11 December 2008
PEOPLE COMMENTED last week that they approved of my putting up my weekend winner at the start of my piece so I am going to stick with it again this week.
My bet for Saturday is Imperial Commander in the Boylesports.com Gold Cup at Cheltenham. After his fine performance to win last month's Paddy Power Gold Cup Nigel Twiston-Davies' rising star will try to become the ninth hoss to secure both of Pestbury Park's big winter two and a half mile chases.
The last hoss to achieve this double was Exotic Dancer in 2006 and with Jonjo O'Neill's dropping away from the declarations for this year, Imperial Commander will shoulder at least 11st 9lbs this weekend.
The race sponsor Boylesports have chalked him up at 2-1 and the firm's representative commented that since the market opened it has all been about one hoss. Imperial Commander is bound to go off favourite he added. After a very bullish report from his trainer the probability is that the odds will shorten further.
The spokesman also said "Both the trainer and the jockey think he could be Gold Cup class and in that case he will be very hard to beat on Saturday".
My own observations are that it will be wise to check out what A P McCoy is riding in the race because the form he is in at the moment he could win on a clothes hoss.
If I had to find a long shot each way chance for the race I would go for Stan out of Venetia Williams' yard. She is a superb trainer and gets the best out of all her charges.
Stan is an improving hoss and well worth an each way tickle but my bet of the day is Imperial Commander.
On the subject of jumping racing, we are taking Lawyer To World for his first run over hurdles at Fakenham on New Year's Day. I have a personal interest in this hoss as you know. He is very difficult to train. He walks his box twenty hours a day so he is just turned out in a field all weathers to keep him calm.
He is bred in the purple but has never achieved his full potential. We ran him at Southwell last Tuesday to sharpen his fitness and there is a very good chance that he will make the place money at Fakenham at a very long price.
Finally my weekly update on Racing Club news, Mrs Dunnett our trainer is having an open day at her yard on 14th December to which all club members are cordially invited. There will be plenty to eat and drink and you will be able to see our new yearlings and Flash with all the other pregnant mares getting nicely fat.
If you should wish to go please contact the paper and I will personally send you directions.
Our filly had a saddle on her back for the first time last week and continues to show promise of being on the racecourse early in the spring. As for our colt he still has me dreaming of future greatness for him.
I was cleaning my car last Sunday morning and I rolled up my shirtsleeve so that it would not get wet. There on my arm was the great big bruise where our colt had bitten me last week.
I gave him a carrot and he held it in his mouth just like Winston Churchill smoking a cigar. Mrs Dunnett said we should try to get the picture and send it to the paper.
Our hoss knew we were laughing at him so when I offered the carrot a second time he bit me. He is an absolute devil and I love it. It shows he has fire and spirit. Mrs D likes to castrate all the colts because it makes them so much easier to train but I am going to try to make the case for keeping him all in one piece. I like him the way he is.
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