Friday, July 28, 2006

Eliminating swamp fever

It was a pleasure to be at Sandown yesterday. Perfect weather (while we were there it was anyway, although I presume the flash floods would have hit there soon after we'd left, impossible though that would have been to believe at the time) and the lovely racecourse at its uncrowded best, despite good racing. Brief ran another fine race, impressing again with both his performance and his attitude. He has become a real professional, tries his best and seems extremely happy doing so. At any level horses like that are hard to find. The winner of his race, I Have Dreamed, a lightly-raced four-year-old by Montjeu (typically for that breed, he is a magnificent and firey) from a Mr Prospector mare, looks as if he'll win again in a higher class, while the runner-up Obrigado is also a horse who, on type, could be competing in Group races. To finish third to that pair, at a top track, is no disgrace at all. The time backs this up, as it was the only race of the day run faster than standard, which wasn't bad on a card which contained a Listed race, as well as a maiden winner (Godolphin's War Chant colt Desert Authority) who looks as if he can step straight up to Stakes level. The runner-up in that race, Mulaazem, a King's Best colt ex 1,000 Guineas winner Harayir, also looks like a horse with a big future, which ought to be the case in a race in which the first two finished THIRTY-TWO LENGTHS clear of the third. I don 't, incidentally, know anything about Desert Authority's maternal grandsire Panoramic, so perhaps someone can enlighten me.

Less pleasing is the elimination situation, which is getting beyond the joke. One must bear in mind that July and August, with dry tracks and a massive amount of racing, are probably the easiest months of the year to get horses into races. Well, the score this week is seven declarations, five eliminations. That just isn't acceptable. The situation is actually, in effect, even worse than that: Rem Time doesn't count as an elimination, but she could be regarded as such. I had her in two races at Leicester on Tuesday, and only declared her for the less suitable when I saw that she'd probably get in that, but would have very little chance of getting into her more suitable option. So one can regard her as having been eliminated from the more suitable race - and, as she ran fifth of 18 in the race I didn't want her to contest, it is fair to be particularly rueful of her being unable to get in the other one. Dave Huelin has been the principal victim of the eliminator, as he has been here all week to watch My Obsession run at Wolverhampton today, but of course that horse didn't get in (missing out by one). At least Dave has had something to show for his trip over from Jersey, having (I hope) enjoyed the party on Sunday, and then having had two trips to the races, to watch Rem Time at Leicester and Brief at Sandown. It was rather fun at Sandown, because Brief had a good fan club, with My Obsession's and Jack Dawson's connections being there to add to the cheering. Predictably, Joe and Larry made everyone welcome to join the gang, and it was a lovely day.

For us, anyway, if not for Kieren Fallon's lawyers. I feared the worst when I looked at the front page of today's Racing Post, and was confronted by a large photo of Kieren gazing balefully at the camera alongside the headline "Three new cases of swamp fever". Fortunately, as with so many things in life, things turned out not to be as bad as they seemed, and it seems that he hasn't after all been confined to Naas hospital for the medics to run their legendary tests for swamp fever and kidney stones on him. All that has happened is that his lawyers went to court to claim that he requires £200,000 per year to make ends meet; if that's the best they can come up with, he should replace them, as saying something as stupid as that will do more harm than good.

Even if Kieren has contracted swamp fever, he needn't fear, because it can be survived, as Richard Sims proved a few years ago. Whether Dickie will survive his current battle - against his co-owners in the peripatetic galloper Monsam - remains to be seen. We haven't heard much from that quarter on this site recently, but if we are really lucky we might have some comment appearing shortly from one of his aliases. We can then get him and Kentucky Wildcat communicating, and that might just be the start of a beautiful friendship.


Statistictian1 said...

Having been a member of the now defunct "London Walkabout Club" during the late eighties which conducted such cultural and intellectual vacations for young Australian tourists to places like the Munich Beerfest, it comes as no surprise to learn that a leading UK hoop can be trapped at Naas hospital enjoying the attentions of the mighty Irish nurses.
But like all leading racing brahmameisters, regaining your success is only a hickup away.

