Buywise primed to go through pain barrier again
Having any confidence in this Saturday being the occasion Buywise finally wins an important handicap would be a little like mentally spending the proceeds from an eight-match football accumulator before a game has started.
It is probably not going to happen, but there is always hope.
At two Cheltenham Festivals and in a couple of Paddy Power Gold Cups, Evan Williams' gelding has been anchored a long way off the pace, usually thrown in a mistake or two and then stayed on with purpose when it was all too late.
Last month's effort, when beaten just half a length by Annacotty, was his closest shave yet, which sees Buywise at the top of the betting against many of the same Paddy Power rivals in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup back at Cheltenham.
"The truth of it is I don't ever expect anything from him," said Williams. "He's got a couple of metal plates in a back joint, which basically stops him from using himself as properly as he ought to.
"He is a pleasure to have but it's quite difficult to get him from A to B in an ordinary fashion.
"We bought him from point-to-pointing in the north of England and tipped away with him, but his hurdling technique was shambolic. We just thought he was a clumsy so-and-so. It was driving me mad before we discovered what was wrong, that he had a fair bit of metalwork in him."
There will be no deviation from the patient tactics when Adam Wedge replaces usual jockey Paul Moloney, who broke his leg last week.
"He has really got to warm up," Williams said. "If only you could pump him full of grease it would be great, but sadly you can't do that with horses! You've got to sit and suffer with him, he is that sort of horse. He is probably going through an awful lot to get there."
Even some shrewd punters who ought to know better have developed a soft spot for this minor cult figure, and further financial sacrifice will be made against his altar on Saturday.
"We get loads of letters and emails saying they hope Buywise can win," said Williams. "We know he loves Cheltenham but there's no point me saying anything about whether he will win this weekend. I haven't got a clue."
York racecourse has become the first of the independent tracks to state its position regarding Authorised Betting Partners. While it will not enter into new sponsorship deals with bookmakers not signed up as ABPs, York will continue to accept backing from bookmakers who already sponsor, like Betfred.
In a statement York said: " As agreements for 2016 are already in place, there are no renewals pending with non-ABP bookmakers."
Pat Eddery's sister Magdalen has confirmed the 11-times champion jockey died of a heart attack.
Eddery, whose funeral was held on Tuesday, died last month at the age of 63 and his sister issued a statement, which read: "My brother did not die from alcoholism, his cause of death was myocardial infarction, coronary artery thrombus. I would also like to clarify that my brother was not suffering from depression at the time of his death." (© Daily Telegraph, London)