Lee Major for those of you not familiar - the 'Six Million Dollar Man' as I have virtually rebuilt it from scratch!
I will also be raring to go for Champions' Day at Ascot and I've had to make selections for Channel 4 already which will be updated on the 6th October. But for the record at this stage I have chosen Estimate, Muthmir, Silk Sari, Australia, Free Eagle and Fort Bastion.
A week later I'm once again away from the Channel 4 screens but this time it's because Betting Shop Manager of the Year is down to the final 24 stage and I'm one of the judges. I head up to Doncaster to meet all the managers on the Friday I love all the fun, chat, enthusiasm and it gives a valuable insight into the changing face of betting shops. It is my belief that Racing Industry chiefs should spend more time in the betting shops in order to gain a useful perspective of the exposure racing has throughout the day and the needs and wants of the sports customers.
I stay up in Doncaster on the Friday so I can watch the Racing Post Trophy on Saturday. Recent winners Kingston Hill and Camelot show its a race not to be missed and there is an opportunity for club members to be there at a top value rate.
This year I believe which ever Aidan O'Brien runs out of Ol Man River and John F Kennedy should win.
Rewind to Sunday 28 September and most of my visit to Wembley to watch my beloved Oakland Raiders was spent with my head in my hands! Not how I had dreamt, the team were nothing short of an embarrassment, their display pitiful and pathetic, in turn flattering the Miami Dolphins. At least two days later the Raiders had given coach Dennis Allen his marching orders. My love and support for the Raiders remain strong and I'd love to see their fortunes turn although I doubt it will be this year a win is a long way off.
Their fans were a sight to behold, skulls, Halloween masks black and silver clothing and their dedication is hard to match. I now can't wait until October 26 when Detroit play Atlanta, this has all the potential of the best game Wembley has held, both teams are offensively loaded so many points.
For now though fingers crossed for Muthmir at Ascot on Sunday.