After nearly a week without any racing on the grass, dear reader, Taunton finally stems the flow of lost jumps meetings today. And, as a further bonus for Somerset racegoers, they will also be the lucky benefactors of a certain Mr McCoy's riding talents, as he continues his deferred quest for three thousand winners.
But, needing two more winners to hit the mark, McCoy is highly unlikely to do it this afternoon, as he only has one ride currently: the Hobbs-trained Adare Prince. That said, it would come as no surprise were some poor junior to be jocked off their mount for supersub AP... especially if Adare should win. I mean, be honest, if you had the chance for the champ to ride, you'd take it, right?
Add to that the fact that your horse would be remembered in perpetuity as the nag that notched McCoy's triple milennium and I quietly fancy the boy to have more than one ride today...
Remarkably, I managed to tip two winners and an even money loser yesterday. AND I got the backing and laying instructions the right way round! ;o)
Today, in the first at Taunton, the luckless Sam Thomas may again have to give best to, erm, Best. Jim Best's Mount Benger that is. Benger completed a quick fire treble before finding a Class 3 Handicap Hurdle beyond him last time out. Back in claiming company today, he looks to have little to fear, aside from Thomas' mount, King Caine, who's been racing in better company, but seems to find winning tough.
It's In The Stars might run well in the 2.20, but is no more than a hopeful selection in a trappy race.
CarrickBoy looks opposable in the 2.50, with at least three promising horses taking him on. At around 7/4, he's plenty short enough.
Over at Southwell, Whiskey Creek bids to win in Class 5 for the first time and, though in great heart currently (as his three race unbeaten run testifies), I think he'll find it tougher here.
In the 2.00, a modest enough claimer, Charlotte Grey bids for her own hat-trick. She's only been out of the first three once in six starts here at Southwell, and looks a robust place wager today. Indeed, should even money be available on the exchanges later, she would be value.
For those who aren't sure how even money can be value, ask yourself whether a horse placed five out of six runs here would be likely to place once in the next two runs. If you think the answer is yes, then even money is at least fair, and probably value. [I'm sure one or two of you may be able to elaborate your understanding of value better than that, so feel free to leave a comment below to that effect.]
Lastly, I'm quite fond of Blue Hills in the 2.30. There are a few of these who need to prove their stamina over the two mile trip and on the much deeper surface up at Southwell (the only track still comprised of Fibresand). There are no such worries with Blue Hills, who won last time out, is a course and distance winner, and whose stable is in fine fettle. Incidentally, he likes to race up with the pace, so you are almost certain to get a run for your money, as they'll have to go by him in the straight.
They also race at Nad al Sheba in Dubai and, while the racing is excellent, there are still too many imponderables for me, with horses still settling in over there, and some not liking the weather.
However, one where there are no such doubts, is the superstar, Asiatic Boy. Mike de Kock's brilliant 6yo has not run since finishing 2nd behind 2008 Horse of the Year, Curlin, in the Dubai World Cup last March. But he's defied lengthy absences to win on his seasonal debut here at Nad al Sheba the last two seasons, and I confidently expect him to beat My Indy, who was impressive in a weakish race last time out.
If you get a chance to watch this race, check out a true equine superstar. I'm a huge fan of this horse. (Cue ignominious defeat?!)
Finally, it's Thursday, so it must be Thursday Fun time. In this week of crazy weather, a friend of mine snapped this pic and sent it to me. It reminds me a little of Wallace and Gromit, which is no bad thing in my book...
p.s. Did you like my talking man yesterday at Laying System? Let me know! Use the comments box below.
p.p.s. What's your idea of value? Let me know! Use the comments box below.