Tanya's Blog - Saturday 9th February 2013
On Thursday I went to York by train for a Women In Racing gathering at the racecourse. While the train stopped at various stations I noticed that at Retford and Doncaster there was an excited gathering of train spotters with their notepads and pencils eagerly jotting down the relevant carriage numbers in the hope they would witness – I don’t know what.
If they come to Newbury today I can put them in search of finding a quarter of the odds each-way with the on-course bookmakers for the Betfair Hurdle!
I’ll behave. Going back to the Women In Racing evening, there was a strong and varied panel including York’s Anthea Morshead, vet Annie Cook, trainer Ann Duffield, jockeys Amy Ryan and Jacqueline Coward, plus I was there as host.
I hope those attending found it inclusive and were able to ask the questions they wanted. Lucy Alexander didn’t make it, with good reason as she prioritised to ride out for her father on Friday morning before her scheduled return at Newcastle.
Since my last missive it started so well with Musselburgh and Overturn thrilling the crowd. Watching from home you even felt the television screen brighten up when he was running. When he runs it warms your heart. Roll on Cheltenham.
It is a huge shame Simonsig will miss Newbury, which means advantage Overturn!
Monday left you shaken to the core and tinged with sadness as three horses lost their lives. Most will mention Darlan, but please let’s not forget Mujamead and Desert Vision. They were loved and adored just as much by their respective connections.
The Betfair Hurdle may have a favourite as short as 7-2 but I think the race looks impossible, so much so I am having a couple of goes.
My Tent Or Yours and Baby Mix for me, as I can’t see why the latter is 33-1. I am wary, however, of John Ferguson’s form and his Cotton Mill should be thereabouts. I could easily add a couple more.
As for the Game Spirit Chase Nicky Henderson may have given Simonsig the day off, but I think French Opera is sure to go close. He won in 2011 and was second giving weight to Sprinter Sacre last year – is it time to reclaim his crown?
I know I’m going be told I’m a jinx by Tom and Kerry Lee, children of trainer Richard Lee, but their way Knock A Hand ran at Warwick recently I think he can make it repeat victories in the 1.50pm at Newbury.
Now if you think Super Saturday is good, check out Exeter’s Sunday card on . Should it be Excellent Exeter? Well the card is not to be missed and for more Festival clues aplenty tune into .
1.50 Newbury: Knock A Hand
3.00 Newbury: French Opera
Eight of the last tenwinners finished in the first three in their most recent start
Six of the last eight winners carried 10st-9lbs or less
Seven of the last ten winners were aged five or six
Paul Nicholls has won five of the last eight, while Nicky Henderson has won the last two
The last ten favourites have all finished in the first two
Paul Nicholls has won seven times since 2000
Willie Mullins record since 2003is won four, two seconds and a third.
Seven of the last eight winners of Newbury’s 1.50pm were no older than seven
Nicky Henderson has a 38% strike rate with his chasers at Warwick
David Pipe has a 33% strike rate with his chasers at Warwick
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