Wednesday, July 26, 2006

All the wrong notes

Click-on may feel that he (or she - I mustn't jump to conclusions) has lost his/her muse but, if that's the case, then God help the rest of you (with two or three notable exceptions) because AT LEAST CLICK-ON IS POSTING SOMETHING. I know that we have, it appears, Phil Collins posting on the site, but really I don't think that one needs to have one's muse sitting atop one's shoulder to come out with that drivel. ("Oh God, when I'm feeling blue, umm, all I've got to do, er, is, er, oh God, um, what rhymes with blue and do? ...). Anyway, many thanks for the few of you who are contributing - welcome Kentucky Wildcat, by the way, that's a promising debut - and, as for the rest, Get a ...*.@.**.!!... Grip!

Fortunately James hasn't lost his muse, as anyone who was here on Sunday will testify. (Thank you for coming, by the way - I had a lovely day, and I hope that you did too). Wasn't James a star? I have Emma to thank for making the day happen, Tish for providing the food, and James for ensuring that the party went with a real swing. I have one other garland to give out, and that goes to Pippa Cuckson, clear-cut winner of Brahma Of The Day, with her offering to me, after my extended occupation of the musical crease: "John, I must congratulate you for knowing the words to all of those songs, if not the notes". What made it even better was that she made it sound like a compliment. James, in contrast to me, only hit one wrong note all day, although he did hit it several times. This wrong note was that emitted by the cymbal, which brought the wrath of Jane Chapple-Hyam his way. Her horses, although inured to most music by her stable radio, apparently can't cope with cymbals (or tambourines, I think she said), which he really should have known. Fortunately, she hasn't had any runners during the first half of this week, so James needn't be mentioned in the stewards' report in the "Reasons for a disappointing run" section. We're in it, though, I'm pleased to say, courtesy of the emergence of an explanation for Jill's below-par performance at Carlisle: Carol Whitwood has diagnosed, and then treated, some back pains, which account for her performance. God willing Jill will be back on her game next time, thanks - yet again - to Carol. And the stewards will have been warned, because, being the law-abiding citizen that I am, I have duly passed on the information to the competent authorities.

I was pleased with Lady Suffragette's debut last Saturday, and even more pleased with Rem Time's resumption yesterday. I suppose the one edge the little Lady has over Rem is that she has more of her career before her, so will have more opportunities to build on the run, but Rem showed the more immediate promise. It's hard to find the right race for her, because at her end of the ratings scale there are so few opportunities, and even fewer that one won't be eliminated from, but given the right race, she's ready to run really well. Or will be in another couple of weeks, because we have learned on previous occasions that she runs best when reasonably fresh, so backing her up quickly would not be the correct course of action.

Moving from one end of the equine spectrum to the other, two horses who have caught my eye on the Severals during the past week have been Heart's Cry and Hala Bek. Sadly, these sightings have been in contrasting circumstances. Heart's Cry is lovely. Travelling long distances is tough on a horse, and Newmarket is a daunting place for any new arrival. However, Heart's Cry was wandering around the Severals as if to the manner born, and I salute his connections on having such a content horse. Hala Bek this morning wasn't such a pleasing sight, and if he is to fulfill his enormous potential he will have to be allowed to enjoy life more than he is permitted to do at the moment. Accepted wisdom is that the standard of horsemanship in British racing stables is high, while the Japs haven't got a clue. On recent evidence, neither viewpoint is anywhere near the truth.

Before I sign off, I should pay tribute to Graham Sexton, whom we lost on Monday. My memories of Graham fall into two sections. Firstly, before I knew him I remember him as a good, middle-ranking jockey of the '70s and '80s. The two wins for which I remember him best are the Scottish Derby on the subsequent Ascot Gold Cup winner Little Wolf, trained by Dick Hern; and a famous edition of the Richmond Stakes, the result of which should have been Vacarme first, the rest nowhere, except that Lester Piggott managed to incur the wrath of the stewards (and then of Vacarme's owner Daniel Wildenstein), the result being that Godstone, ridden by Graham for Patrick Haslam, was promoted from second to first. More recently, my memories are of Graham as I knew him: a kind and decent man, a permanent fixture (until the past couple of years) in Geoff Wragg's string, usually riding alongside Dominic Gibson, invariably with a smile and a friendly greeting. Graham deserved to live for a lot more than 58 years, but life doesn't always work out as it should, and we have to make the most of whatever timespan we have.


BBF said...

Thanks to John and Emma, Sunday was a great afternoon and altough Jane's horses may not have appreciated the delicate sounds coming from Jim's percussion section(!!!) the majority of the JB string did. Their impeccable timing during John's party piece was very amusing, it's the first time I have heard horses sing and they put Jim out of a job as backing vocalist - they CAN hit the high notes! Oh well John, one day we'll get the level of medication right.

Hi Kentucky Wildcat - good to see you logged on :-)

D.D. Fan Club said...

Sounds like you all had a ball on sunday. I would have loved to have seen and heard John signing, something up to now I have not had the privilege of doing.
All the best at Sandown today.

Kentucky Wildcat said...

After texting conversations with the Evil Genius I have found out the below par performance of Jill Dawson was in fact due to the 'tambourines' not being played loud enough.

The Evil Genuis was subjected to a trip into Willy Mussons' yard at some stage in the afternoon. He was unimpressed with all the noise it brought back memories of his time in London.

However he heard a certain Mrs. M screaming at the top of her lungs he decided to re-enter Beverley House Stables' jambouree.

I have heard that legendary racehorse and ex Three Chimneys Stallion used to listen to heavy metal music in his stall. Tell that to JCH.

All the best - KYWC

Statistictian1 said...

I too wish I could have been there on Sunday to see the landlord drivelling out a Phil collins number or two...