Tuesday, January 05, 2010
And they are off....
Yes and it's a slightly wary welcome to the start of the Twenty Ten General Election hurdle; run over a record long distance of four months, this historic contest has been started at a record pace and far earlier than usual. Will the crowd grow bored of the race long before the runners and riders reach the finish line? That all depends on the twists, turns and hurdles that lie ahead.
The horses have left the start and after a sharp getaway it's an early lead for favourite David Cameron riding Oak Tree, a length ahead of Gordon Brown on the second favourite Red Rose Spinner. Rank outsider Yellow Peril ridden by the young Nick Clegg stumbled out of the start but has since picked up the pace and lies a shoulder behind Red Rose Spinner. These three have already opened up a significant lead over the rest of the field.
This is going to be a very long race on a slow course in soggy conditions, and the risk for the riders is keeping a steady pace through the early jumps - Cameron missed his footing at the first and lost a few paces to Red Rose Spinner but then a slip up by Red Rose at the infamous Dodgy Dossier corner means the gap has opened up again.
And barely past the first jump and Red Rose Spinner is reported to be facing another Stewards Enquiry; the owners are reported to be in talks to replace the jockey after the race has started!
And we have maybe another 150 days of this before the finish line.