Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fingers crossed

We have three exciting runners to look forward to. It's been a tough one making the call two days in advance of the various meetings, because My Obsession (Lingfield today, ie Sunday) and Jolizero (Newcastle tomorrow) both want it wet, while Jack Dawson (Warwick tomorrow) wants it reasonably dry. Having watched the weather around the country yesterday, in particular seeing it surprisingly dry here, looking fine at Stratford and torrential rain leading to abandonment after three races at Thirsk, I think I should have got it right for Jack and Joli (that's Dollyzero, in case you're confused, Dickie and here's a picture of him looking very woolly last winter, just as you'll remember him), but fear it may be drier than ideal for My Obsession today. Still, it should be good, safe ground so there's no reason not to run. I do think, though, that the current spate of non-runners is going to continue today and tomorrow.

I nodded off in front of the television yesterday but am very pleased that Emma roused me before the Haydock Sprint Cup, because, although I'm not particularly interested in sprints, that was a race to savour. Reverence, ridden a treat by Darley, was again a wonderful encouragement towards persistence, and dear old Quito ran superbly in second. It's too easy to set a deadline of the end of a horse's three-year-old career for him to have shown some form, but Reverence is proof that, just occasionally, a horse can be an unraced four-year-old (for part of the year anyway) and a Group One-winning five-year-old. So we add him, his owner/breeders Mr and Mrs Middlebrook, his trainer Eric Alston and Kevin Darley to our list of heroes - but they were on it anyway really, only having written about the team on a thoroughbredinternet grey panel I hadn't thought to praise them here. But praise they deserve. Darley will be even higher on the list if he can salute the judge on board Jolizero tomorrow.

Hats off too to our friends John and Terre McNamara of Golden Vale Stud, Kilmallock, Co Limerick, for breeding a double on Wednesday, courtesy of Diamond Dan at Wolverhampton and Monashee Brave at Beverley. The latter won a five-furlong maiden by seven lengths, which takes some doing, so that was a great day for them. With a small band of inexpensive mares going to inexpensive stallions, that was a great day's work.

Time now to head out to ride Jack and Joli. I'll just give each a light exercise so that won't be too taxing an assignment. They both seem in great form, as does My Obsession, so let's hope for three good runs. Three runners, particularly three nice horses who ought to run well, makes for a nerve-wracking couple of days and I will be glad to get to Tuesday. Tomorrow will be a very early start to go to Newcastle, and then Tuesday too will be early for a two-day trip to Fairyhouse Sale in Ireland. Star attraction of the first day there (in our eyes anyway - I hope in nobody else's) will be Jill Dawson's full-sister - half-sister to Jack, obviously - so there's plenty for me to worry about.

In the interim, if anyone fancies some light reading, Emma has started her own blog. It promises to be jam-packed with items of interest to the fairer sex, with recipes, knitting patterns and shopping tips. I think she's even planning to start a section in which bloggerettes compare the relative merits of netball stars, so log on for a ripping read. You'll have seen that she's worked out how to illustrate the blogs, so I suspect a photo of Take That or Wham! might be up on her site before too long. That would, of course, be better than James' suggestion of shots of him and Gerry having a mighty time on a, presumably, otherwise deserted naturist beach in Crete. Knowing James' parsimonious nature, I bet the couple of drachmas/drachmae which James must have spent on a half-hour of web time in a Cretan internet cafe to tell us how much he's missing Gerry will be the only money the family will have been allowed to spend all holiday.


easygoer2 said...

I see the ground presumably was too fast for My Obsession - easy mistake to make with the forecast nationwide deluges which should have hit the track yesterday but didn't. Hope he's ok. I like the choice of jockey, S. Donohoe. Not only did he ride Jack so well, but I noted that he rode a treble on Friday at huge odds, two 14/1 shots and one at 12/1.

Pleased also to see in previous blog the photo of John by the Wath sign. I gather Sims mistakenly believed John had previously been photographed by this sign. Disappointing and surprising that Sims doesn't know his Waths: as he ought to know, but obviously doesn't, there are two Waths in North Yorkshire (three when our Wath is there). The one John had previously visited, I believe, was the one north east of Ripon, close to the A1, while this latest one, going by the route that appears to have been taken by the tourists, must have been Wath-In-Nidderdale, just a couple of miles north of Pateley Bridge. Both are lovely villages - I recommend that Sims visits both (just to clear up the confusion) on his next visit to the UK. Perhaps KYWC can show him around.

alamshar2 said...

Easy nomination for Brahma Of The Day. Spotted in Howard Wright's column in Sunday's Racing Post, under the headline Website Watch: "Regular Racing Post letters' page contributor John Berry has a new outlet for his inner thoughts when he closes the door on his Newmarket stables. He has a new website,, designed by the Post's own Rob Winter, where his trainer's diary is attracting a mix of bizarre and long postings from both author and guests".

Double brahma would have been if they'd made a typo in the headline, and omitted the C.

Low Beck said...

I stumbled accross this site whilst reading Howard Wright's column on Sunday. I have to say I'm very impressed and don't worry John, I fully intend to get a %&*@?£! grip and contribute in the future. You'll have to bear with me on this though as it might take me a while to even get near to the level of intelligence of yourself. As we work in an industry where remedial therapy means spending large amounts of money trying to improve our selling class horses to a 50 + rating, it has a slightly different meaning to a simple North country lad like myself. To me it invokes memories of being put into a classroom with the local bullies whilst a recent graduate teaches us our b's from our d's. I hope to be able to write these letters freehand soon and keep my tongue in at the same time. In the meantime I have my hands full with a box set of Janet & John stories, having just finished The Cat on the Mat.

joff said...

Some excellent sledging of your live-in blog rival there Wath but if you really want to upset her, why not get in first with some photos of Tom & Katie's foal, Suri.

PS Goodonya John and Terre!

Commander Collings said...


If you switch to my blog, I've posted that apricot chutney recipe you've been pestering me about for ages.

Kentucky Wildcat said...

Dear All readers at Wath-Berrys' site,

Last night Sarah, the newly adopted dog sent me a rather muddled fax. She is not quite sure of her new home at Beverley House Stables ... Apparently she is amused by the daily goings on. She is rather annoyed that her picture is not up on the site yet? As soon as her picture is up she has assured me that she will settle in better and start making an effort with the rest of the animals.

News from Kentucky, well... the mighty Keeneland September Yearling Sale gets underway next week. Shame The Wath and Emma are not coming over. Maybe you should try some American pedigrees at Beverley House? J.Noseda is doing so well with them..

Looking forward to Jack running again next week. Oh, it was great to see that the legend Howard Wright, fellow Yorkshireman has been on the site. BIG UP TO HOWARD.

Love from KYWC

Kentucky Wildcat said...

Oh i have just decified Sarah's muddled fax - she said she would like her picture on the main site's 'meet the gang' page as well as on Emma's page.

Hi Emma - i will start work on a Kentucky ....recipe for disaster ... for your site !

Oh - Easygoer - I am impressed with your knowledge on Yorkshire. The best place in the World.

Have a good weekend - KYWC