Hereford: conditions will be very testing on Tuesday
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
I SUPPOSE life will go on. Somehow we must put Atlanta Falcons’ heart wrenching Super Bowl defeat behind us and move on, to Hereford.
First though, spare a thought for Lucy Alexander, whose career since winning the conditional jockeys’ championship in 2012/13 has been plagued by injuries. In the latest piece of bad luck, she was kicked in the face after Rocklim fell at Musselburgh on Saturday and is off again, hopefully not for long. Chin up, if you can.
Whatever state Alexander’s in, it won’t be much worse than Hereford. It’s less than a week since the rain sodden ground there was turned into a suet pudding.
The seven races were each run in an average of over 54 seconds slower than the standard time. Ignoring the closing bumper race, 28 of the 59 runners failed to finish.
I feel sorry for the ground staff. They must have felt like crying when they saw how horribly cut up the turf was.
They’ll need to be wondermen and wonderwomen to have got the track back into a reasonable state, with the going officially heavy again. Horses won’t be finishing very fast, if at all.
We refer to “mudlovers” but how many horses, if any, actually enjoy racing on heavy ground? “Mudlovers” still finish knackered. It’s relative. They just cope better with testing conditions than most other horses.
So step forward Matrow’s Lady (2.40 Hereford), a confirmed “mudlover” whose five successes have all been on soft or heavy going, the latest when returning from a break at Lingfield a week ago.
Neil Mulholland’s ten-year-old carries a 7lb penalty which is significantly less than the handicapper is likely to penalise her for winning by 20 lengths.
Although top-weight Gardiners Hill has won his last two outings on soft ground the graduate from point-to-pointing seems less beholden to it than Matrow’s Lady.
David Rees’s seven-year-old is improving but he needs to be because Mr Nasty has put him up another 14lb.It’s easy, isn’t it?
As long as Sean Bowen (Noel Fehily is otherwise engaged at Market Rasen) doesn’t make a complete balls-up of it, all you’ll have to do after congratulating the jockey and trainer is collect your winnings and stick them all on Gayebury in the next (3.15).
Gayebury has never raced on anything faster than soft and on his latest run finished a creditable if respectful runner-up to the very useful Willoughby Court in a Grade 2 event at Warwick.
A 7lb penalty shouldn’t stop him winning, probably at odds-on but you won’t mind that too much because at Newcastle Mulholland will already have teamed up with Hollie Doyle to win the second division of the apprentice handicap on Moayadd (2.00).
To make the trip worthwhile Doyle will probably also win the first division for Wilf Storey on Highway Robber (1.30).
Sometimes it’s ridiculously easy although it’s important to point out that just as share prices can go down as well as up so can my selections. I think you’ll find it’s the jockeys’ fault.
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