Ashforth’s Angles: show me the Munny


Ludlow, where David’s focus lies on Wednesday

  PICTURE: Steve Davies  

LIFE’S full of disappointments and there’s another one in the Racing UK Handicap Chase at Ludlow (3.35). I don’t know whose fault it was, whether it was Anne Thompson, who bred him or someone else but I wish William Money had been called William Munny, instead.

It’s not that William Money has done badly, after all Tim Vaughan’s ten-year-old has won four chases and a point-to-point but if he’d been called William Munny we could have reminisced about the memorable character in one of the greatest of Westerns, Unforgiven.

Clint Eastwood directed the 1992 film and played William Munny, with Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman alongside. Unforgiven won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and, for Hackman’s role as sheriff Little Bill Daggett, Best Supporting Actor.

It’s not my fault that the horse was misnamed and I shall call him William Munny, regardless. I suggest that you do the same.

Daggett: “You’d be William Munny out of Missouri. Killer of women and children.”

Munny: “That’s right. I’ve killed women and children. I’ve killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another. And I’m here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you did to Ned.”

Later, when Munny prepares to come out of a bar, “All right now. I’m coming out. Any man I see out there I’m gonna shoot him. Any sonofabitch takes a shot at me, I’m not only gonna kill him I’m gonna kill his wife, all his friends and burn his damn house down.”

William Munny should liven up that chase nicely. The rest of the field had better get out of his way.

There are other eye-catching names on display. I know it’s a bit silly homing in on double-barrelled names but there’s something about them. Under Rules, hunter chases are their natural home and there’s trainer Glyn Slade-Jones with The Ould Lad at Ludlow (4.45) and Emma Smith-Chaston with Harris at Doncaster (4.20).

Were the families once the Jones and Smith families or have they always been Slade-Jones and Smith-Chaston? And is Miss Emma Smith-Chaston, the trainer, the same person as Harris’s rider, Miss E Chaston? Does she drop the Smith when riding in order to save weight?

While those and other pressing questions are answered in Britain, Tony Kelly makes a rare appearance in the saddle at Punchestown (4.35) to ride Dawn Raider for Patrick Kelly. I point it out – and it could be a valuable pointer – because I don’t suppose that, left to yourself, you’d have noticed. You have to do everything for some people.

Either Patrick told British-based Tony that if he came over he’d got a certainty for him to ride or he told him that a relative was visiting from America and it would be nice if Tony could join them and he might as well ride while he was over.

Anyway, Dawn Raider’s been running well and looks to have a good chance. Don’t say I didn’t tell you, unless he loses.


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