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Weekly Horse Racing Blog: Weekend Wrap / Annual Racing Awards


Weekend Wrap

Friday and Saturday saw the International Meeting take place at Cheltenham and social media was full of plonkers or purists, I’m not sure which.

Tweets saying things like “You won’t get any Cheltenham Festival winners coming out of this fixture”. At the end of the day, does it really matter? It was good racing full stop.

Friday

The winners on Friday, including the re-routed Peterborough Chase were: Make Me A Believer (16/5), Happygolucky (13/8f), Breffniboy (15/2), Mister Fisher (9/2), Storm Control (5/1), Some Neck (18/1) and Come On Teddy (11/2).

Mister Fisher put himself right into the Ryanair Chase picture at the Cheltenham Festival, for which he has now been cut to a 12/1 shot (from 20) by Betfair and Paddy Power but you can still get some 20’s over at bet365*

Asked whether Some Neck is likely to return to Cheltenham for the big Cross-County race at the Festival next March, the trainer John McConnell said: “I’m sure he will – he’s entitled to after today.”

He is currently trading at best odds of 27 on the Betfair exchange.

Saturday

The winners at Prestbury Park on Saturday were: Adagio (4/9f), Fusil Raffles (16/5), Sky Pirate (4/1), Chatham Street Lad (16/1), Make Good (12/1), Song For Someone (6/1) and The White Mouse (100/30).

Corked-based Mick Winters was forced to perform a novel celebration in the Cheltenham winner’s enclosure after his Chatham Street Lad landed the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.

Winters said: “I had a long night last night, I was up to 2am watching TV – I was a bit homesick, not thinking about winning. I said if he won I’d do like a piggy rolling in the muck, like a piggy does, so I had to back it up.”

bet365 have introduced the eight-year-old into the RSA Chase betting market as a 16/1 chance* should he return in the spring.

Alice: "You said beforehand if you won, you'd be rolling in the mud...do you want to roll in the Cheltenham mud?"

Mick Winters:

Watch LIVE:
? @ITV4
? https://t.co/HGM9TtXkhB#ITVRacing pic.twitter.com/RXCwJ2S6ur

— ITV Racing (@itvracing) December 12, 2020

The Tom Symonds-trained five-year-old Song For Someone twisted his merry way around several omitted flights to land the International Hurdle where the favourite Goshen flopped but afterwards was found to have a fibrillating heart. He’s now out to 20/1 with bet365* for the Champion Hurdle, could he bounce back?

Symonds believes easy ground will be the key to Song For Someone’s next potential target – either the Champion or the Aintree Hurdle.


Yearly Wrap

The 54th Horserace Writers & Photographers Association Annual Derby Awards took place last week in a virtual ceremony held on the Sky Sports Racing channel, rather than from its usual London home. Understandably Covid-19 restrictions were the reasons behind this departure from the norm.

Disappointingly the annual horse racing media ceremony made very little reference to the numerous people this year who have lost their jobs in that sphere – newspaper journalists, content editors and writers, race previewers, photographers etc. All of whom, in the main, have been freelancers. We all know people who were furloughed and mothballed during the pandemic, but there were plenty who lost their roles completely.

It’s been a torrid year for many and the horse racing media landscape has been totally decimated, yet there appears to be a total ambivalence about what has actually happened in 2020 by those who unfortunately take the attitude “Well I’m still alright Jack”.

The prize winners and nominees are too numerous to go though in full in this article, however there was some good news in the awards for horse racing affiliate websites, who until now have been regarded as an inferior cousin to their online newspaper counterparts.

Nick Seddon, the content editor on a fairly new to the scene horse racing affiliate website, was named as the winner of HWPA’s Emerging Talent Award.

Bloody hell, I wasn’t expecting that! Thanks so much to the HWPA for the recognition, and to everyone who’s supported me in my career so far. Absolutely made up! https://t.co/wpS9nyEIwi

— Nick Seddon (@NickSeddon_) December 10, 2020

Nick’s win is a real boost for both horseracing affiliate sites such as this one and for those who contribute to them

The award is a seismic shift in what the HWPA now regard as a “worthy news source”. Finally some recognition that affiliate sites, and those that work for them, do actually fall under the Racecourse Association (RCA) umbrella of “websites with an ongoing commitment to the coverage of British Racing” as stipulated in their accreditation documents.

It’s certainly a step forward in the ongoing promotion of our great sport of horse racing.

The big winners on the night included…

  • Broadcaster of the Year – NICK LUCK
  • Emerging Talent – NICK SEDDON
  • Flat Jockey of the Year – HOLLIE DOYLE
  • Flat Trainer of the Year – JOHN GOSDEN
  • Jump Jockey of the Year – BRIAN HUGHES
  • Jump Trainer of the Year – WILLIE MULLINS
  • Writer of the Year – DAVID CARR
  • Reporter of the Year – CHRIS COOK
  • Specialist Writer – BILL BARBER
  • Photographer of the Year – TRACY ROBERTS
  • Picture of the Year – FRANCESCA ALTOFT

A full list of winners can be found HERE.

Outstanding! @HollieDoyle1 picks up yet another award as winner of the HWPA Flat Jockey of the Year! ? #DerbyAwards2020 pic.twitter.com/FEkrrv23ob

— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) December 10, 2020

* Betting odds were correct at the time of article publication. Odds are subject to change

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