WORLD OF SPORT - General speculations, musings and perhaps a rant
1.45 NAVAN, 19/9/20, 2m 6f HANDICAP HURDLE

An extraordinary result. Dreal Deal won a touch comfortably starting as 6/4 favourite from a rating of 84. His previous hurdle results were: 34 lengths 17th, 75 lengths tenth, 66 lengths 21st and 61 lengths 8th in maiden hurdles. He had also contestedthree handicaps, getting results of 58 lengths 11th when rated 88, 64 lengths 8th when rated 87 and 51 lengths twelfth, also from 87. The first maiden hurdle was also on good ground and this race was only a furlong further than he had raced before. Even more extraordinary than the result is that no steward's enquiry at all is mentioned. Perhaps owner/trainer Ronan McInally also had his family officiating?  *** follow-up: the trainer launches a marvellously rambling and irrelevant defence in the Racing Post ***


A big plus on this for Archie Watson on 25th August. He turns up with a horse in a mares' novices' hurdle that ran only in the mud in bumpers and did OK. Lo! The weather did whatever it did and he finds soft ground and a race where she could see off the others easily.


The third to last race, a three mile novices' hurdle, is abandoned due to excessive heat. The last couple, handicaps over two and a half miles were run. That does not ring true as although they were shorter, most people would expect the horses to be working harder for more of the race than in a novice. If the vets allow this, which was the case, then they should explain there reasons - the statement that "I am an expert, you're not" is never acceptable.


Given that one of things that Scotland is famous for is hills, mountains and rough terrain, how have they ended up without a proper undulating jumps track?


Despite publishing the line up for the Japanese classics on the same card, the Racing Post failed to mention the Nakayama Grand Jump - sometimes the most valuable jump race in the world, exchange rates permitting. It is visible on You Tube as the JRA put up a recording almost instantly, but it does look like a lazy non-effort from the Post....


Being a diligent website, the publication of the 2019 awards had been overlooked. Some said it was because we feared a social media storm over the lack of any jockeys not named Leighton Aspell or Tom Cannon in the nominations, or horses or colours other than variations on brown or grey. In truth, it was just an oversight. However, now that Leighton Aspell has retired, it does not seem worth persevering with, even though Tom Cannon marked his ascent to numero uno with a Kempton treble.


We get marvellous races like the 2.20 at Newbury on 15/1/20 that featured both Fukuto and Fubar. Disappointingly they finished eighth and ninth and nothing belligerent or bananas happened.


The range of sporting events available via BT Sport, especially when considering the add-in channels such as Eurosport and ESPN is much appreciated. The tone of the coverage, which relishes the stupidest punditry on the planet, is excruciatingly bad. And now they have added WWE to the formula, with the tone of the promos being that BT incredibly intend to dumb it down. It gives Austin Healey and Robbie Savage a chance to escape the role of most gormless idiot on televised sport, but you have to hate what 202o has in store already.


The Racing Post picked four topically named horses to follow on election day, a predictably humourless exercise given the tone of the paper at present. Realistically only two were needed. Tikk Tock Boom and Bobhopeornohope.


Most recent idiotic product watch – coffee bags. The ad asks why we never had them before. Easy answer, people like to choose their own measure and strength of coffee, and the ingredients do not leave an inedible vegetable detritus in the cup. This product deserves to fail badly. Still, the current theme of television advertising is to have the most aspirational items promoted by the most insufferable pseudo-real people imaginable. There are far too many guilty parties to even name names here. The answer is: Boycott everything to teach them a lesson


Turns out that selling funded horse fixtures to enable greyhound racing to be introducded using borrowed money is not a viable financial plan. Who would have imagined that. We would like to think that it will be a lesson to the media about blindly following the PR puff, but that is probably wishful thinking.


There is nothing like British racing fixtures for exposing the total lack of common sense that a human being can descend to. Last Friday Ffos Las and Chepstow had simultaneous evening meetings. They are not geographical near neighbours but as the only two courses in South Wales they are neighbours of a sort. On Tuesday night it got worse, with the two meetings being Southwell and Nottingham. And on Thursday, the abandoned Worcester evening meeting has been allowed to go to Ffos Las, a course whose evening jumps meetings regular miss out swathes of obstacles due to the sun, stiffing punters all over the country who have no idea if they are betting on a jumps race or glorified bumper. By all means move it, but anywhere other than Ffos Las.  


