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Guinness Gold Cup – Punchestown

Some days I can’t keep up.

I knew the Punchestown Festival was on, but for some reason I thought the Gold Cup was later in proceedings. I spied Denman on the front of today’s RP at the garage at about 4 this afternoon. Yikes, I thought, I want to back Joncol. I bought the paper rushed home and checked the non-runners.

Joncol was reported as having been taken out on account of the ground just before 4 today. So not only was I chasing my tail, I am now chasing the full story.

In a way it makes things easier, because I want to switch off from fences entirely. But Denman still goes, despite the fact he and Joncol look to be cut from similar vast swathes of cloth. The difference is in years. Joncol has more to come I am sure and Paul Nolan might be jeopardising next season for this late season goal. It takes balls to take the horse out and I am sure he has done the right thing. It is probably a mark of how high his hopes are for this horse (for my own reckoning has him bang there in next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup). Denman on the other hand is being asked another question on going faster than I like the sound of. I hope he wins, but I won’t be watching. For a bit of each-way interest I might take a price about Planet of Sound. It’s only a feeling and the other I want to see popping round for fun is War of Attrition so he can retire on a high.

Paul Nolan taking a longer view

Eye on the Prize

This is funny old Cheltenham what with all the turn ups for the books (and now we need never wonder where that saying came from). I think I have though finally achieved notgettingsuckedintoallthehype and have ended up unbroke. It’s not what I thought it would be though. I imagined I’d feel more, well, smug. Thank god I don’t. I just feel like I am gagging for some flatter than flat racing for me togetsuckedintoallthehype. Leopards never change their spots.

That being the case it seems likely that Kauto will win tomorrow and I must admit that I will watch the spectacle without financial investment. Not because I don’t care, but because I don’t like to see Denman get beaten, not even by his neighbour. One must expect that the ground is going to be too lively for the Tank’s comfort and ease tomorrow, and that’s a shame. Today I saw an old man getting on a bus. He was a big unit, not fat, but tall and well-boned. As he got up from the bus-stop bench he reminded me of how Denman might be after galloping on good ground for over three miles. Not a pleasant thought to be honest. Maybe I am just a crazy lady comparing random bus passengers to racehorses, but that’s what I do.

As I’m being honest, I have to confess that I am not even so concerned with tomorrow’s historic clash as I am with how Cooldine will run in the same race.
I am desperate for him to run well and boost my fantasy of Joncol winning the Gold Cup in the next couple of years. I even tried to find a market tonight for next year but I have failed so far…

I’ll just keep trying.

Hello darling, I'd like to place a bet on the 2012 Gold Cup.

My Movie Star Pin-Up

is this fella, Joncol. He won the Irish Hennessy yesterday, by a neck from Cooldine. Just after that all went off I watched a film following three inmates at the Paul Nolan yard: Joncol, Cuan Na Grai and Ardalan.

Of the three, the stand out personality is probably Cuan Na Grai who would definitely be a “thinker”. Ardalan is a cheeky lad, just a bit slow and too small to fill the chasing role they end up diverting him to. Joncol is a gentle giant, described by the yard as a “Christian”, but watch him on the gallops and he knocks your eyes out.

I don’t want to spoil the film – word is that it will be shown on terrestrial television at some point – but I can say that Joncol won his debut chase in dramatic fashion which the audience applauded in a cinematic first for me. It was like going racing five or six times in an hour and half, but more comfortable, less expensive and just as exciting.

Recommended

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Appalling selections yesterday – best finish 4th and lucky that Joncol saved the day.
5.00 Wolv – Hunters Belt
4.40 Sout – Fidelor
1.20 Ling – Mzuri Bay
4.50 Ling – Graduation Night (half-brother to Sergeant Cecil so although there are other likely types on paper it’s a “has to be done” scenario)

NB the two Lingfield bumpers are being run on AW surface not on the heavy going.  One of the flashiest horses in training goes to post there at 4.20 – Pancake is fitted with a tongue-tie for the first time today as well as blinkers that have been tried before.  It’s a shame, but he seems not to be enjoying racing at the moment.  Fingers crossed for him today although I can’t see him as a gambling proposition…