Monday, November 7, 2011

Week-end to remember

A huge week-end indeed it was as 9 out of the 11 recommendations worked wonders, 1 voided (Liverpool) and 1 lost (Barcelona to win). It would have been tops if the Blaugrana had won, but even so, the rest made up for a week-end to remember.

In football, Man Utd, Real Madrid, Man City, Aston Villa, Chelsea all won, Liverpool drew for a voided punt, and Barcelona only drew as well. It was a close shave for the Red Devils who only had to thank old team-mate Wes Brown for an own goal. Barcelona were undone by an unplayable field, that's one of the ways to stop them. Real Madrid are now 3 points clear and the Catalans will be mindful to mind the gap.

Racing was tops with Goldikova justifying the confidence of a Place result, and beating Strong Suit in a match-bet. Though jockey Peslier certainly caused trouble to the others with a petulant change of lane to give his mount clear daylight, I doubt that the affected horses could have toppled the Queen for the third place finish without the incident. Laying Strong Suit and Uncle Mo proved justifiable and rewarding, particularly that I don't usually recommend lays, unless they are that obvious.

Some of my other observations from the Breeders Cup. St Nicholas Abbey finally showed the form many, including I, were expecting him to run since his dominating juvenile year. He was simply outstanding and would have given the best middle-distance horses a run for their money on that day. A peach of a ride from Joseph O'Brien as well.

So You Think ran well and I thought he had a great chance entering the straight but in the end, his effort was very gallant, finishing not too far to the winner. The lesson yet again from those World Championships is that European runners are tough to beat on turf just as the dirt is the domain of the US runners. There are bound to be exceptions like Arazi, Johannesburg and Court Vision, but the greater probability will mostly prevail.

On the local scene, Paul Hanagan won his second consecutive jockey championship. But the jockey that met the eye this year was certainly Silvestre de Sousa. A fantastically powerful finisher, there's no doubt that he can improve up and bounds to become among the best in the business. He is certainly to be followed as from now on.

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