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Tanya Stevenson

Tanya's Blog - 7th December 2010

The Horserace Writers and Photographers Association or HWPA Awards at the Royal Lancaster is always well attended. I believe they announced the crowd figure as a capacity 650 this year. The members of the HWPA vote on various awards such as flat and national hunt trainer of the year, the same for jockeys, owner of the year and of course photographer, broadcaster and journalist of the year.

2010’s Awards were jointly sponsored by Boylesports and Spinal Research. Hosts were Nick Luck and John Hunt and the meal consisted of cheese, onion and mushroom tart, main course was braised beef with veg and cheese and biscuits for those who were really hungry.

Amongst the 650 audience were all the great and the good and some of the sport’s friends, Ed Chamberlin, Clive Tyldesley, Andrew Castle and I guess a few more. I had kindly been invited by Boylesports, so a big thank you to Leon Blanche and Natasha Ginty. On afternoon’s such as these, so much depends on the trap draw and I had a perfect one. Andy Totham, Deputy Sports Editor of the Sun to my left and Natasha Ginty to my right, plus I was facing the stage.

I even got to go on stage as Boylesports are kindly putting up a £500 bet to place as we will at the Cheltenham Festival. I know I shouldn’t but I changed my original selection of Wymott for the RSA Chase when I discovered Leon Blanche had gone for the same race so instead the pressure is on Kalahari King as I place £250 each-way on him at 33-1, for the Queen Mother Champion Chase. His chances may be heightened or lowered on Saturday as he is an entry in Saturday’s Tingle Creek at Cheltenham. Other selections were Denman to win Gold Cup by Paul Kealy and Hurricane Fly to win the Champion Hurdle by Tony O’Hehir.

Had I not gone on stage, it felt like a testosterone driven ‘Gentleman’s Club’ and thank goodness for Chanelle McCoy for adding some glamour to proceedings when collecting the accolades for her husband.

A heartening and well deserved award was given to David Ashforth and the introduction from Alastair Down gave an exquisite build-up as he came to the stage under the guise of the man to present the Stable Lads award.

What did disappoint, was the afternoon, in some respects, left you flat. There was points scoring, something our industry can’t resist even in its darkest hours. All I ask of the heads of the industry is; remember those who consistently don’t have a voice – THE CUSTOMERS. Those of you that read my, and everyone else’s, words are our greatest supporters and give us the purpose to carry on. Without you, who would read Brough Scott, who would watch Matt Chapman and who would bet on our sport to fund it? One key fact clearly still lost on those who run the sport.

Fingers tightly crossed for Cheltenham at the weekend there is much to look forward and the momentum needs starting.

When it comes to the All Weather I couldn’t tip my hat so I crave a return to turf action. My only selection today will be Treacle Tart in Lingfield’s 2.50.



Chris Catlin is now up to 47 rides without a winner.

Gary Moore has had 17 runners without a winner

Free Tussy has had three winners from his last eight runs at Lingfield

William Buick has had two winners from his last five rides and expect that strike rate to improve

Traphalgar has won three of his six races at Lingfield

Martin Lane has failed to have a winner in his last 55 rides at Lingfield

Greg Fairley has failed to have a winner in his last 19 rides at Southwell

Love Delta has won three of his six races at Southwell and stats such as these can always be found in SIGNPOSTS in the RACING POST

Davana has been beaten in all ten races at Southwell

Baby Judge has been beaten in all 12 starts at Southwell

Lujiana has won four of his nine races at Southwell


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