We all know Sky has made it's best drama with just a bit of fantasy and off-beat approach in otherwise well grounded situations, but an ad in which a horde of cyclists stop at a city cnetre red light is just implausible beyond belief. Also, another ad represents cycle training at home. The participants are people who appear to respond to having bland platitudes barked at them by an AI set up with a voice like dragging fingernails down a blackboard. They are probably destined to spend their lives being led like sheep and believing blatant satire and fake news on social media to be true.


Microsoft AI Television Ads. They begin with a shouty man not giving time or sound to any dissenting voices. Then an ever so earnest Antipodean woman comes on talking abut feeding the world. But the reality is that any truly competent AI, applying principles of efficiency based assessment, will decide the best way to feed the world will be to kill off half of the human race.

Emma Thompson. After jetting in to jump on the climate change protest bandwagon says something along the lines of “If I had the choice, I would use a more efficient type of plane.” She has earned her Order Of The Dismal Luvviedom, 1st Class.

Michael Jackson. Radio stations suddenly start boycotting playing his music etc. It must have been off of their radar, all those accusations of paedophilia when he was still alive.

Dan Skelton: Omens were that in a quiet news week the Racing Post was building up to waste far too much time covering his race to 200 winners, so he at least has the common decency to win six races in two days and save us from disproportionate media frenzy.

Ukrainian Election. When the previous president came into office the British media were jubilant that he was so popular whilst being pro-EU and anti-Putin. Time for a rethink on that one?


In the Tuesday edition of the Racing Post a reader submitted the opinion that Clan Des Obeaux does not act at Cheltenham, therefore does not merit Gold Cup interest. The record is four races, beaten about a length in a Grade 2 novice hurdle, sixth in the 2016 Triumph Hurdle, beaten half a length in a Grade2 novice chase (only four ran) and three lengths runner-up in a Grade 3 handicap chase carrying top weight. None of these races were beyond 2m 5f. Therefore anyone who has snapped up fancy prices in advance do not need to be losing sleep yet.


The star of this was the Irish pointer who sold for £330,000. In the reporting on the sale, the previous owner, who works for Gordon Elliott, noted that the trainer had been of great assistance in sourcing the horse in the first place. From there, he could hardly have been oblivious to what was going on with the horse, and yet at the sales, the winning bid was from agent Mags O'Toole, on behalf of... Gordon Elliott. How very strange, and it is not too cynical to wonder if some fiscal chicanery regarding fees or commissions was going on.


A few years ago there were a couple of very high profile trainers who would never run their horse when top weight in handicaps at 12 stone. This was not an objective view because what they wanted was to have the best horses, but other people's horses to be rated higher. Realising that this was all in the human mind, rather than the equine one, the powers that be lowered the minimum weight to 11 stone 12 pounds. This went on for quite a time, long after the original bleats had passed. Recently, a rule was changed so that horses rated no more than a couple of pounds above the maximum mark for the race (e.g. up to 117 in a 0-115) could run in those races with a bit of extra weight. And guess what? Loads of trainers have been happy to run with up to 12 stone 5 pounds, and the horses involved win races. What was the fuss all about?


Another idea that I have shameless ripped off from the Racing Post, but to save the suspense, they will be delivered in one hit, not as a series.

i) When the voices in your head give you a tip, back it. They are desperate to win your trust for when they need your help setting fire to something.

ii) The smaller the field, the lesser the big off-course bookies profit margin. Therefore, their love of all-weather racing is not for love of their customers.

iii) Never fear backing a market drifter, but check that it has four legs and head (preferably not all tied together) first, just in case.

iv) Any premonitions of racing results picked up in cheese dreams have a 75% chance of being true.

v) Despite what certain media people may lead you to believe, no jockey rides every single race all season to the 100% maximum of his talents, it is simply not possible to be infallible in any sport.

vi) If an acquaintance asks for a tip as a one-off on a special occasion, it will win. From this moment onwards it is not possible to tip them another winner, even if you both live to be 200.
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