There does seem to be a lack of decent or should I say reliable AW Horses so far this season. NH is even more difficult as the runners do not seem to be consistent like years ago, I suspect Inbreeding has weakened the Robust types that used to be able to hold their form .
Appearance money is a joke £ 300.00 down to 8 ( in some cases) is destroying the game from the punting side - I hope they release who pays the bills before its too late - the BHA know have the one the modern great racing thinkers James Willoughby (IMO) working for them - presumably alongside the handicappers to ensure the handicaps are more equal - the racing game could just be about to shooting its self in the foot again - we need some uncertaintity or what is the point.There does seem to be a lack of decent or should I say reliable AW Horses so far this season. NH is even more difficult as the runners do not seem to be consistent like years ago, I suspect Inbreeding has weakened the Robust types that used to be able to hold their form .
Altior a fabulous horse and a public horse, maybe not quite as fabulous or public as Sprinter Sacre but not fat off, but I feel public affection has dwindled with the whole sordid saga of Henderson saying it will run in certain races then Unibets perceived involvement in being the first to hear of plans changing and the other horses being gambled before the inevitable last minute witdrawing of the horse and then the lies saying the horse is unfit to justify toying with entries and punters, the BHA having to go to inspect the horse to prove the deceit . All leaves a foul taste in the mouth and dwindling love for the horse, of course this is not the horses fault but still no tears will be shed now when he gets beat, he’s not a people’s horse anymore he’s a pawn used to empty punters pockets.Altior - Nicky Henderson seems to be a bit on the defensive these days
I wasnt suggesting that Altior or any championship horse would be run for AP money - the insurance alone would make that amount untenable. Need to check the race conditions before commentating on monetary considerations - I was commenting on the state of racing and the future damage to its historical base - the punters .Altior - Nicky Henderson seems to be a bit on the defensive these days, although he has had a few things to deal with I guess of late. The consensus of the TV lot seemed to be that he was just getting a bit too old to storm home from 2 out even if he's running well - and today he was struggling a lot of the way. I presume NH has a bigger target than today's grade 2 in sight, although clearly he is now a more vulnerable target than he was a season or two back.
He wasn't at all happy about Oli Bell suggesting retirement, and that probably was a bit premature, but a flop next time out might bring that a good bit closer as the horse is getting a bit old to be taking the 7 year olds on.
Owners pay the bills to be honest, £300 covers the jockey fee, probably some part at least of the cost of transport, I doubt it goes a lot further - I agree (partly) that this probably leads to having horses in races they've little or no chance of winning, but then without them you'd be seeing very few runners in some races.
Report for : 26/12/2020
Raw ratings: 0/3 Odds: (Return: 0)
Mkt filter 0/1 Odds: (Return: 0)
Flat Non - Handicaps
Raw ratings 1/2 Odds: 0.91 (Return: 1.91)
Mkt filter 0/0 Odds: (Return: 0)
Raw ratings: 2/15 Odds: 4.5 3.33 (Return: 9.83)
Mkt filter 2/7 Odds: 4.5 3.33 (Return: 9.83)
NH Non - Handicaps
Raw ratings 2/20 Odds: 1.75 0.5 (Return: 4.25)
Mkt filter 2/7 Odds: 1.75 0.5 (Return: 4.25)
Total Out = 40 Total return (raw) = 15.99
Total wins: 5 / 40
List of winners:
Wol 16:05:00 On The Warpath 1.91
Win 12:59:00 Momella (IRE) 2.75
Leo 13:05:00 Zanahiyr (IRE) 1.5
Wet 14:05:00 Canelo (IRE) 5.5
Lim 15:07:00 Chalky White (IRE) 4.33
Today was a non-event really, the first runner did nothing, the second one came, appropriately, second, and the third one was withdrawn due to the going. Judging by the race times Ireland must be racing through marshland currently, I'd skip anything that comes up as a selection but hasn't won on 'bottomless mud' going.
No bets tomorrow.
