Richard Forristal: Sunday service
Outsider to note: Very Edgy
Industry tissue prices suggest that Very Edgy could be a rare long-shot mount for Tony McCoy in the 3.10 handicap hurdle at Huntingdon tomorrow, yet there are grounds for believing that the Charlie Egerton-trained gelding can go close.
Having finished second in both of his bumpers in 2009, Very Edgy clearly has ability. He failed to match that level of form in three runs last term, though he did manage a fourth in a decent maiden hurdle on the first of those outings, under McCoy.
It is pretty obvious from Very Edgy's lack of racing that he has had problems, but with a first-time tongue-strap and blinkers applied now, he should do better, while an eight-runner field means that each-way wagers will pay out on the first three.
Huntingdon 2.40 -- Sizing Ireland
Huntingdon 3.10 -- Very Edgy
Naas 3.0 -- Cottrelsbooley
Sedgefield 3.20 -- Mauricetheathlete
2,500 What Michael Butler was fined by the Turf Club after his Dundalk winner Haveahaarth tested positive for a banned substance.
117Days Ruby Walsh spent on the sidelines with a broken leg before his return to race-riding yesterday.
27 Irish horses left in the 2011 Aintree Grand National following Wednesday's forfeit.
Quote of the week
"What has been slightly overlooked is that we were doing our best, and because of that we almost got into the biggest trouble of our careers. Racing should be promoting races like the Doncaster race and both Jason and Dickie (Johnson) were phenomenal that day." -- Donald McCain offers his two cents following his jockey Jason Maguire's partially successful appeal against a controversial whip ban on Thursday.
Three things we
learned this week
1 Things are getting cramped in the weigh room. With horse numbers continuing to plummet here, it was inevitable that more jockeys would be forced to look elsewhere. This week, following Tom Ryan and Bobby Molloy's recent relocation to Australia, it was announced that the 2009 Galway Hurdle winner Stephen Gray will soon be joining them, as will Johnny Allen, Donal MacAuley, Eddie Power and Ken Whelan. Jockeys have always been one of this country's prime exports, but rarely has desperation compelled so many to go so far. More luck to them.
2 Bookies get away with daylight robbery. Bad and all as Paddy Power's betting-without-the-favourite market was in the race that Roi Du Mee won at Naas recently when the firm went odds-on about two of the three other runners, it wasn't a patch on the SPs returned on a maiden at Wolverhampton on Monday, when two joint-favourites came back as 10/11 shots. Worse still, a 50/1 won -- who'd be a punter?
3 Appeals processes aren't all bad. Jason Maguire's initial whip ban seemed unjust, but his success in getting a vital day shaved off on appeal means the Champion Hurdle can now be enjoyed unconditionally. In a way, the appeal couldn't have been less successful, but it couldn't have been any more either.
Monday: Ffos Las, Lingfield (AW), Newton Abbot
Tuesday: Exeter, Newcastle, Southwell (AW)
Wednesday: Naas, Catterick, Fontwell, Kempton* (AW), Lingfield (AW)
Thursday: Clonmel, Carlisle, Folkestone, Kempton* (AW), Wincanton
Friday: Ayr, Leicester, Sandown, Wincanton, Wolverhampton* (AW)
Saturday: Limerick, Ayr, Chepstow, Sandown, Wolverhampton (AW)
Sunday: Limerick, Navan, Market Rasen, Warwick