Tanya Stevenson
Tanya Stevenson's Racing UK Blog
Saturday 21st December 2013
Thank goodness for Big Buck’s

Thank goodness for Big Buck’s he was the only light on a dark Thursday for finding winners.  To see him was a joy, a stark warning to those in the Long Walk Hurdle, aspirations for Ladbroke World Hurdle glory is only lent. 

On Thursday I managed to find every eventuality to part from my money, Bury Parade refused, Faith Keeper fell, and Mixologist wasn’t good enough.  The Keshi Pearl keeps working out, the third and fifth to her at Warwick finished first and third respectively at Exeter on Thursday, and then Ballyhollow boosted it further with a win in a bumper.  Henry Daly’s little star should shine at Haydock in the 1.00 on Saturday. 

A valuable, much needed weekend off for yours truly, a chance to sit back and watch the racing action unfold.  There is urgency in this quarter to bring closure on 2013 with a small victory, the twelve months haven’t been the best.  2014 will quite literally be a rebuilding year, starting with the confidence. 

Thursday also witnessed the announcement of the possible return of Great Leighs, so does that mean we could have three extra AW courses in the next few years with the suggestion that both Newcastle and Catterick keen to establish the surface. 

All weather courses were initially constructed as a saviour to our bad winters when turf courses had no chance of holding a meeting and as a means to keep the levy turning over.  All weather is now run all year round. 

The prize money announced by the new Great Leighs ownership which includes Fred Done will be a minimum of £42,000 a meeting, which will be attractive to the BHA. 

The intriguing factor is whether in 2015 there will be any additional fixtures to the 1464 for 2014 and if so are these to embrace one or all of the new courses or will the fixtures be collated and redistributed amongst the new track(s) and any established ones.  Also any new tracks are entitled to be included in the All Weather championship. Will the presence of extra All Weather courses draw runners away from the existing courses?  Many questions are to be answered and established.

Back to Saturday’s action Ascot and Haydock Park.  Sydney Paget was so impressive on his last visit to Haydock he surely must go close in the Tommy Whittle Chase, Rigadin De Beauchene could well give him a scare on his run at the course in February. 

The Long Walk Hurdle was won 12 months ago by Reve De Sivola, can he do it again?  At Fishers Cross has much to prove especially after his howler of a mistake at Newbury.  Error free there is still doubt in my mind as to whether At Fishers Cross would have beaten Celestial Halo.  There is potential for more rain so I am prone to stick with Reve De Sivola.  

The potential for rain at Ascot gives me purpose to flag up Consigliere who finally gets his cherished soft surface.  He ran quite well behind Filbert last time, now’s the time to get competitive

Tanya's Saturday tips:

1.00 Haydock:  Park Keshi Pearl at 5-1 with William Hill

1.50 Ascot: Consigliere at 16-1 with Coral

2.25 Ascot: Reve De Sivola at 7-2 with Ladbrokes

Tanya's Pointers:

Seven of the last ten favourites have won the Long Walk Hurdle

Nine of the last ten winners of the Long Walk Hurdle came from the first three in the betting

Five of the seven Long Distance Hurdle winners since 2003 to have come on to run in the Long Walk Hurdle have won

Eight of the last ten winners of the Long Walk Hurdle had finished no worse than 2nd on their most recent run

Nine of the last then winners of the Long Walk Hurdle had run no more than once in the current campaign.

Seven of the last eight winners of the Ladbroke Hurdle had finished no worse than third on their most recent run. 

Only one of the last eight favourites have won the Ladbroke

Dunraven Storm has won three of his five runs at Ascot

Not including Friday Barry Geraghty has had 14 winners from his last 36 Ascot Chase rides

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