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|Wednesday, 09 May 2012|
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.”
First lot coming up Warren Hill polytrack
There was more heavy rain at Newmarket overnight and it is still damp and miserable this morning, but we have been cantering up the hill and everyone seems in good shape - the lads as well as the horses. Chester appears to have missed last night's downpour and it is still dry there this morning, but my travelling head lad David tells me that a few horses have been cantering on the track and it is definitely soft. That won't necessarily suit our two Chester Cup runners, Mystery Star and Dazinski, but it is the same for them all. Mystery Star has a terrible draw again to add to his problems and Dazinski, while stall one looks best on the face of it, could find others coming across him. You need a lot of luck round here - Chester is a unique course. Both our horses travelled up well yesterday and ate up this morning so we'll just hope for the best.
Comrade Bond leading Marvo Cat Island leading
Like Clockwork Dine Out
We'll all be keeping a close eye on the in-house betting operation at Chester today. The system was launched at Bangor last month and there was a lot of criticism about the returns punters received. Chester, with a much higher turnover, will be a bigger test. You can be sure Betfred, who lost the Bangor and Chester contracts to operate its Totepool outlets, will be monitoring the situation carefully. I hope Chester gets it right because the system could lead eventually to new revenue for the sport which might help prize-money and improve facilities, but it must be run in a professional and fair way. People like Phil with long memories might recall that years ago, when Mrs. Topham tried to undermine the BBC with a do-it-yourself Grand National commentary, the whole thing was a complete disaster and she became a laughing stock. But that's ancient history now .........
Rayvin Black brings up 2nd lot fillies lead by Jennifer J bringing up
Smokey Oakey Astrogold Old Boy Ted
As well as our two runners at Chester we have three on the all-weather at Kempton this evening with Seb Sanders on all of them. We start with Shomberg in the 5.50 - this is his first handicap and first run on this surface. We don't know whether he will handle it and he might need a little bit farther in time, but I have been frustrated at not being able to find anything suitable for this horse so far this season with everywhere being so wet and he will take his chance here. Eanans Bay, who runs in the maiden at 6.55, showed improved form last time and I am sure he will come on again, but he might still need this. We'll see. Our last runner is Chankillo in the handicap at 7.30. He has been running well without winning and we could come across some big improvers here, especially the John Gosden horse at the top of the handicap. Chankillo should have every chance though, and we are hopeful of at least making the frame again