International bright young things
December 11th 2010. Cheltenham. Menorah, the favourite, scoots clear of Cue Card and Silviniaco Conti in the prestigious International Hurdle. These three were in the embryonic stages of their careers and they would go on to earn over three million pounds between them.
At the time it looked a good race but you could not have predicted such success from all three.
Others to have won this race include Binocular, Rooster Booster, the head case that was Harchibald, and the recently retired My Tent Or Yours. The New One has won three of the last five runnings (was second in his only other run in the race) and he is back for another crack.
Last weekend was all about Altior. On ground he hated he showed some guts to overhaul Un De Sceaux. According to Racing Post Ratings the Irish horse has run up to his best while Altior was only a couple of pounds short of his top rating.
Assuming we have the usual good to soft ground at the Festival he could surpass the 183 he was given for his Champion Chase win last March. He is already odds on for the defence of his title and the contenders don’t seem to be in the same league.
Hopefully Footpad will come back strongly in his race over Christmas to at least give us a discussion.
Failed to fire
The Arkle Trophy market has changed after Lalor failed to fire in the sticky conditions at Sandown. The winner, Dynamite Dollars, stayed on well at the end which augurs well for him regarding the Cheltenham hill. I just wonder if, on better ground, he may want further.
While on the Arkle I have finally started to read the biography of the legend which my kids bought me for Christmas a few years back. I am about halfway through but it is a really good read.
I have often received sports books from my offspring and my two favourites are both horsey tales. Eclipse, by Nicholas Clee, is more than a story about a horse. It gives a taste of the times and the lives of the sometimes shady characters involved in the Sport of Kings in the late eighteenth century.
But my top read is Seabiscuit. The film is high on my list of sport films (which can be very hit and miss it has to be said) but the book is just brilliant. Once again the history element is there (Wall Street Crash and following depression) but the relationships between the four main characters is brought to life on the pages.
Both should be on any list sent to Father Christmas.
Have a good week all