The heart may want Somersby to win Saturday's Clarence House Chase at Ascot as a timely tribute to Terry Biddlecombe, who died two weekends ago. But the head says Sire De Grugy.
King George VI
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Friday 24 December 2010
His new jockey may be man of the moment, but not even Tony McCoy will supplant Kauto Star at the top of the bill at Kempton on Boxing Day. True, the melancholy possibility remains that neither will be there, the weather having taken a discouraging turn yesterday. Assuming the meeting survives, however, McCoy would urge those who made him BBC Sports Personality of the Year to proceed now to a further breakthrough in their awareness of his sport.
Wednesday 22 December 2010
The odds against Noland winning the William Hill King George VI Chase on Boxing Day remain pretty long, even before you factor in the snow still lying over the frost blankets at Kempton. On the adjacent all-weather track, however, he was yesterday able to complete an utterly surreal preparation for the big race.
Tuesday 21 December 2010
Royal drama The King's Speech and Mike Leigh film Another Year have clinched yet more nominations at the latest movie awards.
Tuesday 21 December 2010
In the eyes of the public, there could hardly be a less appropriately named mount for the newly crowned Sports Personality of the Year as he gets back to the day job he so loves. In stark contrast to Sunday night's glittering suited and booted occasion at the NEC, AP McCoy's arena this afternoon is Kempton, a functional racetrack built on a former gravel pit in the London suburb. And his first scheduled ride is on an as yet undistinguished gelding named Journeyman.
Monday 20 December 2010
Kauto Star may be an irresistible force, but a deep layer of snow certainly represented a fairly immovable object at the beginning of a week that is supposed to end with his historic quest for a fifth consecutive success in the William Hill King George VI Chase. Barney Clifford, clerk of the course at Kempton, had to cancel the Flat meeting scheduled for his all-weather circuit yesterday, and four inches of snow are lying over the frost blankets on the adjacent jumps track. Even so, he was not sounding too downbeat at this stage, pinning his hopes on forecasts of somewhat milder weather in time for Boxing Day.
Sunday 19 December 2010
Wednesday 15 December 2010
As though in sadistic collaboration with a bitter economic climate, the weather has been making life tougher still for the Irish racing community over the past three weeks. After serial postponements, however, the card at Fairyhouse today should redress many of their recent frustrations. It is unquestionably the best of their season to date, embracing not just three Grade One races originally scheduled here as many as 18 days ago, but also a couple of other good prizes salvaged from other tracks.
Tuesday 14 December 2010
A film about King George VI's battle to overcome his stammer is leading the pack at the Golden Globe awards having picked up seven nominations including best motion picture drama.
Tuesday 07 December 2010
On the afternoon that he was named jumps trainer of the year by his sport's scribes, pundits and commentators, Nigel Twiston-Davies had to admit that even his skills were not up to getting recently-injured Imperial Commander back to full fitness in time for the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
Monday 06 December 2010
Colin Firth's new film, The King's Speech, scooped five gongs at the Moet British Independent Film Awards last night.
Friday 03 December 2010
Thursday 02 December 2010
During this period of suspended animation in jumps racing, even a single canter by the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner represents a pretty major development. The one completed by Imperial Commander yesterday was his first since a successful reappearance at Haydock 12 days ago, in the course of which he sustained a gashed foreleg. And it emboldened his trainer to confirm him right back on target for a showdown with Kauto Star at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Tuesday 30 November 2010
A pessimist, dismayed by the sudden suspension of jumps racing, might find it hard to imagine a thaw in time for the race to take place at all. But optimists yesterday preferred to embrace new grounds for believing that two of the central protagonists at Kempton on Boxing Day, Imperial Commander and Noel Fehily, will each overcome a more tangible menace to their participation.
Monday 29 November 2010
Emerging hurdling talent Peddlers Cross, who took the scalp of Binocular on Saturday on his first venture into the senior ranks, is unlikely to cross swords with the reigning king again until the Champion Hurdle. The new kid on the block will skip the next date on the top-level domestic two-mile circuit, next month's Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, in favour of the Grade Two trial at Haydock in January.
Wednesday 24 November 2010
If history seems to beckon Paul Nicholls at every turn, it is partly down to sheer longevity. That is how Kauto Star finds himself favourite to win at Kempton on Boxing Day for a fifth consecutive year – when he will be ridden, as expected, by Noel Fehily. And that is how Denman could achieve his own piece of history with a third Hennessy Gold Cup in four years at Newbury on Saturday. Given all their time together, it surely counts for plenty when Nicholls says that both remain as good as ever.
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