Racing: Becher folly kills McCain's Account
Monday 23 November 1998
Gore, however, was all that was noticeable about another contestant of the Becher Chase, Bold Account. There is no greater proponent for the devilish National than Donald McCain, his trainer, the man chiselled into the race's folklore via the triumphs of Red Rum.
Ginger handled the equine cat admirably, but his pronouncements on the National itself have not been so sage. He thinks the race tame these days because of the recent modifications. Bold Account, a plodding gelding, was not to know he was moderate, yet here he was plonked into Saturday's race in which he was a massive 42lb out of the handicap.
It was a frightening inclusion, especially as it came four days after the Aintree executive announced measures to make the world's most famous race safer. Liverpool may soon have mattresses on the landing sides as they seek to dilute the peril of the great race, and the steps announced this week were both profound and welcome.
One of the main planks was that horses with no ability would no longer jump the big ones, that a panel had been set up to sieve out the rotten. The board, unfortunately, will not sit in time for poor Bold Account. Ginger's machismo considered the horse up to this machismo task but he was proved sadly wrong, both for himself and the National itself. The eight-year-old made it to The Chair, but will never make it past another obstacle again. He fell there, a smashed shoulder condemning him to being put down.
There is a common line here for country folk who believe that townies should not go poking their little views into matters of the land. He died doing what he enjoyed, they say, that he was supremely looked after until his death. It is a sentiment disturbingly close to reporting that the prisoner ate a hearty breakfast before a day trip to the gallows.
A more admirable moment was the Ascot victory of The Toiseach, who may be a misspelling but is real as far as jumping goes.
James Fanshawe will decide this week if his runner goes for the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday, and the signals yesterday were that the gelding would be in the line-up. "He will never be handicapped as well as this again with just a 4lb penalty, but we will have to see how he is," the Newmarket trainer said.
It was good to see Fanshawe win as he is among the most humble and small- hatted of men with a licence. He has recently enjoyed a staggering Flat season, supervising a Group One victory for Invermark and ending the turf campaign with a profit of pounds 68 to a pounds 1 stake on his runners.
n Martin Pipe yesterday confirmed that Murphy's Gold Cup winner Cyfor Malta will miss the Hennessy. Pipe said: "He will probably go for the Tripleprint at Cheltenham."
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...
£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Breakdown Engineer...
£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...