Sometimes you just tip your cap and bow to those that are very good at what they do. At Cheltenham last week we saw this in both equine and human abundance, whether they were carrying any of H on H ‘s hard earned cash was almost irrelevant. It has been listed as the golden hour, that is the time it took Frodon to win the Ryan Air Chase and Paisley Park to win the Stayers Hurdle.
May I just remind you of my comment 2 weeks ago? Please indulge me as I do not get the chance that often:
“Next up the Ryanair and if Frodon runs, get on big style, I fear he won’t so I will take a non runner/no bet stance. Now the week’s game changer and the Stayers Hurdle, for the regulars of this column you will know I have been beating the Paisley Park drum all season “
Bryony Frost and Frodon are just simply magic together, connections obviously listened to yours truly..haha and in my books it was a late Christmas present. When Paul Nicholls handed Miss Frost the Frodon ride on the 23rd December 2017 little could he have imagined what the partnership would produce. They have combined together on nine of his ten runs since and won on five of those occasions. That’s a fair bit of prize money for the owner, but what’s more if you had parted with a solitary pound on every one of those runs you would have returned a profit of over £20 on your investment. Time to add Bryony to your Christmas card list and send a bag of carrots to Ditcheat.
Next up it was the turn of Paisley Park, he’s good, please keep him hurdling, I think he could win many more Stayer’s Championships and enter immortality. The story behind the horse is even better; Andrew Gemmell the owner has been blind since birth and relies on the racecourse commentator to relay what is going on. Ian Bartlett was brilliant, detailing every movement of the horse and maintaining his professionalism whilst knowing how important it was to all concerned. It was in direct contrast to yours truly who, if I remember correctly, could only shout ‘Go on Aidan’, ‘Yes you’ve got it’ , ‘No’ as he made a mistake at the last and then ‘Yes, Yes, Yes” as he passed the line. I am not sure Andrew would have gleaned much from the aforementioned apart from the fact that I have got attached to this horse and there was no doubt he was shouldering a fairly large proportion of the H on H millions.
Of the others I must mention Native River, it just didn’t rain enough and last year he won the Gold Cup in a time of 7 minutes 2 seconds, this year the winning time was 6 minutes, 39 seconds. The Gold Cup is brutal, there is no hiding place and he was staying on again at the end. He has the heart of a lion and when he gets his conditions look out, he isn’t done with yet.
As for Cheltenham in full we had 18 bets with 5 winners and recorded a loss of 2 1/2 points to a level £1 stake. That doesn’t tell the whole story as the 2 horses mentioned carried larger stakes on their shoulders, but that’s the measure so a loss it is. I have to say I am happy with that, if that is all it is going to cost me to watch the greatest four days racing in the calendar, then bring it on next year.
Earlier I mentioned the golden hour, for the ‘Higgs Clan’ it was half a golden ticket, not the full Willy Wonka, but enough to prevent Mrs H and our two fledglings living on San Pelligrino and pizzas when we visit Rome this year. One thing’s for sure, when we lift the first Aperol Spritz, the toast will be to Paisley Park and a discussion on the placement of the oak bench!