Monday, September 11, 2006

Australia Day

No, today isn't, as the title to this blog would imply, January 26th. It's actually the fifth anniversary of 9/11, so today we spare a thought for all innocent victims, irrespective of race or creed, of international aggression and sectarian hatred, for the murdered, the maimed, the bereaved and the dispossessed. All we can do is try our best to make our own corner of the world a better, friendlier place, and to pray for peace.

This place has been a good, friendly place today, thanks largely to the contributions of some of our Australian friends. (Ah, hence the title). To get the ball rolling, a text arrived this morning from Richard Sims to tell me that Sahaaran, the mare whom he formerly co-raced and from whom he now co-breeds (with Len Rhodes, breeder of Better Loosen Up) has had a foal. That's a half-sibling to the mighty Monsam, who alternately gives his part-owners (including Dickie) joy and frustration. There's a city win in him, I'm sure, if he stays problem-free, and his current trainer Lee Freedman must be fancied to get it out of him.

Next came the postman, bearing a wonderful package from Australian owner/breeder Glenda Bullen. Glenda and her husband Clive live in an idyllic part of the world, Yea in central Victoria, and I first met them when they showed up in Newmarket several years ago, having been pointed in this direction by Richard. They've been good friends, and a missive from Glenda is always a pleasure to receive. Somehow Glenda had got wind of the fact that I turned 40 in June, and today's package contained some birthday gifts: several items of Australiana, plus an excellent item of Yeaiana, ie a 'Yea Race Club - Come Picnic Racing In The Hills' T-shirt, kindly provided by Leigh Messner (to replace my by-now-dilapidated 15-year-old version of the same shirt) who, along with her late husband Bob, was so kind and hospitable to me when I lived in Victoria in 1991.

Then, to complete a mighty trifecta, Frank Byrne appeared in the stable mid-morning, completely out of the blue. I was delighted to see him. To cut a long story short, Frank is an Englishman who trained in this stable for nine months in 1973, after being at Derisley Wood Stud I believe, for American Irving Allan. He came to this yard after Humphrey Cottrell's retirement. Frank is now a naturalised Australian, having initially moved to Perth and thence to Victoria. When I lived there he was a successful trainer at Warrnambool, at the western end of the Great Ocean Road. Beaver Called might have been his best horse at the time. But then a few years later he had the dubious honour of becoming one of Richard Sims' many trainers. His greatest feat in this period was to prepare the aforementioned Sahaaran, with impeccable timing, to win a maiden race at Pakenham the most recent time I was in the country, November 1998, and Richard, Joff and I were all present to see her salute the judge on that mighty occasion. Anyway, the stress of training for Richard helped send Frank into retirement, because he packed up, suffering from heart problems, about five years ago. He is now enjoying retirement, looking really well on it, and is currently on holiday in the UK visiting his relations and old friends, such as Rae Guest. Today he was accompanied by his sister and brother-in-law, who live in Ipswich. It was really good to see him, and I hope that at some point Emma might adorn this posting with a photo of Frank and myself standing in the gateway of the yard on today's glorious September Morn (cue for our blogger Neil Diamond to break into song). And what was very nice was that Frank asked after Richard, said that he was no longer in touch with him but that he still has a lot of time for him, and asked me to pass on his best wishes to him.

So that's the reason behind today's title. The only shame on this Australia Day has been that one of our correspondents has been (again) a touch harsh on Stato-man in making him aware of Diktat's credentials. Stato-man is perfectly right in pointing out it is forgiveable for someone to be unfamiliar with a stallion who has never stood or raced in one's own country - I, for one, know this, having told Richard Sims only yesterday that I didn't know anything about Consolidator, a stallion which Mark McStay has suggested to Richard might be suitable for one of his many mares. Anyway, Stato-man, don't pay attention to westtip. For further information on Diktat, consult Michael Tidmarsh who is a big fan of the horse (although he may be just a bit biased, having been Warning's exercise rider for a time). I feel, and I know that Michael feels the same, that Darley may have missed a trick in not giving Australian breeders the opportunity to use Diktat; perhaps, Dickie could make this suggestion to some of his Darley (Aus) contacts when next networking with them.

Oh yes, and hats off to two more great Australians, Takeover Target and Joe Janiak, for another huge run yesterday. What a horse, what a trainer.

12 comments:

D.D. Fan Club said...

Wath

Im sure you were aware also that Jan 26 is the birthday of your new Diktat filly. It may be a lead into a possible name.

jaggers said...

being out of Docklands Princes, how about Happy Hooker ?

Kentucky Wildcat said...

John,

How about the 'Green-day' brahma, "Wake me up when September (Sale) ends".

