Just a quick post rather than my usual full (and generally unhelpful!) preview.
No supporters should be worried about West Wizard being beaten by Sgt Reckless at Kempton today. That was a perfectly acceptable introduction to the jumping game and the front two eased well ahead of the remainder. Primarily West Wizard jumped well, particularly when the speed increased and maybe Sgt Reckless is an improving type who could be another player. This is a great opportunity for ante post players to get real value. By comparison why would anyone want to back Annie Power when in receipt of 11lb with no Cheltenham target or, dare I say, even a Cheltenham outing in mind?
I’d expect West Wizard to live up to the expectations of his yard. How many Cheltenham winners have a perfect record?
I watched the race using the Racing UK replay facility. Why wouldn’t you when the Racing Post alternative doesn’t include live racing unless you pay a heavy subscription or bet on the race (let alone their current difficulties)? Much more importantly the Racing UK site has recently got its act together by allowing TV subscribers (like me) to have access to live racing not just on TV but also on my iPad and on the Web. It’s just what I’ve been looking for. Most of the best races covered (and Ascot on its way). Being the saddo I am, as well as accessing races whenever I want to during the day I can now catch up on the day’s racing at bed time using the iPad and Apple TV. No comments please about how I might be making better use of bed time!
Racing UK costs £240 a year for what is now pretty full coverage. If, like me, you’re an aficionado of racing rather than having to bet on every race then selective betting more than covers the subscription and gives you a much better chance! I’m frustrated by their lack of HD broadcasting when it was supposed to happen years ago (http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tech/news/a220673/racing-uk-outlines-hd-coverage-plans.html) but I suppose it will come in time. It’s no doubt a lot to do with their lack of advert breaks which enables much better build up to the races and I wouldn’t sacrifice that.
I tend to watch RUK on the big days and then switch to Channel 4 HD for the main races.
So, there are my Monday night thoughts. I have to sign off with a call and that is for Invictus to defy 651 days off. Before his extended break he had behind him in the Reynoldstown in February 2012 Bobs Worth, Alfie Spinner, Silviniaco Conti and the then very good Baile Anrai. He’s rising 8 and could be the star in waiting. The Hennessy has a tradition for initiating (as well as confirming) stars and I think he might just be a well named star in the making. I’m very pleased to say that I’ll be there to see whether it happens.