Abby Rugg

Name: Abby Rugg
Qualification: Gold Standard NCTJ Multi-Media Journalism Diploma. (Including 100 words-per-minute shorthand)
Employment: Worked at BBC Sport and Deltatre for London 2012.
Future Aim: To work in broadcast/production television.
Blog: Started in November 2011. Published on The Sports Investor and Value Horse Tips. Please comment on a post or follow me on Twitter.

Monday, 2 April 2012


The early stages of this month's John Smith's Grand National will be crucial for Chicago Grey, according to Gordon Elliott.


CHELTENHAM 16-3-2011. The National Hunt Chase.

Derek O'Connor and CHICAGO GREY with trainer Gordon Elliott and Annie Bowles after he recorded his 1st Cheltenham success. Creative Commons by Horse Racing Ireland

The nine-year-old has got detached early-on in previous races and Elliott is worried that he could get too far behind in the Aintree event.
Elliott told At The Races: "He schooled last week, schooled very well and stays well, he won the four-miler at Cheltenham last year," 
"If he can get into a nice rhythm in the first half of the race I think he`ll run a massive race. The first four or five fences are going to be very important, if he can get into a rhythm and get jumping.
"He`s probably not the best jumper in the world, he`s adequate, he has his own technique. It`s hard to know what horse is going to take to it."
Paul Carberry will ride the grey in twelve days time while Paul Nicholls is down to one representative (Neptune Collonges) after the retirement of Niche Market due to injury.

My Opinion:

There has been a lot of media hype surrounding Chicago Grey and there is no doubt in saying that he is a talented horse. 
Elliott has said it right though, if the grey gets detached from the group in the early stages of the race then he's out. Carberry needs to time it well to ensure that the Cheltenham 2011 winner has a chance of winning.

Ballabriggs is another horse that needs to be watched but I cannot help but be tempted by Sunnyhillboy. I have seen him run before and is decent horse. One to watch over the next few days.
The Grand National is anybody's game - all horses are in for a shot. 

What I am worried about is whether or not the high-profile racing event will attract bad publicity again. Last year was a bad year for the sport as a result of Jason Maguire's ride on winner Ballabriggs. I think people who aren't into racing need to read up on the sport so that it does not come under inappropriate scrutiny.

It angers me when people are ignorant towards the rules of the whip. With all the media attention the sport has been receiving it wouldn't surprise me if many viewers or spectators will be eagle-eyed and on the prowl for any mistake made by the jockeys.

Should it happen again: watch this space!

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