STORMIN' NORMAN; Mill can grind out the Gold.
My mount is in terrific form according to trainer Venetia Williams and judging by his short price a lot of punters already have taken the plunge at fancy ante- post odds.
Teeton Mill never touched a twig at Wincanton.
The ground was sticky so any overnight rain wouldn't bother him and his sound jumping should stand him in good stead this afternoon.
Being a big grey, you'll be able to keep an eye on him the whole way round, but I won't be getting too busy until coming out of the back stretch.
The money has piled on The Toiseach all week.
He was quite impressive at Ascot last Saturday and Tony Dobbin assures me the horse will come on a lot for that run.
The Toiseach is at the right end of the handicap and Richard Dunwoody is a bonus.
Peter Niven could have a great day.
Marello is a good thing in the Long Distance Hurdle and stablemate Seven Towers must have a great each way chance in the Hennessy, especially if the ground cuts up.
Coome Hill was originally my big fear but a rise in the weights hasn't helped his cause. Still, he shouldn't be far away.
Hopefully I'll get the day off to a winning start aboard Venetia's Knightsbridge Scot (12.45).
I won a novice hurdle on him at Kempton back in February, with one of David Nicholson's well held in second.
However, he lost his way after that but apparently he has schooled well over fences.
I think the stable quite fancy their chances.
Decoupage (1.15) is an outstanding each way bet in the Gerry Feilden Hurdle.
The ground was quite sticky at Cheltenham last time and I don't think that's his ideal track.
Newbury should be perfect and I'd really fancy him if Zafarabad wasn't in the line-up.
He cruised home over this course and distance on his reappearance and if Zafarabad wins impressively he'll probably be promoted to second favourite for the Champion Hurdle.
By best advice of the day is Dato Star in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle.
I expect him to go off in front and he should have too much pace for French Holly.
Moscow Express has Foxchapel King to beat at Fairyhouse tomorrow.
Whipping up a frenzy !
THERE have been some crazy things written about "misuse" of the whip, and I think the racing press are guilty of stirring up something approaching mass hysteria.
My weighing room colleagues are only too well aware that attitudes are changing and we are trying very hard to keep within the guidelines. But where do you draw the line?
On Thursday I won on Kim Bailey's Betty's Boy at Uttoxeter.
It was a rousing finish but as we pulled up it dawned on me that I might be in trouble with the stewards.
Fortunately nothing happened, and rightly so, and I can assure you the horse would never have won if this had been a race with no whips.
How would the betting shop punters and racegoers have reacted to me pulling up a lazy horse capable of winning?
Earlier I rode Bigsound who blundered his way round but eventually finished third. If I hadn't administered a few sharp cracks the horse would undoubtedly have refused or pulled himself up.
There are very vocal advocates of the new air-cushioned or foam-backed sticks and I'll give anything a try.
But my present whip doesn't mark horses so naturally I'd be reluctant to change.
So let's have a bit of common sense - and fewer front page articles in the Racing Post.
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Nov 28, 1998|
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