Distant memories and forgotten dreams

Tikka Masala ran a nice race yesterday finishing fifth in a moderate maiden.  She was giving weight to all, she had the worst draw and the ground would have been on the soft side for her – fifth was very decent under the circumstances.  She’ll be out again soon and I’d be hopeful of a better result.

Last night was the “Pride of Racing” awards, sponsored by Betfair.  I took a table – it was packed out with a lot of racing people including Princess Anne, who made a special award to Sheikh Mohammed (accepted by one of his sons).  John Francome did a very good job of running the auction – I had a chat with him afterwards about Swindon Town. 

Before the awards we had the Betfair AGM.  All the directors sit at the front while the CEO and Chairman do a presentation and take questions afterwards.  I didn’t speak at all, which is normal.  Everything seemed to be fine and there was very little evidence of any recessionary slowdown, which is exactly what I’m hearing from others in the industry.  In the past betting companies have been very recession resilient – Sportingbet delivered good numbers yesterday along with upbeat comment.  The share prices of most gambling companies are extremely low now – I would think they are good safe haven type investments in these troubled times.

I’m having a few bets today.  I think Alhaque should be coming to the top of his form now and Pete has always liked him – despite the slightly short price I’ll back him in the 1:30 at Newmarket.  My nap is Forgotten Dreams at Redcar – Harry Dunlop’s often improve sharply for their first run and this nicely bred filly ought to be ready to do herself justice today.  I may back Distant Memories at Redcar – this is an expensive horse by Tom Tate standards and he often sends them in first time up.  Ordination looks interesting in the last at Newmarket.