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Angus McNae

Captain's Blog - 17th November 2010

Dimitri Shostakovitch may be one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century but yesterday his namesake obliged at Southwell to give us a short priced winner and to drive home the point that horses that take to fibres and can improve considerably when they get on that deep dirt track. Shostakovitch is now two from two at the track and I would not rule out the chance of him bagging another this winter. If you are not a jumping fan and want to concentrate on the all weather I would strongly recommend that Southwell is the place for you. Time and time again horses that are out of form return to their favourite surface and suddenly they have found form again, of all the tracks in the country course specific form is vital and is a valuable tool for all weather punters.

There is some debate about going reports at the moment and maybe you would like to join the debate tonight during our Kempton show. I take a fairly simple line on this issue. I do not believe that you can tell how a turf track will ride by pushing a pointy stick into the ground, or by digging your heel into the turf. Of course years of experience with a stick or heel will give a person a bank of knowledge but the system itself is so unscientific as to be virtually laughable. I say this because if I push a stick into the ground I may decide the going is good, you may push it in with greater force and decide it is good to soft, whoops where are we now? Where we are is in a situation where we need to consistently utilise the going stick and then be prepared to tweak going reports once we have the evidence of race times. We need to embrace the going stick, to believe in it and use it, the pointy stick has to go and we need to move forward on this one whatever traditionalists say. Accurate going reports are vital for the punter, but we should not be burdening a clerk of the course with trying to quantify the state of the going because as I have stated that is an impossible job, the clerk should be providing us with going stick readings that correlate to a certain type of going and leave it at that. It is not a clerks fault that when digging his pointy stick in the ground he got the going description wrong, the method is completely flawed. Thus we must stop blaming clerks of the course for inaccurate reports and start to believe in the going stick, the readings from which they must report accurately. No more should be expected of them, to carry on as we are is for clerks to simply make a pointy stick for their own back.

If you want to get involved in this debate or indeed talk about anything else please mail the studio tonight on Eddie Freemantle will be with me tonight and I am looking forward to his contributions and to your missives.

Right I am going to do some work for tonight’s show. Have a great day.


Today's Selection

2:20 Lingfield – Dingaan (each way 20/1 William Hill )



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