Still searching

12 days on from my last post and still no winners. Kings Head ran well to come fourth – the trip was probably to long and we’ll drop him back. Master of the Race also did well in coming third at a big price. He’ll get a handicap now and should be able to pick up a small race, but he’s not looking like the star of the string at the moment. Prince Ary ran on Saturday, coming second. He made a mess of the second last and blew his chance – he was probably booked for second anyway.

I had a nice Easter break with the family, and kept away from the racetrack. On Wednesday night after work I travelled up to Aintree for the National meeting. We sponsored a few races and we were doing a fair bit of hospitality – our box was buzzing with a mix of racing people, press, big punters with one or two celebs thrown in. John McCririck spent all three days in the box – he is Channel 4 and Aintree is covered by the BBC, so he was of duty TV wise. He’s quite quiet and ponderous away from the cameras. We had some footballers along – we had hoped Michael Owen would come, but he had to be on duty at Newcastle. He is very interested in horses and is opening a stable. I managed to find a few winners, but no luck in the National. I finished slightly down on the week.

I claimed a filly called Shawhill today in the 3-05 at Windsor. Mick flagged her a week ago – she had shown reasonable form but still looked very immature and looked as if she could fill out and improve a fair bit. I had a bet on her in the race – she won and I collected, not enough to buy her but a decent percentage of the price. We put the claim in – there were four claims but we were drawn out of the hat. She cost £17k.

There were two horses claimed in the race – Shawhill who had cost £1250 and Dr Fab who had cost £136,500 – more than a hundred times as much. I’d rather have a cheap horse which has surprised than an expensive horse which has disappointed. I’m very positive about it, but await the vet’s report with a little trepidation as it looks as if she may not stand up to a lot of training. The previous owners have a website, and they say about the claim;

As we run in this races this is one of the drawbacks, but how long will she stay sound!

She will go to Tom Dascombe – the vet will check her out on Wednesday.

I’ve just got back from a charity poker tournament that Betfair were sponsoring. It was a good fun event. I started out sandwiched between Sam Torrance and Teddy Sheringham. Sam is very jovial and jokey. Teddy was quieter and was concentrating on his game – I lost a big hand against him. I had A3 of spades and the flop came down SK, S10, D2. Teddy bet and I called. The turn was H7 and he went all in – after a bit of soul searching I called. He had AQ and ended up winning with an Ace high. I didn’t think much of it, but a friend criticised my play later – he said I should have gone all in after the flop. Of course he is right – it probably wouldn’t have made any difference but I might have seen him off at that point. I was moved to another table with Victoria Coren and Clare Balding. I played OK for a while – I went out chasing a straight later in the evening.

I’ve got a few entries this week. Major Eazy will probably run on Wednesday – should go well, sure to improve for the run but could nevertheless win first time of asking. Winker Watson goes on Friday at Newbury, and should go well. Mon Michel may come out fairly soon – Gary had wanted to put him away but we may look to run him again now.