Haldon hill still can thrill
Simon Nott gets back on the jumps circuit
master of ceremonies in the parade ring and winner’s enclosure. Maybe her mind was wandering when she appeared to inform the racecourse that the ‘jockeys were getting married’ as opposed to mounted in the last.The bookies were the ones well and truly shafted and in the red when Karl Marx was backed from 5/1 into 7/2 and landed the gamble by a head from 16/1 shot Culm Counsellor.Nasty for the bookies but it had been lovely to be back up on Haldon Hill all the same.
It was also great to hear the news that ‘Leglock’Luke Harvey has bagged a bit of work with ITV when they take over racing coverage. He’s such a likeable chap I’m sure he’ll do well.As soon as he’s a household name I’m also sure he’ll be a shoe-in for I’m A Celebrity and eating the unmentionable in the jungle – the sky’s the limit Luke!
GOODWOOD OCTOBER 9
As opposed to Exeter kicking off their new season, Goodwood were hosting their last meeting of the year. The sevenrace card was very well attended with a heaving crowd there on what was a glorious autumn Sunday.
There was plenty of equine support too with big fields for the bookmakers and punters to get stuck into. Fifteen went to post for the opener which was the Eve Trakway Alderbrook Stakes, a race for professional National Hunt jockeys.There was no problem getting pilots despite Chepstow hosting a meeting on the same day.
Major Mac and Be My Sea were sent off 9/2 joint favourites but had to settle for third and fourth behind 7/1 winner Arthur McBride under David Crosse. Business was reported as busy but small. One bookmaker was made to jump when handed a bet of £4,200-£300 Rosie Royale but never had to sweat as she beat only one home.
The books had a result in the next when Silvestre De Sousa booted 10/1 shot Gold Award to victory. There had been some decent money about for several others in the race including No Not Again backed from 7/2 into 11/4 and Wind In Her Sails 4/1 into 3/1 so that cash all stayed in the hods.
There was some excitement on the rails when one bookmaking firm reported sighting a celebrity in the crowd, none other than veteran TV presenter Fred Dinenage.I didn’t spot him myself though and as they also said they’d seen a bird on Kennel Hill they may not be that reliable. Everyone knows that you won’t see a bird on Kennel Hill. I’ve been looking since the 1990’s.
There appeared to be a right old touch landed in the Nursery when Colonel Frank was backed from a morning priced 8/1 into 10/3 and won impressively.
There were a decent few bets for other horses on-course with most of the business for the winner apparently done off course prior to racing which was no doubt good news for the track layers.There was even better news for those that were involved in the Jim Crowley Champion Jockey gamble when he secured a quickfire double on Lady Macapa in the‘Happy Birthday Tony Pannett’ Stakes. At first glance the 14/1 winner was a‘result’for the ring too but one bookmaker was soon to point out that they can easily run into those priced horses in 15-runner handicaps as this was. You have to laugh, not many bookies appear to have half full glasses.
An odds-on shot on the card isn’t ideal for a Sunday meeting but it did give the bookies a chance to get a short one beaten and guarantee a winning day.The trouble is, the short one needs to get beaten and this one trotted up. Not only that but it trotted up under Frankie Dettori after being backed from 1/2 to 1/3. I didn’t hear of any real lumps on course but there were several three-figure bets that would have lightened the satchels. They got it all back again in the penultimate when Soldier In Action drifted from 10/1 to 12/1 before trouncing the opposition by six lengths.
There was a gamble thwarted in The Season Finale Stakes when a 20/1 into 12/1 punt on Joe Tuite’s Fast Dancer was chinned near the line by 6/1 shot Dark Devil.It must have been galling for those in on the punt because the winner won under an inspired ride by David Nolan coming from a bad draw to sneak up the rail. So that was Goodwood done for another year and the last of my bi-annual
Mossy in action