Coronavirus, Corvid19, and Saturday’s TV Racing – All you need to know.

The most novel thing about COVID-19, is the extraordinary speed with which the brutish symptoms of the associated #MEFIRST culture have spread. Aided by 4G, 5G and WiFi, people everywhere have been able to tell us every moment of their illness. Unless you’re in China.

Apps tell you when you’re nearing an infected address in downtown Hong Kong or Seoul; and another will tell you when a batch of hand sanitisers has arrived at Aldi; Mr and Mrs Snodgrass relentlessly inform us of their troubles, including some bloke on board a floating, unintentional hospital ship, who has spent the best part of two weeks on social media complaining. Like the ghastly tyke he is, and sadly armed with a global communication tool, he relentlessly informed us that his plight (two compulsory weeks of three-square a day, hot and cold Tequila slammers, a comfortable bed, a balcony with a view, a chance to catch up on all those books you haven’t read, and free wifi), was all down to the neglect of the British Government and that he  felt “…forgotten.” He was with his wife, but she was part of the #MESECOND movement, No sooner said, than God proved his existence, by trying to Dis-Abel (geddit?) him with a dose of Covid19, but had to give it to his wife as well – just to be even-handed; He is God after all. She has recovered quickly, and I sincerely hope gets a first class ticket home and a a couple of weeks quarantine from Mr. Me-First. Sadly for her, he will soon become forever, that bloody bore in the corner of the bar telling you how badly the Japanese treated their prisoners of Cor.

Another sage explains on TV, that the scarcity of face masks is down to hoarding, but that face masks are in any case something of a waste of time. There is no sense of irony, that he is wearing his third mask of the day and there is no attempt to explain, how sharing your illness is considered by almost all civilisations as very bad manners. What he says is: “The face mask will not necessarily prevent you from getting the disease”. What he should of course have said is that, “As a courtesy to others, wearing a face mask to ensure that your spittle, phlegm, snot, or whatever doesn’t fly off into the great beyond, is actually, quite acceptable, and will help lower the overall spread. Just remember to throw away your courtesy mask when you get home.”

The message throughout is that it’s not all about YOU – it’s actually about all of us. We all have to try and turn this ghastly epidemic on its head – the self-centred one, not the pandemic one – so let’s all try to put others first, thus ensuring we all get through together.

Talking of being nice, wouldn’t it be nice if we could run through the card today? Yes… I thought so too…

Newbury is off, so it’s all Donny and Kelso on ITV7. At both courses, the ground is truly bottomless, which means that there are and will be further withdrawals. The Interweb of racing sites, seems strangely reticent to notice the uptake of Kelso’s pictures, so even getting non-runners from the track is, as I write, proving tricky. There is however a free Doncaster race-card at Timeform, if you need such things. Ta

1:50 DONCASTER 888Sport H’Cap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+ 0-145) 3m½f

Hard to see past the first three in the betting, and I heard an interesting observation today, which is that Paul Nicholls is running everything he can, regardless of Festivals. I’m not quite sure of the significance, but the point was well made. He has one here, BLACKJACK KENTUCKY, who om paper looks value at 11/4. But this is a funny old time of year, when trainers and owners are having to take a reality check on future prospects, plots are being made and stealth radar cloaking is being applied across a number of cards. I have a preference for GEORDIE B who is relatively unexposed, beat Tidal Flow, rated 146, on his penultimate start and has his career has been carefully managed. CODED MESSAGE looks e/w value and is now back up in distance and on ground she likes.

14:12 KELSO Cyril Alexander Memorial Chase (Novices’ Limited Handicap) 5yo+, Cl3, 2m 1f 14y

At around 8s, PROTEK DES FLOS looks value. The name is perhaps familiar to you as he won a G2 hurdle with Nicky Henderson. He is now rated eight pounds lower over fences and they’ve dropped him back a couple of furlongs. Even that might not be enough and he might turn out to be a decent 2 mile handicapper, but let’s see today. If he’s OK with the distance, he could easily bolt clear. Lucy Alexander tries CALIX DELAFAYETTE for the first time over fences and he has potential. If he shortens in the market he’s worth a punt.

2:25 DONCASTER 888Sport Bet £10 Get £30 H’Cap Ch. Cl2 (5yo+) 2m½f

Trickier than it looks, my eye keeps getting drawn to JOKE DANCER for Sue Smith, but his recent fall was stupid and he just looks unkeen. I see Barry Geraghty has turned up for the boss JP, and one gets the impression the Fry/JP team think DALILA DU SEUIL is capable of better. Given the quality of the rest of the field I think I might just have a tiny e/w punt on her. NUTS WELL will probably win – and Nicholls runs DOLOS. I’m sticking with Barry e/w

2:45 KELSO William Hill Premier Novices’ Hurdle (G2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m2f

CHEDDLETON looks decent, likes the course, and the ground and has real ability. His last race here in January was a procession and the third then has won since. I note on Timeform that CLONDAW CAITLIN has a a decent rating and stable gossip has it that she is very highly regarded. I’ll reverse the two for a forecast.

3:00 DONCASTER 888Sport Take ‘Em On Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m½f

CILL ANNA has won both her starts since debut, latterly with a 7l victory at Wincanton over 2m 5f. Up in distance she is odds-on and will probably win. However, that won;t be my choice as I like ELEANOR BOB e/w, who will love this ground, has shown huge potential and Charlie Deutsch fancies her. At 7/1, I am effectively getting the same return for three places as I would for backing the favourite for one. No Brainer.

15:22 KELSO William Hill Leading Racecourse Bookmaker Premier Chase (Listed) (5yo+), Cl1 1, 2m 7f 96y

DEFINITELY RED has won five G2 races in his career and was 2nd in The Peter Marsh LTO. That was his best run for a while, and the yard are trying to get some focus into him with first time CPs today. The reality I suspect is that he needs 3m4f+ and should be heading for the Grand National. He looks well treated weight-wise, but he really is a gamble. SAINT XAVIER also headed here from Donny – and I still don’t fancy him. KAUTO RICKO is stepping up in trip, but is only 4/1, with no one prepared to risk a repeat of his 100/1 second in The Peterborough, despite his not showing that form since. No bet.

3:35 DONCASTER 888Sport Grimthorpe H’Cap Ch. Cl2 (5yo+) 3m2f

CAPTAIN CHAOS looks like the winner to me and with Definitely Red & Saint Xavier gone, and Bridget Andrews on board, ground to suit and a rating that saw him very nearly win LTO. YALTARI, again from Venetia’s yard wasn’t far behind Mister Malarkey last season and looked as though he needed the run LTO. I’m picking the former from these two, and adding the latter for a forecast in preference to WORTHY FARM.

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