Entries & Recent Form

I must be honest, I think that A P McCoy has every right to refuse to speak with Racing UK following their criticism of one of his rides.  The broadcasters analyse every single race that they cover, and it seems to me that a lot of the time they are looking for something that isn't there in order to "sensationalise" their coverage.  If their comments had been made about a lesser jockey, it could have serious implications on their career.  AP rode for Martin for many years, and during that time I think we got closer to the champ than a lot of people, and I don't think that I have ever known a more straight-forward and honest jockey.  He is his own biggest critic and is one of the few jockeys that I have ever met that would come back and say if he hadn't given one a very good ride, although that didn't happen very often!

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It's the Japan Cup at Tokyo today and there are two European challengers bidding to lift the £1,664,000 prize.  James Given saddles Dandino, while Aiden O'Brien runs Joshua Tree.  The O'Brien runner finished three places in front of Dandino in the St Leger at Doncaster and it will be interesting to see how they get on.  Buena Vista is the forecast favourite...no, not that Buena Vista!

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Following the abandonment of Newcastle's Fighting Fifth meeting this afternoon, their big race has been transferred onto the Hennessy card at Newbury and features reigning Champion Hurdler Binocular.  Consequently Newbury's bumper card kicks off early at 11.55am.  If you are thinking of going, get your (ice) skates on and don't be late!  It should be a cracking day's action with the least valuable race of the day still worth £10,000 in prize money, while the amateur riders race nets winning connections a cool £15,000.  The big race of the day is of course the Hennessy Gold Cup and with Denman standing his ground at the top of the handicap, only seven of the eighteen runners are in the handicap proper, including our 2008 winner Madison du Berlais.

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Poole Master was a ready winner of the closing bumper at Uttoxeter yesterday afternoon when making all of the running to score by 4 1/2 lengths under Chris Honour.  He certainly seemed to handle the soft ground (heavy in places) well enough, and our five year old looks a nice type who should certainly make up into a decent hurdler.

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Just when I thought that the England cricket team were cruising along nicely in the first Test of the Ashes series, suddenly the Aussies bounced back thanks to a hat-trick from birthday boy Siddle Tricker.  Yes, the Australian pace bowler took three wickets in three balls (all different dismissals - a clean bowled, catch and an LBW) to leave England reeling.  As with our footballers - perhaps it is just a case of us building up our sportsmen to be better than they really are?  The Aussies certainly looked sharp in the field today, and now it looks as though England are facing an uphill struggle just to save the first Test.  I didn't realise that Siddle was that fast or sharp, maybe it is because he was full of birthday cheer?...or am I just making excuses?!

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Do I or don't I stay up for the first Test match in the Ashes series in  Australia?...I think coverage starts at about 11.30pm this evening, so the temptation is definitely there to record the action and hope that nobody tells me what happened in the morning.  The trouble is, the more you try to avoid hearing the results the more likely it seems to be that someone will let the cat out of the bag!  It also seems to me that whenever the England team have a great chance of beating the Aussies in their own back yard something always happen for us to get beaten...this year though the Australians are very subdued - there is nothing like as much gloating as usual.  By the way, when do you ever see an Aussie batsman walking?  When his car has broken down!  Keep smiling, and come on England!

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I thought that Bobs Worth looked an interesting winner at Kempton yesterday afternoon.  The time was 7.5 seconds quicker than the handicap later on the card, and take it from me a horse can travel a long way in 7.5 seconds!  Barry Geraghty only had to nudge the five year old out with hands and heels to win by nine lengths and he looks to be a novice to follow.  There was an eventful novices' chase on the same card won by Dee Ee Williams who was the sole runner to complete the course - as such he netted all of the prize money for his owner Give Every Man His Due.  He must have had strange parents to call him that!

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