Racing: Maguire pursuit

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The Independent Online
THE bookmakers no doubt hope that the sheer quantity of Bank Holiday racing will leave punters oblivious to its distinct lack of quality, and happy to put their cash on a different dubious animal every couple of minutes, writes Greg Wood. The televised cards, though, are the giveaway, with Channel 4 offering seven races: six handicaps and a maiden.

The day's feature event, in theory at least, is the Moet & Chandon Silver Magnum, the 'amateur's Derby', over the Classic 12-furlong course at Epsom. In practice, it is an ordinary handicap, with the uncertain riding talents of its gentleman jockeys confusing the issue still further.

It may be what the holiday crowds want (or will put up with), but true fans will look elsewhere for their entertainment. The smartest ones will be at Cartmel in the Lake District, generally accepted to be the most picturesque track in Britain, though there are other National Hunt cards scattered throughout the country. Of particular interest are Newton Abbot and Plumpton, where Richard Dunwoody and Adrian Maguire respectively will continue their tussle for the jump jockeys' title.

After a treble at Cartmel on Saturday, Maguire has 16 winners, just one adrift of Dunwoody, and he will be disappointed with anything less than three more winners from his six rides on a sparse card at the Sussex course. Dunwoody, with five mounts in Devon, will also be hoping for a double at least.

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