Tanya's Blog - September 2014
September has warmed up considerably. I was, at times, shivering on the Knavesmire, even having to resort to rumbling round the car boot under the spare tyre to try and find a presentable fleece to wear under my coat. From astute observers I didn’t get away with it, apologies, but it was cold.
The action on the course did at least warm the heart, in a few years time when we look back, I’m betting that it will prove to be a vintage year. Those in attendance like myself were very lucky. Sole Power’s victory in the Nunthorpe will not only go down as one of the flat rides of the year, but one of many years. If only we knew back in 2010 as he circled behind the stalls at 100-1 for the Nunthorpe, what we know now!
With the success of the 2014 Ebor Meeting the countdown for Doncaster’s Ladbrokes St Leger Meeting is well underway. There is a superb opportunity to be in attendance on the Friday next week, offered up by the Racegoers Club, I’m very fortunate to be there from Wednesday but if you fancy popping along on the Friday with a superb view of the course and a box to hide away in to be a great base
More immediately it’s Haydock for me on Saturday, no premiership footy so the atmosphere will be ramped up a notch. Plenty of cheering for our heroes of the sprint category. Joseph O’Brien takes the mount on defending champion Gordon Lord Byron. Tom Hogan’s runner is the ultimate globe trotter and on researching the stats this week I unearthed the fact that those with a stamp on their passport outside Britain and Ireland go particularly well, narrow that down to horses who have run in the Prix Maurice de Gheest in Deauville.
If you like a stat only five favourites have won the Betfred Sprint Cup in the last 20 years and in that same period 17 of the winners had finished in the first four last time out.
Going back to Gordon Lord Byron’s air miles, such collation needs saluting. Horses that have endured the rigours of travel to that extent, are to be applauded. It’s stressful enough for us and to be asked to run after is worth pausing and thinking about.
Since I last posted, sadly tannoys have not been getting any quieter or even clearer. Betting rings are getting weaker. Doncaster works hard to buck that trend and my fingers are tightly crossed that still applies next week. A quarter the odds in 16-21 runner handicaps are virtually extinct on course.
There is also the inaugural running of the Irish Champions weekend to look forward to which could turn out to work well with Doncaster.
I still have Windshear at the forefront of my thoughts for the oldest Classic, his runs behind Hartnell and then Snow Sky at Glorious Goodwood had me lured into the ante-post market. Though Alex My Boy hasn’t stopped improving and he could be my surprise each-way saver.
On last Saturday’s Morning Line from Sandown Park I did a very short feature on horses to follow from York’s Ebor meeting. I had plenty but time in a live programme is precious so here’s the full list. If you have the facility to watch the races back it might be worth a look at Mass Rally, The Grey Gatsby, Felix Leiter, Kibaar,Gambol and Spacious Sky from Wednesday. Day Two and Arabian Comet, and Bragging. On Friday White Lake was one of the eye catchers of the four days as was All About Time, also check out Pit Stop and Lesha. Then on Saturday Farraaj and Glenalmond. All of which I’m going to keep a close eye on when they next appear.
September could prove to be very emotional and poignant month. For years I have been following the NFL, I have even commentated on the Superbowl for Sky’s Fanzone. But because I prefer not to fly I have had to see the action on TV or wait for the regular season games at Wembley. I’m an avid Oakland Raider fan, towards the end of the month they are the home team at Wembley which at this moment still feels a dream. I’m not working for Channel 4 Cambridgeshire weekend as I hope to take in all the parades and build up leading to the game. It’s a once in a lifetime dream fulfilled, there will be a tear form the eye as the Raiders are introduced on to the pitch and I’m welling up now even thinking about it, with such emotion you can perhaps get a gage of how nervous and excited I was when interviewing an NFL player at the July meeting!
Back to the action and after Donny its Ayr for the Western meeting. William Hill will be celebrating their 80th Anniversary and there is the small matter of the Bronze, Silver and Gold Cup over the six furlongs. Mass Rally a notebook horse from York appeals.
In the Cambridgeshire I’m willing to forgive Forgotten Hero his run at Sandown and give him a second chance on a more suitable track and trip. But I do love and respect the tenacity of our Lincoln winner Ocean Tempest and his three subsequent victories.
Hopefully I’ll see some of you of the course of the next few weeks, particularly at Doncaster on Friday, bye for now and enjoy your racing.