Diary: February 1 2007

There are meetings at Wincanton and Towcester tomorrow with 5 of our list runners in action.


I will start with Karello Bay who had her first run over hurdles the other week finishing 3rd at Fontwell.  She should come on for that run and will be difficult to beat in the 1.40 at Wincanton.


Karello Bay will probably be a short price but if you are looking for a bit of an outsider then Anemix may be the answer in the handicap hurdle at 2.40.  He was 2nd only beaten a head over course and distance last April and could go well here at a fair price.  He is ridden by the owner’s son.


Philip Hobbs introduces an interesting newcomer in Mark the Book in the 1.30 at Towcester. A winner of an Irish point to point last February he is a chaser in the making but is worth watching over hurdles in the meantime.


Our list representative in the 3.30 is Ring Back.  She was 2nd at Plumpton last time out and the booking of AP McCoy to ride tomorrow is a positive sign that she may be able to go one better.


Over the Creek has been off the track since March 2005 when finishing 2nd to Moulin Riche in the Brit Insurance novices hurdle.  He makes his chase debut  in the 4.00 and could be very good over fences.


That is it for now.  See you tomorrow.


Continue reading “Diary: February 1 2007”

Diary: January 30 2007

Needless to say I was pleased with Rehearsal’s win at Ludlow.  He did it well I thought and has now won on the flat, over hurdles and fences.  The ground is one of the keys to this one and Lenny Lungo sent him down to Ludlow in search of the better going.

  There are a few runners from our list to follow in action tomorrow.  Nick Gifford won the 1.50 with Straw Bear last year and has Cathedral Rock as his representative this time around.  Cathedral Rock was third behind French Saulaie at Huntingdon a couple, of weeks ago and that horse ran well against Ashley Brook on Saturday.  Cathedral Rock has a good chance but will face stiff opposition from Hobbs Hill and the Jonjo O’Neill runner.



Our runner in the 2.20 is Reach for the Top, a half brother to Rosslea who was also trained by Henrietta Knight.  Reach for the Top has shown enough in his starts over fences to put him in with a shout here and the booking of Tony McCoy is a big plus.  The horse is owned by Jim Lewis.

  I think that Leading Contender is just that in the 2.20 at Taunton.  He was a pleasing 3rd behind Lord Sam last time and the extra distance tomorrow should suit.  A consistent type and should go well.  

Those are the 3 runners from our list to follow.  The best of the rest could be Another Bottle who makes his debut over hurdles for Paul Nicholss in the 3.10.  He was a decent handicapper on the flat winning 5 times, including a valuable handicap at Newbury.  He would probably not want it too soft.


That is about it for tonight.  See you tomorrow.


Continue reading “Diary: January 30 2007”

I see you Juliet

I See You Juliet

I see you, Juliet, still, with your straw hat
Loaded with vines, and with your dear pale face,
On which those thirty years so lightly sat,
And the white outline of your muslin dress.
You wore a litte fichu trimmed with lace
And crossed in the front, as was the fashion then,
Bound at your waist with a broad band or sash,
All white and fresh and virginally plain.
There was a sound of shouting far away
Down in the valley, as they called to us,
And you, with hands clasped seeming still to pray
Patience of fate, stood listening to me thus
With heaving bosom.  There a rose lay curled.
It was the reddest rose in all the world.

Wilfred Scawen Blunt

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Diary: January 29 2007

I am not sure that the weekend’s racing has helped to clarify the Cheltenham picture too much.  The Irish are clearly going to hold a strong hand in the Champion Hurdle.  Can Detroit City, Afsoun or Straw Bear keep the title at home?


It is also difficult what to make of Black Jack Ketchum’s run on Saturday.  Was it the ground?  He seemed to be travelling well enough until things got serious. 


Anyway – only 6 weeks to go to the festival when all will be revealed.


The jumps racing tomorrow comes from Ludlow.  There are no runners from our list to follow but I will have a personal interest in the 2.00 where the Elite Racing Club’s Rehearsal makes his chase debut.


He has plenty of ability but has a poor strike arte, only having won twice in his career.  He should appreciate what looks like being good ground so fingers crossed.  The club horses have not had much luck recently.  Trompette was travelling smoothly when falling 2 out at Southwell on Saturday while Dancing Bay ran into a decent sort in Glasker Mill on his chase bow.


Take care


Continue reading “Diary: January 29 2007”

Hussard Collonges

Hussard Collonges (Video Rock – Araine Collonges [Quart de Vin]

25 March 1995


Bought as a 4 year old at the Goffs sales at St Cloud for 120,000 Francs he won his only point to point in Ireland at Inch in April 2000.  He was then acquired by Peter Beaumont for 46,000 gns but did not show much in 3 bumpers.  However when he tackled hurdles it was a different story as he galloped his rivals into the ground at Wetherby to score at odds of 33/1.


Tackling 3 miles for the first time at Perth he again showed signs that he was an above average performer and finished runner up to Tyneandthyneagain.



The Peter Beaumont-trained gelding, enjoyed his finest moment when winning the 2002 Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Chase under Russ Garritty at 33/1. This was a fine performance and he jumped soundly to account for Iznogoud and Chives.



He went on top finish second to Marlborough in the Charlie Hall Chase and fourth to Gingembre in the Hennessy Gold Cup the following season before being pulled up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.



He then suffered a crashing fall at Wetherby in the Rowland Meyrick Chase in December 2003, which left him with a fractured pelvis and sidelined him for 14 months.



Sadly, he never got back to where he was and connections took the decision to retire him after he had trailed home well beaten at Ayr in February 2006.



“For over two miles, he looked as good as ever and was really enjoying it, but then he caught the top of a fence and that was it – it’s as though something is hurting is him when that happens,” explained Beaumont.



He went to his owner, who lives near Gargrave, will the plan that he might do a spot of hunting.  A big old fashioned chasing sort, Hussard Collonges will be best remembered for that gutsy win at the Cheltenham Festival.




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Diary: January 28 2007

It was a slightly disappointing day for my list to follow but we did get a  couple of winners.


Ashley Brook put up a scintillating front running display to take full advantage of a favourable hurdles mark in the last at Cheltenham.  Our other winner was David Pipe’s Madision De Berlais at Southwell. 


French Saulaie, Tidal Bay and Ballytrim all finished runner up while Neptune Collonges was running a big race when coming down at the last in the Cotswold Chase.  I also thought Roman Ark ran really well at Cheltenham.  Unfortunately a number of the fences were omitted because of the low sun which counted against him as he jumps really well.


Trompette was one of my main hopes for the day and she travelled well only to fall 2 out when looking a likely winner at Southwell.


The big race tomorrow is the Irish Champion Hurdle.  This is a real who’s who of Irish hurdling.  Brave Inca is probably the percentage call with Iktitaf likely to give him most to do.


See you tomorrow.


Continue reading “Diary: January 28 2007”