'time' to leave rivals in wake
FELIX DENNIS, the English magazine publisher and self-made millionaire, once wrote that team-spirit is for losers, and it "acts as a subtle handicap and brake to ambitious individuals".
That's a sweeping statement for sure -- but the point he's making is that if you want to get on in this life, you have to look out for number one above all else and do things for yourself.
I wish I'd stuck by those sentiments in the betting ring at Punchestown on Thursday as myself and a few mates went to battle with the on-course layers.
Things were going swimmingly when our first bet, Another Jewel, came home at 100/30 which was a nice start. All the winnings rolled on to the fantastic Quevega which duly obliged at 8/11 and, at that point, I retired to the bar on my own for some liquid refreshment.
The team collected the cash and were looking for some guidance on what to do next so I got on my mobile and told them to take whatever prices they could on Captain Chris and we would all go home happy.
Unfortunately, the phone reception was fairly bad and my message got lost in translation. Somehow, they thought I told them to TAKE ON Captain Chris and they duly started spreading the money around and dutching the other runners.
As Captain Chris crossed the line at 4/6, I cheered loudly but when the lads came in, their faces were as long as the horses that had just been running outside.
Next time I'm going racing alone and if I lose at least it will be my own fault! Never again will I leave my betting to someone else and, while I know that chasing losses is a mug's game, I'm now relying on Measuring Time to do me a good turn in the Totesport.com Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield (3.10).
His breeding suggests that he'll appreciate the step up in trip to 1m3f today and any price around 2/1 is well worth taking.
The in-running punters thought he had the Tattersalls Millions 3-y-o Trophy in the bag and duly backed him down to 1/5, but a late burst from Jamie Spencer on Auld Burns relegated the selection into second.
He reversed that form at Sandown last time and was described by Timeform as a "rock solid" colt afterward. I'm confident the Richard Hannon-trained three-year-old will take all the beating today.
- Finally, I'd just like to mention Sean Drumm, whose funeral took place yesterday.
Regular racegoers at Leopardstown may remember Sean doing various jobs at the course, including setting up the hurdles and fences for the National Hunt races.
People like Sean are the unsung heroes in our sport, the show could not go on without their hard work behind the scenes. A true Dub from Gardiner Street, Sean was an intelligent, gentle and friendly man -- and he's already missed desperately by his family and many friends.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
The odds-compilers have put Fathsta down as a 14/1 shot for the totesport Victoria Cup (3.25 Ascot) but as I write, he's already available at 20/1 on the exchanges.
The David Simcock-trained gelding has a great turn of foot and has used it to good effect in many of his 64 career races to date. He's a strong traveller and is one of those horses that doesn't get bothered by a large field so this 29-runner contest won't prove unsettling.
His latest win at Warwick was straightforward and didn't tell us much -- but he's a progressive handicapper and the six-year-old is still open to improvement.
2.40 Lingfield: Date With Destiny
3.10 Lingfield: Measuring Time
3.25 Ascot: Fathsta (e/w)
3.30 Nottingham: Khor Sheed