Entries & Recent Form

Even with free entry on offer to Kempton racegoers on Wednesday evening, the all-weather card only attracted 1,200 people and don't forget that it is half-term!  Teams in the lowest football leagues attract 1,200 people - Torquay get more than that and you have to pay to go to see them!  It just goes to show that racing is not as big as we would like to think - you would have thought that a London track offering free entry would have attracted plenty more people, or am I missing something?  I wonder what sort of attendance they get if they don't give away free admission?!

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I see that Richard Hannon's powerful string of flat horses has increased to 231, with over 130 of them being two year olds.  Mark Johnston is the only other trainer to have a sizeable number of two year olds this season, so it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if these two fought it out for the upcoming flat trainers championship.  With Hannon having so much ammunition, I wonder if this is the year that Richard Hughes finally lands a jockey's championship?  I know that Paul Hanagan will be determined to defend his title, but plenty will depend on whether his main supplier of winners, Richard Fahey can have another stellar season.  It looks certain to be another interesting and exciting contest.  I was also pleased to see that Henry Cecil's numbers have increased to 140 on the back of his great season last year - that is the most horses he has had at Warren Place for a decade.

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There is a very interesting double page article in today's Racing Post about the Scudamore dynasty.  It tells you all about Michael, Peter, Tom and Michael Jnr.  Peter was champion jockey eight times when he was riding for Martin and I still remember when he posted 223 winners in the 1988/89 season, making the old champions look like novices.  Scu would be among the first to admit that he was never the most stylish of jockeys but he was very determined and knew where the winning post was.  Peter's father Michael rode in 16 consecutive Grand Nationals (that is still a record) and he won the great race in 1959 aboard Oxo.  The article makes great reading.

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Roger Stanley, the lucky part-owner of Madison du Berlais and Grands Crus is coming down to Taunton to see his runner E Street Boy in action.  I have heard on the grapevine that Luke Harvey wants to interview Roger for Attheraces...you would have thought that prospect alone was enough for Roger to give the meeting a swerve!  I have played golf with Roger and I can tell you that he is very competitive.  He also likes his cycling and he tells me that he has ridden around Europe...or maybe it was just France?  I would love to see him in his lycra shorts - only joking Roger!

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Swing_Bill_Wincanton

It was a good day for the stable's runners on Saturday with Swing Bill winning the veteran's race at Wincanton in good style.  The ten year old grey received a good front running ride from Timmy Murphy and won with any amount in hand and he could well follow-up this success.  Ronaldo des Mottes ran respectably in the Kingwell Hurdle to finish third, while Sultan Fontenaille occupied the same position in the staying handicap hurdle under A P McCoy.

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I see that trainer Mark Johnston has put his name forward for the job vacated by Jim McGrath as independent director of the BHA Board.  I have spoken with Mark in the past but I don't really know him that well.  He is a great trainer and obviously has his own strong views that he is passionate about...one thing is for sure, I don't think it would be very easy to pull the wool over his eyes!  Asked if he would take the position if it were offered, he said "Probably, I think it needs to be done, if you don't agree with someone you try to change it".  I know what he means - we get plenty of people at our golf club moaning about the place, but when it is suggested that they join the board they don't want to know.  At least with Mark he would be hands on and wants to make a difference rather than preserve the status quo.

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I must find out who Nick Luck's scriptwriters are..whoever they are, I like them!  You may have seen David's interview this morning over the webcam on The Morning Line.  Dry as a bone Luck introduced David as "Pipe on Skype!"  He was only on for a couple of minutes, but following the abortive efforts to get hold of Nigel Twiston-Davies from practically next door a couple of weeks ago, I was pleased to see the technology working for a change!

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