It’s a big time of year as an owner, and there are highs and lows. Aintree was ultimately a real mix, and there was a lot of good and bad on Saturday. I didn’t go up as I was at AFC Wimbledon for a match that my wider family were sponsoring in memory of my great uncle, who owned the club in the 60’s and 70’s.
Mon Michel ran in the first, and pulled up fairly early. It didn’t look good, but the vets report was ok – he had a problem but hopefully it was a one-off. His day will come. Betting-wise the day was good as I went in fairly heavy on Al Eile – it made for a good Aintree as I had backed Binocular on the Thursday. My horse in the National fell at the second – it didn’t worry me much in the scheme of things.
My big worry for the day was the Betfair SP, which suffered from unanticipated demand and came in very short on the winner, Comply or Die. It was embarrassing for the SP mechanism – I’m away from the company at the moment, but I initiated this project and it matters a lot to me. The guys papered it over – they made more of a meal of it than they might have but the end result was fine. When the dust cleared and we looked at the numbers I was pretty staggered at the number of people who had bet at Betfair SP (on win and place) so I didn’t feel that bad.
All of this took away from the day’s top football stories. AFC Wimbledon, having been 1-0 down at half time charged back for a 2-1 win. More impressively perhaps, Swindon stormed to a 3-0 win over Oldham. Jeremy was positive – Oldham had played poorly but we had played better than recently, McNamee looked great again, Cox had regained his touch.
There a lot of news coming in on the horses, some good some bad. Winker is going great and we’re on target. Max One Two Three scoped dirty and will have a little time out – she’ll probably have to go straight to the Guineas now, although this isn’t a great concern. Shawhill and Theophrastus both have fractured pelvises and both have to be confined to their boxes for a while – it will be some time before either of them see a racecourse. Bouguereau is declared for the Feilden stakes next Wednesday. Effingham is declared twice at Nottingham next Tuesday. Lord Snooty is close to a run in the US, and he is apparently very well. Skid Solo may be my first 2yo runner next Friday. Lilac Moon is close to a run, and she has done well over the winter.
More immediately I have a fair amount of Gifford action over the next couple of days. Today Ours runs at Fontwell and Better Together runs at Towcester, both in real low grade fare. I haven’t reported much on these two for a while as they had become disappointing – both could do better today on different ground and down in class (and in BT’s case he may like the bigger obstacles). Ours is capable (at this level) but can be unwilling. Better Together runs in his first chase, and this is what he was born to do (he is a big horse). Ours may be the better betting proposition of the two.
Tomorrow at Ascot we run Big Paddy, and he’s a nice horse at this level. He is a horse who loves to race, and he puts it all in, which is a big positive.