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Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's been a while

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I've had a lot on.  Where do I start....

Firstly, some non-racing stuff.  Spent last weekend in London with my daughter and had a great time. I've grown to love London and I think there's a fantastic buzz about the city. So I wasn't doing any betting or trading for a few days.

Actually, Shane MacGowan has a great song about London which sums up the good and bad about the city - it's a cracker:

 Then on Thursday, I had my driving test so I took some time out to study for that.

The good news is that I passed, so I'm absolutely delighted.

I was looking back at my goals for 2012 which I typed up in January and one of them was on driving:

I’d love to pass my test – I’ve only got the car a month so how realistic that is I don’t know but I’m going to keep learning as much as I can and hopefully, I can pass the test by the end of the year.

So that's something else off the list.  I feel quite proud because I only got a car aged 31 which is quite late in life I suppose. 

Anyhow, back to the racing. This week, John McCririck was dropped from Channel 4 racing. 

Love him or loath him, it's the end of an era. Growing up in the 80s, my old man would have the racing on the TV every Saturday and he was always part of that. He was eccentric and annoying in equal measure and he often bugged the shit out of me but now that he'll be gone, I actually think we will miss some of the entertainment value. In fact, they've dropped some good people and I'm not so sure I like the new line up to be honest. Anyhow, Nihil aeternum est - Nothing lasts forever I suppose. 

I've a couple of bets for today, below is today's Irish Independent article. Best of luck with what you do today,



IT never ceases to amaze me how much the shops charge for children's stuff these days. On Thursday, I went shopping with the little one for a Halloween costume and the face paint alone cost me the guts of a tenner, never mind the rest. In my day, there was less money around but it was a hell of a lot simpler, with black bin-liners providing the basis for every costume imaginable. Want to be a skeleton? No problem; just put on a black bag and paint the bones on with some of your da's leftover white gloss. Want to be a witch? Grand; stick on that black bag and grab the broom from the kitchen. When a knock came to the door, there’d be half a dozen kids outside, all wearing some sort of black bag disguise. So feeling peeved off at handing more than thirty quid over to the shop the other day, I thought I'd try make the bookies pay for her costume this year by sticking a ton on Double Your Money, priced 1/3 at Southwell. It seemed a simple case of buying some cash; but unfortunately the colt turned out to be inappropriately named and only managed third place, leaving me with a useless docket and even deeper in debt. That leaves me on a recovery mission today but I reckon punters can inflict some Halloween horror on the layers by backing the Mark Johnston trained Steeler in the last British group one of the season, the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster (3.05). I honestly can't see why he's priced as high as 4/1 considering the form he's in of late although it must be noted that he's never raced on anything softer than good so I'll be keeping an eye on the weather this morning. He's related to some useful winners and while successful at 7f in the past, he looked far more at ease when getting off the mark for the first time in group company last time at Newmarket over a mile. He's bred to get some distance and there are already suggestions that he'll take a chance in a Classic next season. It’s a bit early for that talk and it's best to wait and see how he gets on today but I do suspect we'll be hearing more about this one next term. That said, he faces a formidable opponent if Aidan O'Brien's Kingsbarns races at a similar level to his debut at Navan, where he bolted up in a maiden following sustained support in the markets all morning. O'Brien has a great record in this race and this son of Galileo is definitely one to stick in the notebook; although from a betting point of view, he’s a little short today at 7/4. Soon afterwards at Newbury, a chance is taken on Harris Tweed at 5/1 in the St Simon Stakes (2.45). While he's a versatile sort, he seems to go best with a bit of cut in the ground so today's underfoot conditions should be ideal. His form went a little bit astray over the summer but he was back near his best last-time-out when runner-up in a listed race at Newmarket. Considering he was conceding weight all-round as a penalty for winning a group three in April, a second-place finish was a considerable achievement. As a half-brother to Frankel, likely favourite Noble Mission is also one to watch with interest.

AT 14/1, Sirvino is overpriced in the Racing Post ipad App Handicap at Doncaster (2.00). He's been given a chance by the handicapper lately and certainly wasn't disgraced when coming fourth of fifteen in a very competitive handicap at Nottingham last time. At these weights, connections should not go home empty handed.

Racing: Maxentius has been racing in group one and two company of late and while he's performed with some credit, he's been a little out of his depth. The drop in class to group three should prove interesting today and early odds of 11/4 look tempting considering the colt has some of the best form on offer in the Horris Hill stakes (2.15 Newbury). 
Soccer: In weeks to come, will we will look back at tomorrow’s top table clash between Chelsea and Manchester United and recognise it as a turning point in the League? United have problems in defence but are still extremely hard to beat even when conceding early - which makes the win market very difficult to call.  Instead,  backing both teams to score  can pay off, priced around 8/13 (Ladbrokes).

2.00 Doncaster: Sirvino (e/w)
2.15 Newbury: Maxentius
2.45 Newbury: Harris Tweed
3.05 Doncaster: Steeler

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