The infinite tributes show the regard Balding was held in
26 September 2014
How sad it was to learn of the passing of Toby Balding. His horses shaped my informative years, as I grew to respect his capabilities as a trainer.
Little Polvier’s near empty column in the Grand National field book will forever resonate in the memory.
So, too, the long respectful silence given to Beech Road having fallen at the last at Cheltenham in January 1989.
I was at the course that day and will forever remember the thousands of pairs of eyes fixated at that final fence willing the horse to rise.
Which after some considerable time, he did.
It was for the love of the horse as well as the love of Toby that those in attendance refused to move until there was a positive outcome. Two months later, a fairytale of the highest order was to unravel as Beech Road went on to win the Champion Hurdle.
The victories of his horses rewrote the unlikeliest stories. Take Cool Ground’s Gold Cup success.
He never lacked belief. He was the man who initiated and started the engine of the winning machine and phenomenon that is AP McCoy.
But perhaps my favourite memory of his superb training career was that of Morley Street’s fourth victory in the Aintree Hurdle, a race and a finish to it that could be watched over and over again.
The infinite amount of tributes show the respect and regard that this great man is held in. I add my condolences to his friends and family and reignite the wonderful memories of his reign.
Ten runs at Ripon for Spinatrix have resulted in three wins, five seconds and two thirds. She loves the place and while all eyes will be fixated on the cavalry charge known as the Cambridgeshire I might sneak away from the Ryder Cup viewing and that of the Rowley Mile to watch events unfold at Ripon to see if the course specialist can churn out another victory.
Towards the latter part of the day I’m intrigued to see how Great Hall gets on at Haydock.
He loomed up in ominous fashion at Doncaster recently only to falter late on, but that was a massive improvement on trailing in last in the Ebor and his appearance at Haydock indicated an appearance in the winners’ enclosure is not far off.
As for the Betfred Cambridgeshire there are so many horses I could consider and I will mix up four or five up in a forecast, costly but its something which amuses me and gives me an interest for a couple of minutes.
I love a challenge and on occasions it has paid massive dividends. So at 3.50 today Educate, Balty Boys, Velox, Yeager and Forgotten Hero will all be combined in an unlikely forecast! Fingers crossed.
The Ryder Cup generates so much passion, and the opening shots on Friday morning were superb viewing and other than picking up the remote control to turn up the volume I haven’t really moved since due to my illness.
I’ve got my laptop in front of me with all the relevant betting windows open.
I doubt I am the only one, as many will be glued to sofas and armchairs only to rise to grab refreshments as the broadcaster airs commercials.
I need the result to be known in good time for me to head off to Wembley on Sunday. The whole event is unsurpassed, unmatched drama.
Tanya Stevenson's Saturday tips:
Tanya Stevenson's Saturday pointers:
Eight of the last ten winners of Newmarket’s 2.00 had finished no better than third on their most recent run.
None of the last ten winners of Newmarket’s 2.00 had any Group race experience.
Eight of the last ten winners of the Royal Lodge had run no more than three times previously.
Nine of the last ten winners of the Royal Lodge had won over at least seven furlongs.
French runners have won the Cheveley Park Stakes six times since 1982. (1982 Ma Biche, 1987 Ravinella, 1996 Pas de Reponse, 2007 Natagora, 2009 Special Duty, 2013 Vorda)
Andre Fabre has had four winners from his last six Newmarket Rowley Mile runners.
Eleven of the last 14 Cheveley Park Stakes winners had won last time out.
Nine of the last 10 winners of the Cheveley Park Stakes had run three times or more.
Eighteen of the last 20 winners of the Cheveley Park Stakes had won at least twice.
The top two in the betting in the Cheveley Park Stakes have provided the last eight winners.
Since 2000 four Lowther winners have gone on to win the Cheveley Park Stakes (2001, 2003, 2010 & 2012).
Rambo’s Hall is the only winner of the Cambridgeshire over the last 30 years to be older than six.
Twenty-six of the last 30 Cambridgeshire winners had finished in the first four last time out.
Eight favourites have won the Cambridgeshire since 1990.
Three and four-year-olds have won 26 of the last 35 Cambridgeshires.
The Cambridgeshire was run on the July course in 1939, 1941, 1986 and 1991.
In the last 20 years only Cap Juluca in 1995 and Educate last year have carried more than 9st 5lbs to victory in the Cambridgeshire.
Educate and Bronze Angel will both try to become the seventh horse to win the Cambridgeshire twice.
Luca Cumani will try to win his third Cambridgeshire after Century City in 1982 & Dallas in 1986.
John Gosden has won the race three times. Halling 1994, Pipedreamer 2007, Tazeez 2008.