Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

The Punter: Nice touch, Alison

Why are some betting ‘touches' referred to the British Horseracing Authority and others not?

Often when it involves a leading yard and a horse showing considerable improvement on previous form, it's described as a ‘master training feat' and applauded in many quarters.

But what a different story when a lesser known trainer pulls off a nice ‘stroke' as was the case on Monday with Mrs Alison Thorpe who produced Border Lad to win for the first time in a low-grade handicap hurdle at Hereford. Officialdom quickly gets on its high horse, tut-tutting and seeking to rap the knuckles of those who have done their homework and exploited an opportunity.

And that's all the trainer has done in this case. The time was on the slow side which showed that only a horse that could cope with the very testing conditions would win.

Border Lad was backed from early-morning odds of 28-1 before being returned at 11-1. The Lad had never been any better than seventh and, consequently, had dropped well down the handicap. Well done to those in the know.

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