The Inside Rail

“Can you come on the show…?”

“Can you bet on Xpressbet…TVG…Twinspires…Betfair…?”

“Any tips…?”

“Who do you like in the big one…?”

That’s when I know it’s time for the Far Hills Steeplechase. Steve Byk, Seth Merrow, Bill Finley, Dave Johnson have asked about their shows. Jocks’ agents and van agents, flat trainers and jump trainers have asked about betting on their accounts (Yes!). My old college roommate called about a tip in the big one.

The biggest and best jump meet of the season returns Saturday, Oct. 19. It’s an international extravaganza with international super trainers Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson and Dermot Weld taking their swings at the big purses. International super jockeys Davy Russell, Paul Townend, Robbie Power and Nico De Boinville are just a few on the excursion. And the one and only Wicklow Brave leads a field of 12 in the Grand National. They've combined to earn over $4.7 million in their storied careers. Yeah, $4.7 million.

American stalwart Jack Fisher unleashes a barrage, could it be 14? Irv Naylor, Bruton Street US, Rosbrian Farm have bolstered their ranks with recent purchases arriving for the big day.

Lucrative purses attract aggressive moves.

Riverdee is represented by Douglas Road in the New Jersey Hunt Cup and City Dreamer in the Foxbrook Champion Hurdle. Not exactly aggressive moves, but moves within our means. Internationally, we’ll cheer on Valdez at Market Rasen, hopefully catching a wifi signal to watch the handicap chase from the Far Hills parking lot.

As most Saturdays go in this maddening game we play, it could bring anything. I guess that's the way we like it.