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After four weeks searching for obscure information regarding racing across the four corners of the globe, we are down to the final two in the inaugural Racing World Cup.
While Spain and Holland may be worthy finalists in the football event, neither country was ever likely to go deep in the equine competition.
Instead, here we have a clash between two of the sport's superpowers, the USA and Japan.
Thanks to the deficiencies of their footballers, potential winners like Australia and France didn't even make it into the round of 16, while Ireland's failure to qualify for South Africa also ruled them out before they had begun.
Of the two nations left, the mighty USA have had by far the easiest route to the final, overcoming Ghana (no racecourses extant), Uruguay (passion and fervour in spades, but hampered by size) and Brazil (in severe decline) in their three rounds to date.
Of their star performers, 1973 hat-trick hero Secretariat could be the best the world has ever seen, while Steve Cauthen's transfer to Europe led to a perfect synthesis of the American and European game. And if all else fails, Zenyatta is always likely to snatch a late victory.
Japan, rightly regarded as one of the most organised racing industries, has benefited from a more outwardlooking demeanour over the last two decades when the majority of their lavishly endowed graded-stakes programme have been opened up to overseas horses.
Their trainers have also shown an increased enthusiasm for racing abroad, with the result that Japanese horses are feared wherever they turn up on the world stage.
Yee-ha! Winners roll in at Camp McCabe MARIE McCABE Weblog Wife of leading all-weather trainer Alan McCabe with her weekly diary POSTED AT 2.41pm 7 JULY 2010 IT'S been quite a week here in Camp McCabe. The horses seem to have hit a bit of form, which is always welcome.
Spartic provided us with our elusive first two-year-old winner of the year when making all at Beverley on Saturday. He's a grand little horse and showed a very pleasing attitude when pulling out a little more every time a challenge was mounted against him.
We may run him again at Catterick as he seems to have come out of the race well and looks a picture. Now, I just hope he has got the ball rolling for our other two-year-olds.
Spartic's win kicked off the weekend in fine style and we kept the carnival spirit going with our fourth of July barbecue at home on Sunday.
I was up baking cakes and cooking chilli until after 2am on Saturday and spent most of the rest of the next day in the kitchen with our good friend and owner, Jackie.
Jackie is a godsend at any event, rolling up her sleeves when she should be milling with the other guests, sipping Pimm's and snaffling sausage rolls - without her help our guests would probably still be waiting on their food now.
There was a good turnout of friends old and new and almost all the food went, so it couldn't have been that bad. As it was Independence Day, we had a wild west theme and had asked our guests to feel free to contribute to the atmosphere by wearing something suitably cowboy-ish.
Unfortunately, the weather was incredibly windy and much of the afternoon was spent chasing cowboy hats around the garden until most of them (mine included) were abandoned completely.
In the pink at Chester with Breast Cancer Care DAVID CARR Weblog What do you mean the WiFi doesn''t work? The life of a Post reporter POSTED AT 9.29pm 9 JULY 2010 THE man upstairs always seems to smile on commentators - he does know everything, so he must have developed great sympathy for the difficult job they have to do.
Rarely as difficult as the task facing Martin Harris in calling the Breast Cancer Care Pink Mile at Chester - nine runners, all ridden by jockeys wearing the same shade of pink, with just black or white markings to distinguish them.
Even seeing the riders close up in the paddock it was hard to tell their silks apart, but the luck of the commentator kicked in as the race reached its climax. The winner could not have stood out more - Rascal In The Mix was the only grey in the field.
You will be glad to know that Breast Cancer Care's appeal for racegoers to wear pink was heeded, even among racing professionals - a group not always renowned for sartorial elegance.
I went for a bright cerise shirt (if you are old enough to remember, think of Phil Bull's colours) which got a backhanded compliment (I think) from one of the Racing For Change team, who liked it - "But I didn't think someone from the Racing Post would wear it."
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 12, 2010|
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