- You know that things are quiet when the top headline on the Form site reads: Clark serves as Magna Graduate's finale. I got nuthin'......though you may already have noticed.
So I expanded my reach overseas, and here's a couple of notes:
Legalized wagering, of sorts, on legalized horse racing is coming to the People's Republic of China for the first time since the Communists took charge in 1949, and banned gambling because they believed it was an immoral capitalist pursuit. [USA Today] The track, presumably built with more care than the country's schoolhouses, is located in the city of Wuhan. It has seating for 30,000 people, and contains the largest video screen in China, at 480 square meters. [Shanghai Daily]
Wo! Man, now that is a Jumbotron!! That makes the one at Aqueduct look like this.
The betting is some kind of lottery, and it's reported here that any winnings are prizes other than cash. So it doesn't sound as if there will be any pick six carryovers of note. The track is dirt, and no word if they'll try some weather modification on big race days.
From the UK comes a story about a Flopping favourite. Shiwawa was, according to a race preview, poised to strike in the catchily-named Call 01636 814481 To Sponsor A Race Maiden Stakes at Southwell. That's almost as bad as the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
But unfortunately, things went awry for this Darley-bred son of Halling, out of a Seattle Slew half-sister to Arc winner Rainbow Quest.
His price drifted out beyond 2-1 before the off, however, as money arrived for several of Shiwawa's opponents, including West With The Wind, without a win in six previous starts, who started as the SP favourite.Hmmm, I don't think we have any betting intelligence teams here. Maybe the TRPB, but they don't seem to display much of the way of intelligence, so I guess not. I'm picturing a staff of statisticians in their BIT jackets poring over betting data, ready to call the stewards on the red phone at the slightest deviance.
Shiwawa was slowly away and immediately under pressure from his jockey, who eventually pulled up with over half a mile still to run. West With The Wind, meanwhile, was soon at the head of the field and drew further clear from two out to win by seven lengths.
"Our betting intelligence team alerted the stewards after the race as to patterns on the horse," said Owen Byrne, a spokesman for the British Horseracing Authority.
As for Shiwawa, he was found to have an irregular heartbeat....so just maybe the conclusion to this story won't be that funny, though it would make for a good Dick Francis novel. The BHA expects to receive the results of Shiwawa's dope test within the next three weeks.