RACING POST TUESDAY MARCH 5th 2013
WEEK MONDAY MARCH 4th TO SUNDAY MARCH 10th 2013
REVIEW YESTERDAY'S RESULTS
PREVIEW TODAY'S CARDS
RACING POST NEWS
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2013
PUNTERS ZONE IN THEORY MEET UP WITH EQUUS ZONE IN PRACTICE
Tuesday March 12 to Friday March 15
SIMONSIG sets pulses racing in festival gallop.
Racing Post Arkle favourite sets Lambourn alight in pre-festival gallop
"SO,WHAT odds would SIMONSIG be for the St James Champion Hurdle next Tuesday?
"My guess is no more than 5-1 after watching a stunning work session from Nicky Henderson's 4-6 favourite for the Racing Post Arkle Chase on the trainer's private
Road grass (turf) gallop yesterday.
"His work was so good it sent the mind racing. Giddy thoughts, like what a shame the Champion Hurdle and Arkle do not individually bookend the festival meeting, rather than being 75 minutes apart. We could have speculated feverishly about SIMONSIG doing a FLYINGBOLT with a second appearance in a championship race switched from hurdles to fences. (yes, yes, yes, key factor for the future)
"In the four-horse session over nine-furlongs on the deep cushioned turf that has not seen a plough in 300 years (yes, yes, yes), SIMONSIG and JERRY McGRATH finished a couple of lengths ahead of GRANDOUET (DAVID BASS). MEGALYPOS and TISTORY made up the quartet. They all worked well enough, it was just that SIMONSIG partner JERRY McGRATH sent the wow factor spinning off in the region of Didcot power station's towering chimneys.
had FRANKEL. Lambourn has SIMONSIG. Newmarket
" SIMONSIG is always a flashy worker here; he's breathtaking isn't he?" said
noting my wide-eyed admiration. "By the look of things, GRANDOUET probably
needed this work more than the others. Henderson
"I'll probably do a little bit more with him and a few others here on Friday. It's too late by then to be having away days to a racecourse."
"The springy turf gallop was a sharp contrast to the frost- frozen ground at Newbury, where the horses had been scheduled to work shortly after 7am. Frustratingly, that plan was aborted for the second morning.
"Half a dozen Henderson horses, including PUNJABI, had arrived at the course and were being led in a circle outside the stables, with travelling head groom (minder ) (handler rider) (handler presenter). Bloodhorse literate trainer teams should be made up of top athletic horsemen. A much higher calibre than grooms, if not, they should need to be. That the government powers that fail to understand this. Refusing an Equus Zone to the trainers and riders they are licensing, is the reason why British horseracing and all the Equus Zone people in it, to include the horses are being let down so badly at present. A situation that has remained to be the case over the last 6 decades. A shocking situation. All taken for granted by governments.
"SARAH SHREEVE at SIMONSIG's head.
, after looking at the crusty turf with Clerk of Course Richard Osgood,
immediately swung Plan B into operation and we trooped back to Lambourn. Henderson
"The horses had a morning away, only to finish back on their own patch, but they've had a good gallop at home now and all's well," said the trainer.
"Ideally, I'd liked them to have worked at Newbury but it was far too frosty. We're lucky to have these grass gallops at home."
"Before the main work, the horses stretched their muscles over 6 furlongs of the adjacent Crow Down grass gallop'
"Meanwhile, preparation was completed on the
Road main gallop, with the furlong marker posts
moved out wider by the staff to accommodate four horses.
"Earlier at Newbury, despite being busy reorganising his team, there was a quiet gesture of kindness from
Manton's George Baker was the only other trainer at the course with a festival
entry. Sir Alex Ferguson's I'M FRAMM GOVEN, who runs in the Weatherby's
Champion Bumper. Henderson ,
seeing a forlorn-looking Baker, invited him to Lambourn to work the horse with
stablemate BUGSY'S BOY.
"What an unbelievably kind thought," said Baker. "A week before the festival I'm sure Nicky had plenty of other things on his mind. What's more, he took me alongside in his jeep to see his horses in action.
"It was so special to see SIMONSIG work like that, A morning that started badly for me was transformed into a brilliant one.
"One thought not of the earlier giddy variety: the showdown between SIMONSIG and OVERTURN will be the race of the festival."