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Talking Horses

Talking Horses

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Morgan added his name to a roll of honour that includes Harry Cobden, Sam Twiston-Davies and Brian Hughes when he secured the conditionals’ title in the spring, but told the Racing Post last week that his body paid the price. Still in situ, for the moment at least, is the chief executive, Ian McMahon, whose CV when he joined in March 2022 included roles in football, rugby and golf, but no prior experience in racing. Amid the fallout from long-running inquiry which eventually saw Robbie Dunne banned for 18 months – which was reduced to 10 months on appeal – for bullying his fellow rider, Bryony Frost, and the PJA’s horribly ill-judged response to the decision, it was seen by some as a positive that McMahon arrived with a clean slate in racing terms. Newbury 1.30 A 455-day absence has to be a slight concern about Sense Of Duty but William Haggas’s filly has looked highly talented in her limited career to date and will be tough to beat if anywhere close to her best.

Wincanton 1.50 Knappers Hill promises to be a leading novice chaser this season and should get off the mark over the bigger obstacles here. The PJA caused controversy in December 2021 by attempting to say that Bryony Frost had only ‘felt’ bullied by Robbie Dunne (pictured), who was banned for 10 months. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA And this is where the British Horseracing Authority will hope to offer a helping hand, via its much-trailed “premierisation” project, which will begin to take shape next year. Ascot 2.05: The lightly raced Theatre Glory has gone well fresh in the past and could have the measure of the quirky Goshen.

Charlie Hills’s four-year-old was caught without cover on desperate ground at Goodwood but travelled well for much of the way until fading inside the final furlong. Orazio (3.35) was previously a creditable sixth at the royal meeting, still looks well handicapped on his earlier winning form at Ascot and Newmarket and a strongly run sprint with a little juice in the ground promises to be his ideal combination. Aintree 2.45 The first race of the season over the Grand National fences, and Fantastic Lady, the runner-up in the Topham over the same course in April, has an obvious chance after just a 4lb rise in the weights. But there is no longer any such thing as a low-profile card at Cheltenham, this side of the Festival at least, and Saturday’s meeting at the home of jumping attracted a new record attendance for the day of 19,471. The rate at which the royal breeding operation declines, though, will be the best guide as to how much of her legacy in the sport will endure, and for how long. Mixed Showcase for Cheltenham

Newmarket 3.15 Possibly less to choose between Gasper De Lemos and Arabian Crown, the favourite, than the betting might suggest so Aidan O’Brien’s colt gets the nod at around 7-2. Newcastle 1.30 With Vera Verto likely to set a decent pace, Sound Angela could improve on her fast-finishing third in a similar event at Saint-Cloud in September. The BHA’s intervention suggests that it has listened to the riders’ concerns and will seek to amend the rules, while also maintaining its stance that it has tightened the overall regime to a point where it can remain for the foreseeable future.

Frodon (3.15) was a long way below his best in the King George but Bryony Frost’s mount was taken on for the lead there and should have an easier time in front on Saturday. This also looks like his major target for the second half of the season, and he is a decent bet at around 3-1 to extend Nicholls’s current win streak in Ireland to four. This time, he faces another odds-on shot in Bravemansgame, the seven-length runner-up in this year’s Gold Cup, as well as Corach Rambler, the Grand National winner, and a high-class course specialist in Royale Pagaille.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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