The first episode of Racing Weekly features a tribute to Master Tommytucker, reaction to Shishkin’s Clarence House win and Turner’s Tip for the Cheltenham Trials Day.
We’ll start first with the very sad news discussed on the first episode of Racing Weekly, with show host Rishi Persad bringing in Paul Nicholls’ assistant trainer Harry Derham to reflect on a fatal fall for the talented chaser, Master Tommytucker.
A tribute to Master Tommytucker
You can read this touching tribute on Harry’s blog post, but he had more insight for Racing Weekly listeners. He joked that Master Tommytucker has always been a “rascal” and a “right handful” but added: “When you have a horse like him who's with you for a number of years you grow a huge affection for them. We've got a big team and so many have been very involved in his career.”
In his blog post, Derham describes Scott Marshall as Tommy's 'dad' for his career at Paul's (Nicholls). On Racing Weekly, he told Persad and co-host Sam Turner why Marshall would have been among those hit the hardest: “Scott will have come in this morning, mucked out Clan (Clan Des Obeaux) and seen an empty stable next door.
“And that is always brutally tough. It was a horrible day. Normally Tommy's at the front of the race, but Harry (Cobden) and Paul had hatched a plan on a day with lots of pace and gruelling ground to see if we can hunt into it. I thought Harry was in the process of giving him an absolute beast of a ride, because they (the frontrunners) had gone very hard, and he'd just crept into it.
“The lovely thing about Tommy is you knew from the third last to the line he'd have given you absolutely everything. He's made a lot of jumping mistakes in his life but that wasn't really one.”
Derham also shared some lovely words about jockey Cobden’s reaction to the fall. “One thing I will say is there is lots made about horse welfare in our sport. Harry was incredibly sore after that fall and was in a lot of pain, but his first reaction was to get up off the ground, run over to Tommy and stop him, hold him until the vets got to him. I just thought that was a real mark of the man.”
Shishkin brings the “feelgood factor”
If Master Tommytucker was the undoubted low point of the racing weekend, the “feelgood factor” delivered by the battle of Shishkin and Energumene was the clear high.
Turner poured a little cold water on the “recency bias” displayed by those crowning it the race of the decade, but acknowledged it was a brilliant horse race. Some of the reaction has centred around mistakes made by Shishkin during the race, which might offer some encouragement to Energumene connections for the battle to come at Cheltenham in the Champion Chase.
Watch the episode here to find out who Sam Turner is backing for the rematch.
Jonbon drifts for the Supreme
Having used the word “illuminate” to describe the Shishkin effect on a dull January afternoon at Ascot, Persad and Turner referenced the similar conditions at Haydock while urging listeners not to draw too many conclusions from the performance of Jonbon on Saturday – which led a couple of bookmakers to “ease him” in the market for the Sky Bet Supreme (now best price 4/1).
Get more from Turner on the build up to the Supreme by clicking here.
Every episode of Racing Weekly will feature Turner’s Tip, which this week saw the top tipster pick out one runner in the Juvenile Hurdle (12:45) on Cheltenham Trials Day.
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