Morning Digest: Manchego is the big cheese

Hugo Palmer trains Manchego

THE very nature of horse racing means that it occasionally leaves you feeling like you’ve been punched in the stomach. Such a moment occurred yesterday at Limerick when the highly talented Mega Fortune suffered a fatal fall when well clear. Words don’t really cut the mustard on occasions like these apart from condolences must go out to trainer Gordon Elliott and the owners. The ups and downs of racing were also hammered home when Derek Fox, who rode One To Arthur to Grand National glory, was taken to hospital after a horrible fall on Justatenner at Kelso. Fingers crossed he suffered nothing more than concussion.

On a happier note, the feature £30,000 chase at Kelso was a super race, won by the highly promising Forest Bihan who, remarkably, went off at the rather generous SP of 9/2. A great price for a Grade Two winner and a horse who came within a head of winning a Grade One. The Shloer Chase is the likely next destination of Forest Bihan.

Manchego a tasty price

Decent fare for a Monday today The Wagon Wheel (5.10) (4/1 Coral) appeals in the Listed sprint for fillies at Musselburgh while tonight at Kempton Golden Birthday (7.25) (5/2, generally), who has won over hurdles and on the level recently, will be hard to beat.

Manchego (4.45), named after a type of Spanish cheese, was entered in the Derby earlier in the season but lost his way for Hugo Palmer. Better ground at Windsor could well see him bounce back and at 15/2 (bet365) he could be a well handicapped horse. Finally at Pontefract Kannapolis (1.55) (7/1 generally) was outclassed at York last time but may well be the one to beat in the opener. Heatongrad (2.55) (3/1, generally) and Pioneering (3.55) (4/1 generally) are both in cracking form and despite rises in the ratings they should go close. Be lucky.

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