Back to as near as it ever gets to normality in the world of horse racing with Cheltenham a distant memory and Aintree and the Grand National a week away now.
Before then we need to talk politics as British racing seems intent on tearing itself apart with the BHA (and Nick Rust in particular) under attack from all quarters with the published letter from Mick Cannon, Henrietta Knight and Charlie Egerton the focus of most attention. I wont go in to the gory details but suffice to say flattering would be the last word I would think of. In general I would summarise that racings characters are not happy that anyone from outside the “clique” runs the business, but at the risk of alienating everyone I cannot totally agree.
Yes racing does, in my opinion, need far more input in to the BHA and yes, they do need to employ more people who have been involved in racing all their lives, especially National Hunt, but who is to say those people did not apply in the past – and were found wanting at interview?
Just because you could either ride a horse or muck one out does not guarantee you will be suitable for either office positions or to negotiate at the highest level and what we really need are the best people for the job, regardless of background. A heady mix of both side of the coin ought to work and I have to add that if racing folk were allowed to take over completely that would be a total disaster, they would have the best intentions but sometimes you just can’t have everything you want, and economics come in to the equation.
Those still awake can now read on about the racing this weekend from Newbury and Kelso for those who like to watch their racing on ITV.
Newbury has always been one of my favourite courses after a very warm welcome as a rookie scribe for the local rag and they put on a decent card when you consider they are hitting the gap between Cheltenham and Aintree. It is not really the sort of card I can get too excited about, post Cheltenham blues I suppose. However, but I am sorely tempted by the lightly raced Strong Pursuit in the opener as he makes just his third start over fences after a win here over shorter in November 2017 and a solid third at Sandown on his only start since. Sure to strip fitter for that race he also sports a tongue tie for the first time here to help his breathing and with a modicum of improvement he could well prove up to winning this off a mark of only 136.
To avoid accusations of being a “soft southerner” I had better find one to at least consider from Kelso as well and I think I have one as long as Ingleby Hollow gets the soft lead I am hoping for in the 2.25pm. This will be his handicap debut but he has not done much wrong lately with easy successes at Sedgefield and with Aidan Coleman on board I am hopeful of a repeat effort to land my bets this afternoon.
Strong Pursuit 2.05pm Newbury Saturday
Getaway Trump 2.25pm Kelso Saturday
Have a good week everyone and fingers crossed as always.