And being a nomadic beast that he now seems to be, it will come as no surprise to see Monsam yet turn up at Beverley House stables next spring (ie March/April) alongside Takeover Target aiming for a mighty quinella at the 2007 Royal Ascot meeting.

neilthediamond1 said...

she shines with her own kind of light
she looks at you once
and a day that's all wrong turns out right
...and I love her
God knows I love her.......

if she gets to know you
she's goin' own you
(like most sheilas)

She ain't the kind that makes heads turn at the drop of her name
but there's something inside that she got turns you on all the same....
and she loves me
God knows she loves me......

If she gets to know you
she goin' to own you

I don't want much
the good Lord's earth beneath my feet
a gentle touch from that one girl
and life is sweet and good
ain't no doubt
I'm talking about.....
if she get's to know you
she goin' to own you


D.D. Fan Club said...

It is no surprise to hear that the London Walkabout Club no longer exist.Cultural and intellectual are are certainly not two words that spring to mind when one thinks of young Australian tourists.

jaggers said...

Personally favour 48 hour decs.
Read Mark Johnston's views which seem to overstate the problems.
Maybe John John can do a blog on the subject.

BBF said...

Love the ditty about Kentucky Wildcat, very good. Can she please reply as I see something beautiful blossoming!

jaggers said...

When reading the party blog, was reminded of the Two Ronnies sketch when Andre Previn was guest; on being accused by Previn of playing the wrong notes RB responded "I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order"
The party sounded great fun !

jaggers said...

When reading the party blog, was reminded of the Two Ronnies sketch when Andre Previn was guest; on being accused bt Previn of playing all the wrong notes RB responded "I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order".
The party sounded a bit like that, so it must have been great fun !

Kentucky Wildcat said...

This could be the start of something beautiful....Dear Mr Neil's a little song for you... (John maybe this could be good with tambourines?!!)

In My Lifetime.....

Hey boy, you got the address
On the street of unknowns
Big man smokin' on a cigar,
Dealin' on the telephone
Hey boy, look out for flim-flam
If you wanna go real far
Been there, and I believe
You got to be what you are
In my lifetime, In my lifetime

Hey boy, you look like a million
Hey now, show 'em what you got
Hey boy, what you got to run from?
I'll teach you all that I forgot
In my lifetime, In my lifetime

Hey boy, when you write a rock tune,
You give up a piece of your soul
Stay boy, underneath a rockin' moon
Try before you get too old
Hooray, got yourself a road gig
Any gig's gonna be fine
Okay, you gave up your real life,
And I know why

In my lifetime, I have been there
I have dreamed it
In my lifetime, L - I - F - E
In my T - I - M - E
In my lifetime
(Holly Holy Love)(Shilo when I was young)
In my lifetime, In my lifetime........

neilthediamond1 said...

Young girl with dreams
dream every dream on your own

Whwn children play,
seems like you end up alone
Alice says she'd love to be with you, if she had the time...
so you turn to the only friend you can find
there in your mind...

Shilo when I was young,
I used to call your name
when no one else would come..
Shilo you always came
and we'd play

something said she understood
I wanted to fly...
she made me feel like I could

Held my hand out and I let you take me..
blind as a child (do do do)
and all I saw was the way you made me smile...
(you made me smile) (still do)

Shilo when I was young..
I used to call your name
When no-one else would come,
Shilo you always came

Had a dream and it filled me with wonder - she had other plans
got to go and know you'll understand
(you'll understand0

Shilo when I was young

and tomorrow i sing for you, sweet KYWC -
Brooklyn Road,
Play Me,
Cracklin' Rosie
I am I said,
If you know what I mean,
Hello again
Crunchy Granola Suite.

Or we may duet at a racecourse sometime soon - but not in the next few nights as I have an overnight trip up north to take care of first.