Racing: Mill sets standard for Pearl
Monday 28 December 1998
Teeton Mill now bestrides betting for the Cheltenham Gold Cup at 3-1 with Ladbrokes and has supplanted the previous market leader, Florida Pearl, who will be favourite for today's second semi in Ireland.
Florida Pearl is a big horse with a big reputation and his performances matched that description last season when he won a prestigious novice chase in Ireland and the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. However, both Boss Doyle and Escartefigue, the horses he beat on those occasions, have hardly surrounded the form with blossom since.
Florida Pearl, who will be ridden by Richard Dunwoody, will again have to promote himself today, and if he can beat both Dorans Pride and Suny Bay, Britain's top-rated chaser (until Teeton Mill is reassessed at least), we can look forward to one of the great Cup finals.
There may be some little white crosses in the ground after the Welsh National at Chepstow today as the going is once again treacherous for one of the most debilitating contests in the calendar. Martin Pipe usually has his horses fitter than most which is why he usually wins this. The Wellington wizard, if you are a fan, or a variant alliteration if you are not, has taken this prize home for five of the last eight runnings including 1992, when Run For Free, Riverside Boy, Miinnehoma and Bonanza Boy filled the first four places.
Pipe's Dom Samourai is the likely favourite today and there are grounds too for supporting his other runner, Eudipe, after the gelding's second to Teeton Mill in the Hennessy Gold Cup. It will not be easy though, as ranged against the pair is the carbon frame of Earth Summit, as well as the Hennessy third, Fiddling The Facts, and the promising Macgeorge. May they all return.
Off camera there is an intriguing Castleford Chase at Wetherby containing the young princes Direct Route and Lake Kariba, while Kempton cranks up again after a day's break with the Christmas Hurdle.
Kerawi, last year's winner, has crunching opposition here in the shape of Dato Star and French Holly, though any creature which performs today has a unenviable struggle attempting to outshine Saturday's King George win for Venetia Williams's Teeton Mill.
Williams was playing the clot yesterday when considering the grey's immediate future. Perhaps she thinks a panto trainer might catch her colleagues off guard, but from now on Lavinia will be fooling no-one. "Teeton Mill is fine this morning but don't ask me where he will run next," she said. "We have got to get the party over with first.
"I have never been in this position before so I don't know the races available off the cuff. We knew he was worth his place in the race but you have to be surprised at how well he won."
There was bewilderment too in the King George for connections of the favourite, See More Business. The horse from the West Country got the Ambrosia going he was supposed to relish. Then, he ran like a pudding.
See More Business never travelled, never jumped and never finished. He was pulled up before the embarrassment could get too extreme.
"I put the performance down to the heavy ground," Paul Nicholls, his trainer, said yesterday. Yes, the same Paul Nicholls who said his horse would skim across the surface like a water boatman once he encountered a quagmire.
Nicholls could at least divert attention with a winner yesterday when Calling Wild collected the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown, galloping fluently and giving Joe Tizzard an altogether more pleasant experience than the previous afternoon.
"I won on my first mount at Leopardstown with Playschool in the Hennessy Gold Cup and I told young Joe he had a big chance of emulating me though we were a bit pessimistic after the King George," Nicholls said. "I told Joe to creep into contention and to attack with a circuit to go if they were travelling well."
Tizzard enjoyed carrying out this set of instructions. Twenty-four hours earlier it seemed the trainer had whispered: "Get him off the bridle going to the first, clout every fence and then pull up before you get to the sniggering in the stands."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Mutual contempt burns as rivals Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho face off again
Memphis Depay to Manchester United: Striker 'arrives in England' for talks over £25m switch
Wayne Rooney is Premier League's richest footballer with £72million worth but Lewis Hamilton leads the Sunday Times Rich List
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 1 Top 20 misconceptions people believe are true
- 2 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 3 Black Mass trailer: Johnny Depp might have started making good films again
- 4 Jacob Lescenski and Anthony Martinez: Straight student asks gay friend to High School prom and makes a million Twitter friends
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...