Oh and talking of Greens, 'The Green Monkey' $16 plus million 2 yr old purchase from this years breeze-up sale is APPARENTLY about as good as an unleaded car running on solar power.

When asked to comment on training the horse, Todd Pletcher stated, "I rather be training a horse to run against him" !!!!!!!

Sales are manic over here. Sheikh Mohammed has bought some very good stock.

The "Green-Demi" has been restrained. My bet being that the Coolmore gang and himself went out and bought most of the yearlings privately a couple of weeks before the sale and thought he could run up Sheikh Mohammed and earn some money back lost on buying "The Green Monkey".

Over and out from Stateside KYWC

easygoer2 said...

Happy Hooker? Jaggers, if you're coming up with names like that, you and Jim ought to get together. Jim and Ian Watkinson are doubtless looking to find several fillies of that name in Heaven, Newmarket's favourite (ie only) pole-dancing inferno.

Re KYWC's offering - and always great to hear from our favourite expatriate limey broad - I think we should let time be the judge of the "very good stock" which Sheikh Mohammed has bought. It can be premature to judge books by their seven- or eight-figure covers.

Re The Green Monkey, I wouldn't be sure that the Tipperary genii are going to end up having lost money on him irrespective of how many races he doesn't win. Never underestimate their cunning. We aren't expecting him to win much anyway, are we? Surely any horse which runs the times he ran before reaching its second birthday will have legs so worn out by its third birthday that it won't want to race. Call me old-fashioned, but surely the way to win Classics and wfa events isn't to drill them as soon as they lose the right to be called a yearling?

westtip said...

John, I hope you backed Dixie Belle today, 50/1 winner of the Group Three sprint at Newbury. You told us that you like Diktat as a sire of fillies. Great result for the new yearling, especially as Dixie Belle is also out of a mare from the Danzig sireline.

Monstarex said...

I would suggest calling the filly The Cullinan after the largest ever diamond crystal that was found in Pretoria on Jan 26th 1905, this being in the hope that the blogmeister has unearthed another jewel born a century later

Commander Collings said...

Good idea, Monstarex. I like that. We were thinking along a Banjo Patterson theme and had come up with Wheel 'Em Clancy but this beats that hands down and as her new owners are Irish, The Cullinan has a good Celtic ring to it. Nice to see some sensible, thoughtful posting on this blog for a change.

Kentucky Wildcat said...

BHS Readers,

I think there have been a few horses called The Cullinan over the years..... Oh and .....I rode a (Irish Draught - Thoroughbred cross) showjumper called The Cullinan. He was brought out on the show hunter scene by legendary Arundel trainer John Dunlop and his trusty assistant trainer Robert Allcock! We were trying to decide whether he was named after the Diamond or the South African cricketer!

Easy-goer, when i said "good stock" i was not just referring to the top lots HH Sheikh Mohammed purchased... i actually thought some of the cheaper ones looked like better racehorses. As you said time will tell. Think we all realise that's the name of the game.

Oh no - I do not underestimate the cunning Coolmore team. Word on the street is that the Green Monkey has been pleading with the organ grinder to save his balls from being turned into mince meat (pardon my french).

Super result for Bolger and Galileo today.

Signing out under the KY Moon,

KYWC

alamshar2 said...

If the Sheikh was happy to give 11 point whatever million for an unraced yearling full-brother to Ashawees (unplaced at Ayr on Saturday), how much will he offer for Teofilo? Bidding would have to start at 20 million and go swiftly upwards from there. In fact, I suspect most people would rather have just Teofilo than the entire troop of yearlings he bought for 56+ million at Keeneland, so perhaps the bidding should start at 60 million. Frightening thoughts. It's going to be interesting.

Kentucky Wildcat said...

I think this is a horse he won't be getting his hands on?

Kentucky Wildcat said...

Excellent result today for team BHS and all connections. Hope Brief Goodbye has come out of the race well - any thoughts on schooling over hurdles ?

neil said...

SEPTEMBER MORN:

WATH:
Stay for just a while
stay and have a brahmafest
It's so good to see your smiling face,

BYRNE:
photo at the gate
pose with me a while
I really want to talk to you
I've travelled halfway round the world
to hear your laugh again

BOTH:
September morn,
we laughed and reminisced about the times we shared
two trainers talking shite about their glory days
September morning still can make us feel that way

BYRNE:
Look at what you've done,
why you've grown even more absurd
I recall how you rode while never shifting in your seat
and look how far you've come
and now there's even Emma to
but you're father told me what you're like
what you're really like...

WATH:
September morn,
I laughed and reminisced about the brahmafests
young trainer talking shite to all along the way.
September morning still can bring it back to life.

BOTH:
September morn,
we laughed and reminiced about the deeds we shared
two trainers talking shite about their mighty feats
September morning still can make us feel that way