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Tanya Stevenson

Tanya's Blog - Saturday 29th December

Don’t panic if you watch the Morning Line, my two tips are selected from four strong fancies on a day of intriguing action and more mud ploughing! Taquin De Seuil’s second to My Tent Or Yours is the pick of the improving novices’ in Newbury’s Challow Hurdle. The roll of honour suggests it will be worth following the winner which will hopefully be AP McCoy and Jonjo O’Neill. 

I couldn’t believe when reading the paper that Jennie Candlish had been on the cold list for such a long time! Cross Kennon ran a blinder at Cheltenham’s Open Meeting and Barafundle ran well enough after a long layoff at Haydock recently. Her horses' performances have been solid enough without winning. Now, though, she had a winner at Wetherby on Thursday, surely more will follow. 

Forgive me, I feel exhausted of words at this time and being in the betting ring at Newbury will be rather poignant. It is hard to type the thoughts I have on my last broadcast for Highflyer and Andrew Franklin.

In summary it has been a pleasure and a privilege. Also it will be the last time I stand next to John McCririck on television in the betting ring. There is no doubting without Andrew and John I wouldn’t be lucky enough to be in the position I am going into 2013. Working for Highflyer every day of the week in the office at Teddington has been fabulous alongside a small close-knit team, but that all comes to an end as well, and at present I can’t quantify my feelings. 

On December 31st there will be a new challenge, an exciting prospect.   

If there is or has been a negative in appearing in vision it is that for me, and perhaps my greyhound trainers, my anonymity has gone. Why greyhound trainers? Well it was the single reason I don’t own racers any more. Every time I went to watch them, which was as much as possible, those standing alongside me thought it was because the greyhound in question was a cert or I was going to back it. Then as soon as the greyhound was beaten, I was heckled, yet had they read the form or taken into account the reason why it was that price, it wasn’t my fault. 

Looking ahead to 2013 a trainer to follow will be Paul Garland. If fate is kind he has a couple of superstars in his kennel yet to race. I pat them every Sunday when walking the retirees. With luck they could possibly be in the reckoning for newcomers of the year! I digress!

There has rarely been a day since I’ve been born that I haven’t either been on a racecourse, greyhound track or in an environment that involved betting.  When the 11 years of working for SIS came to an end it doesn’t measure to the emotions I have right now as I see my old SIS colleagues regularly when racing and working for Channel 4. That almost certainly won’t apply this time round. 

Of course I am thrilled going forward to be offered such a challenge, and I thank those who picked me for thinking of me. It’s not like being handed the chalk or switching on the board and standing up at a bookmaker's pitch. You are in charge of your own destiny in those circumstances. 

My next posting on this blog will be on New Year’s Eve, hopefully from Cheltenham but even National Hunt’s HQ is vulnerable to the weather and they have a 10am inspection on Sunday, so keep a close eye. 

For now though may I say Highflyer, Andrew Franklin and John McCririck thank you for everything. I hope I go on and continue to do you, my new bosses and racing proud.  

Today's tips:

2.25 Doncaster Barafundle (4/1 bet365)

2.45 Newbury Taquin De Seuil (7/4 bet365)


Tanya's Pointers:

Nine of the last ten winners of Newbury’s 1.35 have come from the first two in the betting

Paul Nicholls has won Newbury’s 1.35 four times in the last nine years

Jonjo O’Neill has had three runners in the Challow Hurdle and they have all won

Eight of the last ten winners of the Challow Hurdle have come from the first two in the betting

Nicky Henderson has won five of the last six runnings of Newbury’s 3.50 – My Tent Or Yours is his representative this year

Harry Derham has yet to ride a hurdle winner for Paul Nicholls this season having had 27 attempts

Bakbenscher is unbeaten in four starts on heavy ground

Donald McCain and Jason Maguire have teamed up for a strike rate bordering on 50% since 20th with their runners.

Donald McCain has a 31% strike rate with his novice hurdlers this season which have numbered 104!

Paul Nicholls has a 30% strike rate with his novice hurdlers this season which have numbered 40


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