Monday, 11 April 2011

Head to head..

With Almost Blue and Commercial Express having won their previous starts it was bound to be a hotly contested race when they were forced into taking each other on at Morpeth yesterday, the trainer couldn't split them and neither could the market which opened up with Uncle & Nephew as 6-4 joint favourites for their head to head.  Eventually youth was favoured and Commercial Express was sent off at 5-4 versus 7-4 for Almost Blue, they duly took it up 5 out and had a tremendous battle all the way up the home straight, Kit looked to be travelling much the better as he took it up going in to the last but a Herculean effort from his Uncle saw Almost Blue fight back on the run in and grab the race in the shadow of the post.  Bravo! say I to both of them, a tremendous race & hopefully unique as a rematch will be avoided at all costs!  They finished a distance clear of the remainder.
It was just compensation for Jamie who earlier in the afternoon had been put through the wing on Noir et Vert, a nasty incident from which both were lucky to emerge unscathed.  Unfortunately the Billinge's Minimo showed little enthusiasm for racing on her debut which was disappointing as she had schooled nicely at home and Lucy had a decent 3rd in the Ladies Open on Desertmore Star, her first ride for Mike Smith.  Today she rides Thunder Hawk in the 4.30 at Hexham for Stuart Coltherd and Robert Miller-Bakewell, 11 run; we are unrepresented, Playing Footsie having been balloted out.
Later this week we have Forcefield and Playing Footsie entered at Ayr(Fri/Sat) and Amulree at Wetherby on Sunday, will need some rain for them to run.  Fabby tells me a £10e/w wager on his top two selections at the Aintree meeting would have produced a £430 profit on the Tote and a £491 profit at Betfair SP, he will be locked up again until Royal Ascot and "Trendy" will not be let out again until next year's Grand National.
And then the Masters...... wow, incredible theatre, poor poor McIlroy, will he ever recover from that, let's hope so.  One year I would like to be able to stay awake until the end, every year its the same struggle followed by eventual capitulation - I think it will be a good measure of having my life sorted out properly, being able to stay awake for the Masters, how's that for an ambition!

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