Good week for . . .
Jump racing enthusiasts with the news that Betfair is offering a £1million bonus to any horse that wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the King Gerorge VI Chase and the new Betfair Chase, which takes place at Haydock on 19 November. It is hoped that the new incentive will give race goers another chance to see the likes of Kicking King and Best Mate in action.
But a bad week for . . .
Top chaser Moscow Flyer, who ended his run of 19 wins in 19 races finished over fences last week when he lost in a photo finish at Punchestown. The 11-year-old looked set for victory as he jumped into the lead four fences from home in the Grade One Kerrygold Champion Chase last Tuesday. But he hit the second-last fence badly and was beaten by the slightest of margins by Rathgar Beau.
Also a bad week for . . .
The connections and fans of Britain’s top-rated chaser Azertyuiop, who will not return to the track during the 2005/6 jumps season after suffering a nasty over-reach while running in the Celebration Chase at Sandown last month. Although initially the wound was thought not to be serious, it turns out that the eight-year-old winner of the 2004 Champion Chase will be out of action for the whole of the season. It is hoped that he will return to winning ways next season.
What’s new on eBay
Racecourse bookmaker David Money is looking to sell his No.27 Market Rasen pitch and has chosen a novel way of advertising it – he has listed it on the online auction site, eBay.co.uk. The pitch has a starting bid of £6,000 and has yet to attract any bids, although it has attracted plenty of interest from the industry.
And finally . . .
Leading young jump jockey Sam Thomas has been short-listed for Company magazine’s annual Bachelor of the Year award. A profile and photo of Thomas is included in the magazine’s latest issue, which invites readers to vote for their favourite bachelor from each of the nine British regions. Could Sam be Wales’s most eligible bachelor? Only time will tell . . .