The Mile…

Ricahrd Hannon Jr. with Canford Cliffs

Is an absolutely classic distance for a horse race combining, as it does, speed with a touch of stamina.

Today’s Lockinge Stakes at Newbury is being considerately run at 3.45 so, providing they get on with it at Wembley and there’s no pesky added time, the race will be run as they blow the whistle for half-time in the FA Cup Final; perfect for people who can be at neither event.

Truth be told, I would love to see Dick Turpin and Canford Cliffs in the flesh – it is on my list of stuff for this year. Whether it is just those two that battle it out with Twice Over today, as the market has it, or if it involves other good horses that have been overlooked in the hype it is definitely a must-see race.

Canford is the favourite, available at 10/11 on as I write, Dick follows at 10/3 and Twice Over is knocking about at around 15/2, from 8 earlier. Despite the clear market message making Canford the clear favourite because he has that hallmark of quality in his turn of foot that devastates fields as he comes late, because jockey Richard Hughes waxes lyrical about him and because of the esteem his trainer obviously holds the horse in, I would not steam into him. The facts are that, in two out of three meetings, Dick has actually come home ahead of Canford and last season the latter had a couple of races before he hit his undeniably brilliant stride. Dick has had a prep run (win) in a Group 2 at Sandown and although I have heard it said he may prefer a bit more cushioning underfoot than there will be at Newbury today, he gives the impression to me that all ground comes alike.

Twice Over? Well I have been once, twice and thrice through the mill with that animal and you never know how he is going to run. I don’t know if he is a moody sort, or what, but I just cannot trust him entirely. I do back him sometimes, but however much he wins I will never get back the faith that slipped away as he failed to pass Raven’s Pass in the Craven a few years ago. Apart from that, one wonders if the mile is his trip.

So, it all adds up to one thing. I have to back the Turpin and some of that will be money that loves how he runs a tough and honest race. Yes his flashier compadre Canford could come more eye-catchingly late on but Dick Turpin’s runs are all heart and that is how I like it.

Dick Turpin: the heart of a lion according to the trainer's son

Posted on May 14, 2011, in Football, Horse racing, Sport, Television, The Sport of Kings and Hobby of Paupers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Twice Over won the Craven but I know what you mean, he does like a straight course. Cityscape is the one for me. He was half-fit at Sandown and Newbury ground is never that quick with watering. Wimbledon needs to be rebuilt, your cage analogy is perfect. There was no Hawk performance last night

  2. That has made me laugh: Twice Over traumatised me so much by winning the Craven I thought that he lost! I must have backed Raven’s Pass then. Anyway, I think it reveals that I have no great fondness for Mr Cecil’s animal – and I am going senile šŸ™‚

    Now I suppose he will win…

    Blue Artisan then tonight?

  3. Actually, wasn’t I with you that day?

    Good god, shoot me when you see me. Or hold off until I tell you Harchibald won the Champion Hurdle and Frankel lost the Guineas šŸ˜‰

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