Entries & Recent Form

I see that Johnny Murtagh has resigned from his job as number one jockey at Ballydoyle.  It must be a real pressure environment as they are now looking for their fourth stable jockey in just six years.  Richard Hughes and Ryan Moore are among those names that are being linked with the job, but I have to ask - why  on earth would they want to leave the Hannon and Stoute yards?  The bookmakers have Irishman Pat Smullen as their 6/4 favourite ahead of former French champion Christophe Soumillon at 5/2, but the interesting candidate is former Ballydoyle number one, Kieren Fallon at 4/1.

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It was good to see that the Brits finally managed to get on the scoreboard in the Breeder's Cup on Saturday night.  Frankie Dettori (who else?!) was successful aboard the Brian Meehan trained Dangerous Midge in the Breeders Cup Turf, netting a cool £1,000,000 for winning connections, and treating spectators to another of his trademark flying dismounts.  I was also delighted to see superstar French mare Goldikova complete an amazing hat-trick of wins in the Breeders Cup Mile, in the process going one better than the great American hope Zenyatta who could only finish runner-up in the Classic following what could only be labelled a disastrous ride from regular pilot Mike Smith.

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I see that Manchester United have sent Wayne Rooney over to America so that he can get his head in the right place.  I can imagine the stress that he is under on his £250,000 per week wage...I wonder if I told David that I was in need of some help if he would send me off on a nice holiday?!  I would imagine that he would just send me to Coventry!

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It's the final day of the flat season and the jockey's championship is still wide open and up for grabs following a treble yesterday for each of the protagonists.  Paul Hanagan kicked off with a double in the afternoon followed by another at Wolvehampton, while Richard Hughes capitalised by scoring on all three of his mounts to finish the day as they started.  This afternoon Hughes has seven mounts, with three of them being paper favourites, while Hanagan also has seven mounts, although they are not as well fancied.  Even so, with a two winner head start, you would still have to say that the advantage lies with Hanagan...what a finish to the season!  I am sure there will be a bumper crowd at Donny to watch the action unfold.

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One of my great hero's, the legend Lester Piggott is 75 years old today and he doesn't look any older now than he did when he was riding.  Indeed, with the Breeder's Cup taking place this weekend, it reminds me that it is 20 years since his memorable success in the Breeders Cup at Belmont Park aboard the Vincent O'Brien trained Royal Academy.  Lester also rode winners for Martin on the flat, and the old maestro even suggested that MCP move to Newmarket to train on the flat.  There is very little that Lester didn't achieve during his time in the saddle, and he even rode a Cheltenham Festival winner when he landed the Triumph Hurdle aboard Prince Charlemagne in 1954.

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Dan Breen ran creditably to finish runner-up on his chase debut at Warwick yesterday to the more experienced Darby's Turn.  Our five year old jumped well for Tom Scudamore and he looks sure to be winning over fences very soon.  Watching the action yesterday, I couldn't help but be impressed by young Sam Twiston-Davies who rode a double on the card.  He must be one of the most improved jockey's about at the moment, and he looked particularly good to score upon Cotswold Charmer in a driving finish.  To be honest, I think he would have won on either of the first two.

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I thought that Madison du Berlais ran a solid enough race at Exeter yesterday afternoon on his first start over hurdles since 2004.  He finished a close second to Mr Hudson, and the run will have blown away the cobwebs for another season over fences.  The trip of 2m5 1/2f might just have been on the sharp side for him, so to me it was an encouraging run.  I'msingingtheblues wasn't beaten at all far in the big race of the day, The Haldon Gold Cup and he too looks to be more than capable of winning races over fences this season.

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