Racing review: Hotpots and howlers from the last seven days in the world of horse racing
2nd December 2018

Take a look at our latest instalment of Hotpots and Howlers, where we pick out the good, the bad and the downright ugly from the past seven days.


Where else to start but with serially underrated superstar Buveur D'Air?

Punters insulted the dual Champion Hurdle winner by sending him off 11-8 second favourite in the Fighting Fifth on Saturday but he made them eat their hats, smashing hype-horse Samcro with all the hubris of Floyd Mayweather.

Big Bazza gave him a cracking ride and he looks to have every chance of becoming the first horse since Istabraq to win the Champion Hurdle three times on the bounce.

If you're a loser like me and watched every second of Wolverhampton's card on Wednesday then you'd have seen Josie Gordon conjure up a whirlwind on 5-1 favourite Rich Approach in the opener.

She flew down the outside like a pterodactyl to gobble up Alban's Dream, whose pilot Darragh Keenan also deserves a mention for a near-perfect enterprise from the front.

It's been a tough time of late for JG but she showed she can still cut the mustard in Class 5 nurseries – just in case you thought she'd lost her edge.

Over the sticks on the same afternoon saw the emergence of Mengli Khan as a genuine Arkle contender in a beginners' chase at Punchestown.

Gigginstown's giant looked to have a serious case of the Might Bites when he ran out in the Future Champions last season, but Gordon Elliott seems to have ironed out any frailties in his psyche.

The Twitterati lost their head after the race, with many saying he's the best thing to negotiate a fence since Ginger in Chicken Run.

It's a bit premature to start comparing him to Aardman, so let's just and see what market rival Kalashnikov can do on Monday against a bunch of slowboats.

Honourable mentions must also go to Theflyingportrait, who waltzed home at Wetherby after being backed off the boards, and Racing TV, who despite some criticism have managed to assemble a line-up for their Irish coverage that is certainly more Avengers than Pretenders.

BONUS SHOT Kalashnikov hunting £60,000 Festival bonus at Plumpton on Monday


Kempton takes centre stage in this week's howlers on two counts.

First was the farcical situation where, for the second time in seven days, field sizes barely got into double figures across the whole card.

The first three races had a cumulative total of nine runners which would be embarrassing even by Sedgefield's standards – but this is a Grade 1 track!

Plenty of trainers blamed the ground, but you'd still expect better, particularly considering there was a Listed race and a valuable handicap chase on the card.

The day didn't lack for drama, though, as Harry Cobden had a hair-raising moment aboard the wayward If You Say Run in said Listed contest.

His mare loomed up to Mia's Storm like a good-un, but approaching the last clearly picked up the odours of Kempton's cuisine and made a bee-line for the grandstand.

Unfortunately there was a rail in the way and by the time she'd rediscovered her momentum it was too late.

Now i'm never usually one to crab Richard Johnson, but he didn't give Ladbrokes Trophy favourite Thomas Patrick the best of rides.

The Champ is the best choc you'd find in a tin of Quality Street, but he certainly didn't judge his big-race ride to confection.

TP is best dominating from the front but he got taken on from the outset and clearly wasn't happy going at such a pace.

He would never have won anyway, but you'd possibly have expected Dicky to have kept the light off on the petrol tank for slightly longer.

Paul Nicholls was having a right old sound-off at Doncaster about their abandonment of the final two races on Friday – and justifiably so.

Town Moor is a long way to go for most and the fact their course was too slippery is pretty much unforgivable considering the dry weather.

They should take a leaf out of my book and leave the watering can under the cobwebs!






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