Yanworth took a tour of the Cotswolds and could not afford to give so much ground away to Yorkhill who maintains his winning run in stunning style despite looking all at sea in the closing stages. Yet another one to throw into the Champion Hurdle mix. Could we have a mini-Mullins Champion Hurdle maybe at Leopardstown next February?
Last year's Neptune was run at a dawdle, it was the slowest winning topspeed since at least 2003 (my records only go back to 2004). Faugheen did a 4.54 on good and only got a topspeed of 138 (the average since 2004 is 135) but Simonsig did a 4.59 on ground also called good and got a 155, so it's very difficult to infer too much. I'd say Faugheen was probably on much quicker ground and Simonsig's time is a better market of true good ground.
FOR Channel 4 positive ratings news has rather come too late but racing's departing mainstream broadcaster did have some healthy numbers to celebrate on Tuesday.
The festival's first day average audience of 674,000 viewers was up by 28 per cent last year and was also ten per cent greater in terms of share. Also on the increase was the peak audience, at 1.1 million 18 per cent greater than last year.This time next year, however, the festival will be broadcast by ITV, which, as a sign of things to come, has senior figures moving around the track this week.