Fantasy fortune – are you in?
A regular occupation for me at the start of each jumps season was to compile a list of horses that I thought would go well in the top races that season.
This was mainly because of the Tote Ten To Follow competition. A small entry fee put you in with a chance of winning a big cash prize should the horses on your list be largely successful.
Well to paraphrase Gloria Gaynor, now it’s back (but not quite from outer space)
The competition runs from 30November 30, which is Ladbroke Trophy day at Newbury, to 25 April 25 and the season finale at Sandown. The prize fund is a guaranteed £250,000 with a first prize expected to be around £170,000.
Your mission, should you accept it, is to pick a stable of ten horses and each time they win you earn points. Depending on the level of he race the points range from ten points to twenty five for a Grade One.
There are also additional bonus points for the big races such as the Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, and the various Grand Nationals.
Twenty-five points for the winner and twelve for the runner up. And there are more points to be had depending on the Tote return for those big races.
There are also monthly prizes of £10,000. There was some excitement in the McKenzie household early one month when I found my name on the list of the top twenty.
But my big guns had already fired and that was as good as it got. But I am the eternal optimist.
I will be entering at least one list. Here is the link for those who fancy a go.
A funny weekend last week for those with big reputations. Both Apples Jade and A Plus Tard were beaten at Navan. Fakir D’oudairies made a winning debut over fences on the same card beating Champion Hurdle runner up Melon.
Gold Cup hope Santini won his first open chase by just a head. He will have to improve from that.
Bit of a guess
At Wincanton the two odds on favourites went in. Reserve Tank looked decent on his chase debut but Fusil Raffles, like Santini trained by Nicky Henderson, was not as impressive winning the Elite Hurdle.
It is a bit of a guess as to how much these horses will come on for their first runs.
Sir Alex Ferguson is used to winning and his Give Me A Copper won the Badger Beers Silver Trophy by a neck from Soupy Soups in a fantastic finish.
Fleur Irlandaise was probably the most interesting winner of the week. She won at 100/1 at Kempton on Monday. A bit of a surprise. She was making only her second appearance in Britain after transferring here from France.
Her last run over the Channel was a winning one at Dieppe so there was a case to be made. But going down by thirty eight lengths on her debut for Nick Littmoden did not auger well. It shows you that horses definitely do not look at bookies boards.