Entries & Recent Form

Shaking_Hands_Warwick_Jan_11

We had another winner yesterday afternoon when Shaking Hands won the staying handicap chase at Warwick.  It was a really gruelling test over 3m2f on pretty soft ground and stamina was certainly at a premium.  Fortunately our runner has that in spades and having briefly looked in trouble for a moment, once Tom Scudamore got after him he stayed on strongly to record a ten length victory.  It was hard work, but he looks capable of winning again over extreme distances.

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I was hoping for an early birthday present yesterday evening when watching West Ham playing Birmingham in the second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final.  Sadly it was not to be as the Mighty Hammers lost in extra time - now at least they can concentrate on trying to stay in the Premiership and winning the FA Cup.  Unfortunately their squad just isn't big enough to win three trophies!...who am I kidding?

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There is a fascinating article in the Racing Post today all about the Piggott family.  It's like the bloodline of who's who in racing that goes right back to John Day in 1767 - there are great jockeys and trainers right the way through the generations.  It is quite clear that Lester was born to be a jockey, speaking of which, did you know that he rode a Triumph Hurdle winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 1954 aboard Prince Charlemagne.  He had the best record of any of the National Hunt jockeys before it was realised that he was far too valuable to risk over hurdles and instead started competing on the flat where he was to land eleven championships and countless Classics.  It is well worth picking up a copy of today's paper just for this article alone.

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I wonder who will get the Olympic Stadium in East London, Spurs or West Ham?  I cannot believe that anyone in their right mind would let Spurs knock it down and build again - what a waste of taxpayers money!  The other problem is of course that a running track around the outside of the pitch is not really very good for football as the supporters are too far away from the action (although it would have prevented the West Ham player from getting sent off for jumping into the crowd at Everton!).  I have watched plenty of matches abroad where the stadium has an athletics track and there is just no atmosphere - the closer you are to the action, the more involved you feel...and the better the opportunity to give those lady line judges some stick!

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The horses ran well over the weekend without getting their heads in front and good old Lough Derg ran yet another blinder at his beloved Ascot.  Unfortunately he fluffed the last, but for which he would have been even closer but he still managed a gallant third.  The problem is that he certainly won't earn any respite from the handicapper...can there be a more honest and game horse in training?

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It seems that the place to be on 1st August is Carlisle racecourse.  They are hosting a ladies night and for the highlight of the fixture they have booked X Factor winner Alexandra Burke to perform.  I keep seeing pictures of her with hardly any clothes on in this week's newspapers - maybe it should be a lad's night instead?!  I know quite a few burkes, but not many of them are as talented as Alexandra!  I also notice that Carlisle will be holding the first ever race for lady jockeys only.  It will be a world first...I won't be able to moan about lady jockey's in that race - they are ruining all my fun!

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It's good to have Tom Scu back in the saddle this afternoon following a couple of weeks on the sidelines after a nasty fall at Sandown left him with an injured kidney.  Tom has five booked rides at Ascot this afternoon and his return certainly helps with riding arrangements - we have plenty of runners this afternoon even allowing for the fact that Haydock has been abandoned due to the overnight frost.  It remains to be seen whether the course will make arrangements to save the Peter Marsh Chase that Madison du Berlais was due to participate in (remember we won the race last year with the now retired old favourite Our Vic).

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