I started this other post about what I have to do in a week, partly because I thought it might help me to objectively assess if I was doing too much as my mother might put it. I have a work colleague who terms it being banged out which I think is as about as descriptive as it gets. Anyway, before I had even got off the subject of work, or onto the topics of motherhood, studying, exercising, dog-walking or blogging I felt tired. And a bit bored. The secret perhaps to keeping all those plates spinning on high poles in the circus of life is to never try and count them.
One plate that has definitely fallen off and smashed is the punting one. There is a time in every flat season when the horses go over the top, the ground goes and the results become ridiculously unpredictable (for me anyway). It is about this point, if you have any sense, you switch the jumps racing and start backing everything that Nigel Twiston-Davies trains until the end of November. Perhaps I have no sense, but a Saturday with no fixed plans (apart from lesson plans to write and assignments to start and a family to feed and interact with) just calls to me for a few last hoorahs before Champions Day next weekend.
Then when I start seriously thinking that Mick Channon’s Montaff might be a lively outsider at 50/1 in the heritage handicap at Ascot I realise that I myself have gone over the top mentally. The idea I had was that Johnny Murtagh is staying to ride this one when he could go home to Ireland after the preceding race, ergo there must be a good reason for this. I know this plan is flawed because last weekend he stayed ’til the last to ride a Fanshawe beast, Horse Chestnut, at HQ. This idea combined with the conkers in my handbag convinced me it was a done deal, although I also managed to cover the stake with a win bet on a Hamdan second-string that was second. The Horse Chestnut was nowhere. Never mind, the theory’s still a sound one and I’ll give it another whirl later. The other reason I can’t leave it alone is that Montaff has never run over 12f on the ground and I think both are perfect for him. Additionally, he’s had a break of 74 days. Channon rarely gives his horses a break, so either Montaff has been hopping around on three legs in the interim, in which case I am surprised Murtagh is bothering to ride, or they have been freshening him up. Coming into the same race off a 72 day break is the filly Tinaar who I was quite taken with in May. I’ll be giving her a second look too.
I think the best chance of the day belongs to Doc Hay in the 5f maiden at Wolverhampton. He’s being turned out quickly after running 6th over 6f at Windsor on Monday and Jamie Spencer is in the plate. He’s an expensive individual, the horse not Mr Spencer, and at 7/2 now it would seem a fair supposition that connections are expecting better this evening.
Finally there are the bumpers, maidens for the NH horses. I’ve looked at them all, the most interesting to me being the one at Hexham where there are various contenders with a chance. I suspect our winner will come from River Dragon, Lady Counsellor or one of the two sons of Old Vic: Cool Vic and Dunowen Point, but picking one might be difficult.
Finally at Bangor in the bumper I am going to take a chance in opposing a Jonjo/McCoy hotpot with a McCain horse Jessie Gwendoline. She’ll be carrying just over a stone less than the fav and might be a bit of value. Who knows? What I do know is that I am going to have to either walk down to the bookies with the dog later, or put some money back into my “lucky” online bookmaker Paddy Power because I have been embracing being wrong so very much lately.