Tanya's Blog - September 2015
My heart goes out to Ralph Beckett, Andrea Atzeni and all involved with Simple Verse. Jamie Spencer can be included in the hard done by collective as he suffered the indignity, sorry a similar fate for the same team at Woodbine aboard Secret Gesture.
That previous piece of misfortune may have fuelled the already passionate emotions during and in the aftermath of the St Leger. The key to the reversal in the result of the Classic is, having had a retrospective look back, is the lack of consistency, a constant thread at the time on social media, television and latterly in the printed press.
Plus as Bruce Millington so eloquently wrote in Thursday’s Racing Post, the manner of which Colm O’Donohue’s whip banner was overlooked in the analytical factor of the stewards’ enquiry.
I can happily report in the throng of a 30,000 plus crowd, thus creating the busiest of betting ring, there was understandable frustration, but total patience and tolerance. Plenty of times I heard from punters and on course bookmakers alike I heard “she’ll keep it won’t she” In the belief they’d all seen worse discretions without punishment and this was a Classic!
On course punters don’t have the peace of mind that they will be paid out on both results, a concession most off course punters have the luxury to enjoy.
With a wall of punters waiting orderly and expectantly, on course bookmakers found it devilishly difficult to bet on the 4.20pm, in hindsight just as well as the 2-1 favourite, ironically ridden by Andrea Atzeni.
Destination Ayr this weekend – can’t wait, as I type now I’m on the train steadily making my way to Scotland. The view outside the window is a thing of beauty, I’m more accustomed to seeing high rises rather than high tide and a picturesque coast line. There is no question I’ll steal a sneak peak round Royal Troon, host of the 2016 Open, I have very fond memories of the venue and a lucky wager on Todd Hamilton! If my schedule permits I visit to next year’s championship will be high on the priorities.
Back to Ayr only around £3 on the train from Troon, less than that but I bought a cappuccino with my ticket in April. Such value allows for a bit of change to invest in the matter at hand the horses and with the Ayr Silver and Gold Cup as well as the Firth Of Clyde and the Doonside Cup, there is an exciting card with a fermenting atmosphere to be a part.
Like most courses now Ayr has a betting area away from the main Tattersalls, there are a few pitches by the paddock which have been snapped up by those who use to hold Tatts together with their ability to take a healthy wager. Them upping sticks and relocating has diluted the strength in the main enclosure and to some extent kept the punters from moving away from the areas near the paddock. Needless to say and this applies to these fragmented betting areas countrywide they are not offering the best value, but they have heightened expenses and a captive audience. We have the facility of our mobiles or have had our investments before reaching the course, which is probably best as these days industry wide the big races on a Saturday are on offer and best prices at near overbroke!
Ayr Gold Cup day is heaving – I hope the weather holds, though I’ve been sensible and brought a mac with a hood. Richard Fahey could well have the 1-2 in the race. His Don’t Touch has been favourite since betting opened on the event. Though there seems to be a curse on all the market leaders as one hasn’t crossed the line in front since Coastal Bluff in 1996!
Don’t Touch as I’m sure you are well aware is unbeaten, he was a cheeky winner of the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon. He never really looked like the winner and just got there in time pouncing on Kimberella on the line. He has been allotted stall 8 which gave cause for the layers to ease him out a point.
There could be a Scottish winner, the first time since 1975 and Roman Warrior as not only has Jim Goldie got Jack Dexter, but Keith Dalgleish boosts the home charge with Sound Advice, and that trainer saddled two of the first three winners at Ayr on Thursday 17 September.
I have the utmost respect for Don’t Touch, he no doubt has plenty of room for further improvement but will need it as some of his more established rivals are accustomed to this most testing of sprints, in fact a portfolio with wins over 7 furlongs are very beneficial which is why I like Heavens Guest. Not only has he been handed a good draw in stall 15, he has twice run in the race finishing fourth both times, and this season he has come in to his own with victory in the infamous International at Ascot and a blinding run in the Hungerford Stakes.
Orginally there was going to be an additional each way selection of Justice Day, but I see he has opted to go to Newbury, where the ground is set to be soft due to the virtual monsoon the M4 corridor and south of the country incurred on Wednesday.
In hindsight can’t remember when the Mill Reef meeting at Newbury didn’t have soft in the going description.
Back to Ayr and the Silver Cup, Hillbilly Boy is ridden to best effect when allowed to bowl along in front and that wouldn’t be a bad thing in a race of this nature, he could go on to steal it or give the low numbers a chance. If it isn’t Hillbilly Boy that lands the race then it’s Johara for Chris Wall, she will be fresh as this will only be her second start of the season and she has a brilliant draw in stall 25, as Chris Wall is one of my favourite trainers she get massive support from me.
The following week it’s the nine furlong sprint known as the Cambridgeshire with Bronze Angel and Chil The Kite the first horses that come to mind although look out for the latter in the Doonside Cup at Ayr. Chil The Kite needs a strong pace, almost a guarantee in the Cambridgeshire, the draw will be the deciding factor. Hughie Morrison has won the race with Supaseus. Chil The Kite has flirted in Group 1 company and recently scooped up a race at York with his traditional flamboyant come from behind style. The other horse I want on my side is Bronze Angel who boasts two wins in the race already and set himself up nicely for a crack at a third by winning at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting. What a roar from the crowd he’ll receive if he can manage that incredible feat. I was there to witness Rambo’s Hall win both his Cambridgeshires across a number of years so if Bronze Angel can win three he should find his way into a much needed racing Hall of Fame!
Talking of three wins in the same race – the queen of the turf, Treve was astounding at Longchamp in the Prix Vermeille, what a spectacle and “I was there moment” if she can win her third Arc on the first Sunday in October. I’m sure her attempting this phenomenal achievement will swell the numbers going through the turnstiles. If ever there was an Arc to go 2015’s renewal has to be the ultimate race.
Don’t forget we have every chance of winning the Prix de L’Abbaye with Meccas Angel after her exploits in the Nunthorpe.
On another subject the Horse Race Bettors Forum has had its inaugural meeting. All the members are well aware of the huge responsibility place on them, as there are so many differing views, observations and opinions. The Forum will be measured by its influential status and ability to change where change is needed or indeed recommended. That would be an achievement!
Within the four walls of the first meeting I can assure you we deliberated, discussed, debated for nearly four hours on varied issues within a long but interesting and important agenda, provided by many who had sent ideas and gripes in, so keep them coming.