Binocular making a bee-line for the medicine cabinet
>>> The big Cheltenham news over the weekend was the withdrawal of defending champion, Binocular from the Champion Hurdle. It’s impossible to go into this story into too much detail without running the risk of libelling someone, so here’s our summary of what happened: the horse had the sniffles, took too many Strepsils and now he wouldn’t pass the drug testers with a bucket of child’s urine and the help of a cycling team. Sensitively handled I think. BBC Sport
In our first blatant plug of the week, Paddy Power customers weren’t left out of pocket as we refunded all bets on Binocular for the Champion Hurdle. And on a side note – two people (2!) don’t like the blog post. I never realised a full refund offended so many people.
>>> The news of Binocular’s absence was greeted with cheers and a celebratory bottle of sherry in some yards around Ireland and the UK as the Champion Hurdle contenders realised their chances had improved substantially. On the back of the news, Donald McCain gave a glowing report on his hope for the race, the unbeaten Peddlers’ Cross. “I’m not going to say I wish Binocular was in the race, obviously, as it’s one less to take on,” he explained bluntly, “But at the same time, I wouldn’t have had any qualms about taking him on if he was in the race.” Sky Sports
>>> Kauto Star has been written off in many quarters as he bids to regain the Gold Cup for a second time, but Ruby Walsh has warned there’s life in the old dog yet. “He’s not as quick as when he was younger, but who is?” he asked, not expecting an answer, “It will take a great performance to beat him.” The markets responded by basically ignoring what he had to say. Yorkshire Post
>>> If you like your Cheltenham tips served up with slightly offensive comments, well what are you to do? Sure John McCririck on the Morning Line frequently fits the bill, but you’ve to wait until tomorrow for that. We want our slightly offensive comments now so here’s Randy Lawford giving us his unique run through of the opening day’s action at Cheltenham. He can’t be that bad a person because clearly he’s employed a dwarf to hold his cue cards.
>>> There’s a whole range of Cheltenham pullouts in the newspapers today and in the interests of further decimating the print media, here’s a summary of all the key information so you don;t have to buy them:
The Irish Sun
Georgia Salpa gets them out on the front page, but disappointingly she doesn’t feature in the pullout. Inside the eye candy is provided by Tony Martin who’s their tipster for the week. He’s going for Big Zeb in the Champion Chase and also other bets that I can’t be bothered reading about. Willie Mullins says he’s very happy with Hurricane Fly ahead of the Champion Hurdle.
The Irish Daily Star
Our very own Paddy Power is on Page 3 duty, albeit on page 9 (when you see the hair on his chest you’ll understand why). He’s in there promoting our excellent Cue Card Money-Back Special for the Supreme Novices Hurdle, which is so generous, it has the potential to bring on some cardiac difficulties. He’s pictured making a shocked face and emptying out his pockets, a look that will be familiar to any Paddy Power employees that have asked him for a pay-rise.
When the Glamour Models’ Union went on strike, desperate times called for desperate measures in the tabloid world
The Irish Daily Mirror
Deciding against using any scantily clad models to promote their Cheltenham pullout is a bold move for the Mirror, but they do have Barry Gerarghty as their celebrity columnist. He’s saying Bob’s Worth is one to look out for in either the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle or the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (he hasn’t decided yet). Richard Johnson is also in there saying Menorah is better than Rooster Booster. Since I didn’t rate Rooster Booster all that highly, I don’t think it’s that great a compliment.