Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Poker Boys Hold the Ace; Partnership Banking on Third Win by Tiutchev

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Poker Boys Hold the Ace; Partnership Banking on Third Win by Tiutchev

Article excerpt

Byline: GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM

EVERY punter knows what it feels like to have too much money riding on a horse race. The stomach tightens, the mouth goes dry and, just occasionally, you wonder whether you might be better off taking up something less stressful like basket weaving.

Think of that feeling, then treble it, and you are close to what Jerry Wright and his mates will be going through when Tiutchev bids to win the Servo Computer Services Ascot Chase for the third time tomorrow.

Wright, along with Terry Benson, Steve Burke, Nigel Holmes and Bill McGregor, race the gelding under the banner of the Liars Poker syndicate.

In theory, these seasoned card players should know just how to handle pressure situations.

In practice, the same old fears will surface when AP McCoy climbs aboard the popular veteran again.

"I'm afraid the only way to fight the nerves is with a few large vodka and tonics," said Wright.

"It's human nature that you get more attached to a horse over time, and this one will leave a huge hole when he hangs up his boots."

A hole in the pocket was all Tiutchev threatened to make during his early days, but the move from Henrietta Knight to David Nicholson saw him progress to win the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton in 1999.

Wright added: "That was great, but it's hard not to recall it without thinking of the Tote Gold Trophy at Newbury a few weeks later.

"We thought Tiutchev was a certainty and had fortunes on from 50-1 down. He started 6-4 but ran badly, and to this day that's his only disappointing run we can't explain."

There was no need to look for excuses the following season, which produced an unbeaten sequence crowned by memorable wins at Cheltenham and Punchestown.

"The video of him smashing the track record in the Arkle at Cheltenham is worn out, and again we had a gamble on him which kept snowballing from 33-1 down to 8-1," said Wright.

As ever, there have also been bumps in the road. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.