Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
|Saturday 30th November 2013|
It was Bregawn that sparked my Hennessy love affair
At the moment I sit in the bottom half of the Skybet tipping competition after day two of three. If I am going to do better I need not just to find a few big winners but more importantly hold my nerve.
These competitions are a lot more about temperament than you would think. They test your ability to make selections under pressure. Outside influences that may not normally affect you sit in your head like punting demons trying to force you to make a mistake.
For example on Thursday I was keen on two horses in the second race at Newbury; Swinging Hawk and Bohemian Rhapsody. I chose the latter and, you guessed it, the former obliged at 10-1. This was a frustrating setback, but I must not let it colour my judgement going forward. What I should have done is forgotten about the competition and had a cheeky Exacta of my own!
I am a big fan of the Hennessy Gold Cup. In fact my affection for it goes back to 1982. I was 16 years of age and for a number of weeks had been putting my weekly pocket money on Bregawn to win.
I really loved this horse and was convinced he would win. This conviction was not borne out of pure form study or anything other than gut feeling.
Graham Bradley rode him and when the pair made a catastrophic error at the last when in contention I thought I had done my dough, but this brave little horse rallied on the long run in to beat his stable companion Righthand Man.
It was a victory that saw me throwing cushions all around the living room in pure excitement. Of course Bregawn went on to win a Cheltenham Gold Cup before his slightly dodgy temperament got the better of him. Happy memories.
This year I have no gut feel about the race. After years of form study it is hard to see things as clearly as you did when you were an enthusiastic teenager with no fear. What I do know is that in this type of race I favour horses who are giving weight away to their inferiors.
My token selection in the race would be the RSA Chase winner Lord Windermere. The RSA was a race that was derided by many as sub-standard, but it always takes a tough and classy type to win it and this horse is just that.
He is also open to a good deal of improvement. At 10-1 he makes some each-way appeal in a race that is very competitive. Minimum stakes stuff for me, although I may have to find a bigger-priced selection if the tipping competition is going poorly for me!
Angus's Saturday selection:
3.00 Newbury: Lord Windermere (each-way)