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‘Cause’ for serious concern!
There is no all-weather flat racing today, jumping is a guessing game, due to inaccurate times in the trade paper, Racing Post, and a couple of races, Sunday, seriously compromised integrity of National Hunt sport; amazingly the ‘Post’ didn’t headline them!
Both involved seriously heavily- backed winners which were allowed to make the running without any challenges whatsoever and, not surprisingly, social media reacted with genuine punters disgusted on dedicated forums.
Icantsay was allowed to lead handicappers* over two and three quarter miles of ‘soft to heavy’ Naas and throughout a race-course cameraman was unable to get any kind of field shot; it was impossible, the second favourite was ‘miles’ in front.
Even as the leader approached the final two obstacles the commentator mentioned Icantsay ‘a furlong’ clear!
Anyone with any sense whatsoever knows that a front-runner can’t be caught unless it weakens on desperate surfaces, as I’ve mentioned so often, but none of nine pursuing jockeys appeared to make the slightest significant effort to peg back a 107-rated seven- year-old.
All jockeys were called in, explanations were noted, punters had to accept loss as just one those things; pitfalls far outweigh pleasures when backing horses, after all, but just over an hour later the ‘second leg’ of this remarkable double was completed when odds-on favourite Irish Prophecy was given several lengths start in a two miles hurdle at Sandown.
When the starter waved his flag all stood still as Leighton Aspell, reluctantly, sent the favourite into a clear lead; again, at no stage was there any attempt by jockeys to reduced the leeway, apart from a token effort by 20/1 shot, Trust The Man, three out which quickly fused.
Winning distances, nine and six lengths!
Irish Prophecy was jumping hurdles in public for the first time but hundreds of thousands were wagered on betting exchange Betfair, the true barometer!
Huntingdon, 1.10 Cause Toujours;
Lingfield, 1.20 Jubilani (nap-e.w);
Worcester, 2.00 Pulp Fiction (e.w).