When things are not going to plan i always first blame myself, but i must confess when pondering some of the very strange results this year i have wondered if Covid has played a part. I am not even sure i can explain how or why only that the thought persists.I am hardly betting at all currently, things just seem too much in turmoil, maybe it's covid related!
The jockeys will - all top sports competitors speak about the roar of the crowd willing them on - you see both footballers and athletics' competitors asking the crowd to do so. It is very strange to watch football without the crowd noise - will Cheltenham be the same event without the crowd ?However, some don’t like the noise.
The reason for the really extreme extra yards at Wetherby is they used the hurdle bends on the chase course, the hurdles were already on a wide line and then on top of that the chasers had to come out on to the hurdle course bends so the extra yardage was extreme . Its difficult to move the starts to compensate because the positioning of the starts are reliant to an extent by the positioning of bends and especially the siting of obstacles .Noted elsewhere, but I thought I'd give this a wider airing as it affects everyone punting.
Yesterday at Wetherby the race distances were actually all further than advertised, now this isn't uncommon in jumps racing - bends get moved in and out to provide a fresh racing surface, and I think we'd all agree that this is probably a very good thing, enough horses are injured or killed, and jockeys injured, during the season without asking them to run race after race on the same patch of ever worsening ground. It's far more prevalent in NH racing than on the flat, and the ensuing rail move distances - which I explained a few days back, but for those who didn't catch that as you move a bend out you increase its radius, which in turn means you have to run further to get round it. NH rail moves are usually significantly further than the flat ones, so it's not at all odd to see courses report movements of several dozen yards, perhaps even over a hundred - although personally I've always wondered why, when you start adding half a furlong to a race, the start can't be bumped up a bit to at least partially compensate.
When you think about it. how often have we heard a trainer or pundit express the view that a runner could be a good thing but the distance they are facing could be a bit much, or due to the softening going a runner's stamina might not be up to the task? Well, all previous concerns on that subject have been blown into the weeds by Wetherby yesterday - look at these rail movements, all of them are extra yards over and above the advertised race distance that the horses were required to run ... to add icing to the cake they had this extra slog in heavy going...
Race 1 - 3m26y hurdle, had 312 yds added to make it 3m 1f 118y... I won 't do the whole lot, but the 2m hurdle races and the 2m NH Flat race added 156yds, the 2m 7f 36y chase added 228 yds (over a furlong then), and the two 3m 45y chases added...drumroll please.,.... 456 yds!
I have seen some ludicrous extras in the past, I usually mention seeing over 300 yds a couple of times, but those two races had over 2f added to what was already a 3m slog through heavy going. I cannot help but think that the results of these races might have been different if they'd been over the advertised 3m instead of 3m 2f+. but even if they weren't it still raises the point that unless you are aware enough of what's going on then you are likely to come a cropper simply because the goalposts are moved.
I am sure the course would say it was necessary, and explain all sorts of good reasons why there (a) had to be such dramatic increases in race distance, (b) nothing could be done by way of shifting things to mitigate this significant alteration to the advertised distances, but my gut feeling is that nobody actually cares, and I wonder what's so special about Wetherby's issues that it has such horrendous rail movements when virtually no other course has (a few at Taunton over the past few years, two races at Southwell, but that's about it for the past 4 or 5 seasons). It must be bad, they did the 300 yard moves last January, so I don't hold out much hope for their next meeting.
Is there any other sport that would do this? Can you imagine the Olympic 100 m sprint being changed on the day to 105m? I know a race track and an athletics track are very different things, I threw a bit of hyperbole in there for the fun of it, but my point is I think fair - somebody needs to make sure that this is looked at properly, and the course should be assisted if possible to run over advertised distances, so we aren't all guessing whether we need to shift our focus to the endless stamina type for a meeting.
Feel free to disagree, it's a free world. I ought to add that I don't think anything nefarious is taking place, there's no way the bookies are knobbling the clerk of the course or whatever, this isn't a Dick Francis novel (the hero would be a retired jump jockey with one leg for a start) but it does look a bit like somebody is being a bit cavalier with things.
Ken Pitterson said Altior wasn't fit. That was before the race. Clearly not his target.