Sandown is the place to be today on lets be honest a very “light” (or it rhymes with that if you are from Northern Parts) days racing.
Always a tough few weeks with the frosty weather and of course for those with little to do in the evenings or those perhaps on health kicks or Dry January’s there is always a fun game to play.
The rules are simple you guess from the quotes from the Clerks of the course the night before which meetings are going to be on. A few clues the more positive the clerk is and if the phrase “Cautiously Optimistic” is used the less likely a meeting is to actually be on. I’m cautiously optimistic you will have hours of fun watching the clerk squirm when it’s off at 9am the next day not long after his upbeat bulletin. Even if you don’t have incredible fun it will still be a better laugh for you than those Trainers and owners who have set off to the said racing meeting under the impression it is on.
In a multi million pound industry we still have going and course condition reports from one bloke wandering around with what is basically a stick, a bloke or woman who has a vested interest in telling you the weather may be a little bit better than it actually is. Surely the BHA can work out a more scientific method if they have a few minutes in between organising more All Weather Racing.
Sandown is a real test even when dry but when it’s soft the emphasis is on stamina and that will be the case in the veterans Championship race at 3pm. This is a great idea by sponsors 32 red and is the culmination of a series of veterans races run all over the UK. These are incredibly popular with punters and racegoers as we see old heroes who people have watched for years battle it out. The fact is all of these horses are in decline but the trick is who is declining slowest and who is on the best weight in relation to their decline.
Dynaste is the class act here but he was wretched last time and looks a shadow of his former brilliant self, he looks a false fave to me. Aerial must have a good chance and should he win he is assured of a terrific reception (don’t groan you will be texting it round). But I cannot get away from the claims of Gas Line Boy who has had a new lease of life since joining Ian Williams. He is owned by a syndicate led by Mick Fitzgerald who somehow has been kept on by ITV despite describing every horse as “very much a work in progress” and last time out romped away from a similar field. Ian Williams is one of the most underrated Trainers out there and he reports Gas Line Boy in tip top shape. I’ve availed my self to the 9/1 each way offered by Ray Winstone’s friends at bet365 and I did it responsibly before you ask.
We have big plans for the Simon Holden Racing Club in 2017 and I would like you to be part of it so sign up by CLICKING HERE and just one more thing today those of you who signed the petition and or marched on Downing Street for the return of BetFan TV well… (A) – you should get out more! And (B) – your efforts may be about to be rewarded so watch this space.
Back next Saturday… or at least I’m Cautiously Optimistic I will be!
Simon Holden Racing Club