Angus McNae
Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
Saturday 8th February 2014
   
Racing UK
It really was an unedifying sight

Every week I see races that lift my spirit. Every week I see exciting finishes and every week I see brilliant displays of horsemanship. Just now and then I see something that does the sport no credit.

One such incident took place on Thursday at Huntingdon in the CGA Foxhunter Trial Hunters' Chase. I am not deliberately picking on amateur riders, nor do I have an agenda against Hunter Chases, but it must be pointed out that the runner-up in this two runner-race received a shocking ride.

Everything went well until the run-in, where Gunmoney, who was in front over the last, weakened so dramatically that he looked drunk. He could barely put one leg in front of the other as he wandered across to the stands' rail. He looked as if he was so tired he would just stop. Despite this his jockey was so intent on winning that he saw fit to continue to hit the horse all the way to the line despite his mount's obvious fatigue. It was an unedifying spectacle and not good for our sport.

I hope the stewards had a word, and I hope the horse is okay. Enough said, really.

If you are in the same frame of mind as me you will be getting seriously fed up with the weather at the moment. It is really making a mess of the countdown to Cheltenham and come the Festival in March if we get decent ground there are going to be some interesting results. Let's not worry about Cheltenham for now though, what we really need to concentrate on is accumulating some units for the second week in March.

With that in mind I have a couple of selections for today. First up I am keen on Perfect Pasture in the 3.45 at Lingfield. This horse is on a roll and a synthetic and turf surface seem to come alike to him. He won two starts ago at Kempton despite a wide trip and next time up at Lingfield I thought he was impressive in beating Rivellino by two lengths.  A low draw will be a big plus this afternoon and Mick Easterby, his trainer, rarely wastes a trip down south to Lingfield.

Secondly I really do think that Irish Saint can win the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury. He sauntered home to an 11 length success at Ascot last time out and the way he travelled in that race I do not think a drop in trip will hinder him. Importantly he actually wants really soft conditions and he is certainly going to get that today. A 5lb rise in the weights does not overburden him and he will handle conditions better than most.

Angus McNae's Saturday tips:

3.45 Lingfield: Perfect Pasture at 4-1 with bet365 and William Hill

3.35 Newbury: Irish Saint at 6-1 with bet365, BetVictor, Paddy Power, SkyBet