Someone who is not that in tune with football asked me today, not in a nasty way, why this player Gary Speed was getting so much media exposure? There was no malice in the question and she indeed commented on how extremely sad the situation was however my response was immediate and unequivocal; ‘he was just one of those players who ways a bit of a legend, the sort of player most fans and managers would have happily had in their team’. He wasn’t a Rooney or a Gazza but there wouldn’t be many managers who would have swapped him.
677 appearances, 103 goals for his 5 clubs to accompany his 85 National caps and 7 Welsh goals. An MBE to match a glowing start in management for his beloved national team. Enviably good looking, revered as a legend by all who knew him and those that didn’t. I have never once cheered his name for club or country but when his name rang out at Swansea on Sunday there was a lump in my throat. Read More…
Firstly, another plug for the continuing ‘Bucket list’ series on the Headers and Volleys website written by sports leviathan Click here to continue reading entries 4 and 5.
Today at Doncaster sees the November Handicap finish off the flat season in Britain. Firstly a big congrtulations to Paul Hannagan who will retain his title of champion Jock unless Silvestre De Sousa pulls a miracle 4 timer out the bag to force a tie. Hannagan has had over 1100 rides this year and is an illustration of what you can achieve with hard work and tenacity in your profession. The November handicap itself in my opinion looks set up for Pekan Star. Roger Varian (an SL favourite) has kept Pekan Star in training despite a few sub standard runs. He has been gelded, is unexposed anf will relish the ground at 12-1 he looks a good price even if the price does reflect his recent average form.
Elsewhere it is interesting to see Kauto Star’s half brother Kauto Stone take his chance at Down Royal, a well trodden path for the Kauto-Nicholls connections. There will be many eager eyes on him. If Nicholls feels he is up to this task then he may well claim this prize for a second year in a row.
In America the Breeders cup is often a place to get good prices on European horses , however I am not sure the raiding party are quite as strong this year. IT will be amazing to see Goldikova win her 4th Mares Turf and in so doing cement her already sure place in World racing’s hall of fame. However it is another French horse which really takes my fancy. Brigantin, in the Marathon, has had some very admirable results this year, none least finishing 3rd in the Ascot Gold Cup. He has also gone on to defeat Dunaden the subsequent Melbourne cup winner. The French satying division is very strong at the moment, the horse is bred from America anyway and given he has run as far as 2m 4f I suspect the heavy conditions over at Churchill downs will play into his hands, so he is my nap of the day.
3 pts. Brigantin – 5.20 Churchill Downs Win @ 7/1 Ladbrokes
1 pt Pekan Star – 3.10 Doncaster E/W @ 12/1 Hills
.5 pt Trixie Trixie Brigantin, Pekan Star and Kauto Stone