Sunday, October 15, 2006

Looking back with gratitude and forward with optimism

Now today I must be brief. In fact, I shouldn't really be creating this post at all, because it's after seven in the evening, the dinner is cooking and our dinner guests - Dave and Carolyn Huelin and Colin and Eileen Casey - are due at 7.30. And I'm filthy. But I haven't blogged for ages and I was intent on posting something this weekend, so perhaps for once I might MAKE IT SHORT. (And that might get the HRA temporarily off my back, because I have received an official request from Shaftesbury Avenue to cut out the crap). (And that's their phrase, not mine).

Since I was last on here we've been to London for Joe's memorial evening and we've spent a lot of time at Tattersalls. And we've run Jolizero at Warwick. The evening in London was a very special occasion. All that was lacking was Joe, but it was so easy to believe that he was there, and if he had been he'd have been in his element. He's so proud of Larry and Grant and of the happy and successful lives they have made for themselves, and he'd have loved the craic once again in Larry's regular haunt. The award for man of the match was hotly contested, with Paul Wright definitely being on the short list, but I think Gerry, as usual, collects the gong - even if we did have to hold him upright at Cambridge station as we pinned it on his chest. Richard Sims, too, deserves to be mentioned in dispatches, because his timing was spot-on: I received a text while I was at the party from him saying that he was there in spirit and asking me to pass on his regards to one and all. I only managed to show the message to a couple of people at the time, so if you're reading this, were at the party and know Richard, then please accept his greetings.

Tattersalls again provided a sale in which good horses were hard to buy, but I feel very optimistic about the two yearlings who arrived here last week. The Polish Precedent filly ex Pantone who hails from Chippenham Lodge Stud, breeders of Brief Goodbye, is a thoroughly nice filly, with plenty of quality and what seems like a fair degree of spunk. If she doesn't mature into a feisty little amazon I'll be very surprised. She's the first foal of her dam, who won at Newmarket, Sandown and Leicester as a three-year-old, and I hope she'll be yet another winner to come out of one of England's most successful studs.

The Helissio filly ex French Spice (pictured) definitely has, to my admittedly biased eyes, high-class staying races right in her sights - even if those sights are very much long-range ones, because she isn't going to be challengeing for anything in the immediate future. She's strong and well-grown, but one just knows that the family of Celeric and Sesame isn't about to throw up a star juvenile. And even if one accepts that there's an exception to every rule, I certainly won't be trying to force this filly to be that exception. This filly really is her father's daughter, and anyone who retains a mental image of her dad striding majestically clear in the Arc knows that that is high praise indeed. She almost certainly won't be anywhere near as good as he was, but he has definitely thrown her in his own image, so that's good enough for me. The aim is to form a syndicate for her on exactly the same lines as we have done with the Diktat filly (whom I rode for the first time yesterday, by the way, and who seems very amenable) and I've been delighted with the interest shown so far. Emma has taken some lovely photos of her, and we will be updating the horse list on the site with our new arrivals very soon.

Yesterday was Champions' Day, and Pride - of course - reinforces herself in our list of heroes. A true champion mare. She didn't win her first Group One until the age of six, yet she's now beaten Hurricane Run three times this year and could hold her own against any middle distance galloper anywhere in the world. She's yet another to keep up our optimism levels and our faith in our potential to unearth a champion from the least obvious sources, because she can't have been at all promising in her younger days - she's nothing to look at at all, even now in maturity, so she must have been a real weed at the outset - and I bet Gerald Butler never dreamed that she'd develop into the superstar she's become when she eventually managed to snag a terribly weak maiden at the backend of her three-year-old campaign. And of course Jim Bolger, perhaps the trainer I most admire, also consolidated his already rock-solid place on the list with his mighty double. He and his jockey (who gave Teofilo as good a ride as you'd ever see) are true professionals and an inspiration to anyone who aspires to high standards. I have had the pleasure of meeting him once - in the Ballylinch Stud box at Goffs a few years ago - and my respect for him couldn't be higher. I'm always delighted to see him win the top races.

The day before Champions' Day was Joli's Day, when Jolizero evinced from me a big sigh of relief by putting his last (terrible) run behind him with a much more solid display, finishing fourth at Warwick under an excellent ride by Robert Havlin. And tomorrow is Mobs' Day, when My Obsession (pictured after a recent schooling session with Matthew Smith) will bid to follow in Joli's footsteps by raising his game at Pontefract. Like Joli, Mobs has put in more of his fair share of shockers this season, but tomorrow's race ought to suit him and he appears to be working ok, so let's hope that we come home less dismayed than the last two or three times he's run.

We'll be wiser come bedtime tomorrow - and come bedtime tonight I'll be fuller, as long as I go and get ready for my dinner pronto.


westtip said...

Wath, if you're looking for a name for one of these horses, how about Xaar On Absinth (GB)? I note that a Xaar On Absinth (Aus) ran ninth of twelve in a maiden somewhere in Queensland at the weekend, and I reckon that that's a name that would catch a few people's attention.

Commander Collings said...

Still not brief enough - ed.

Signorinetta said...

Your dinner's in the dog (all three of them).

easygoer2 said...

Wath, I see that My Obsession didn't make the frame, but I presume that you'd have taken enough encouragement from the run to set him for a novice hurdle race in the next few weeks?

Stato-man said...

and I was glad to see Joli ran a better race last week.
I trust he is looking forward to renewal with his part-time excersise rider from last Autumn.

D.D. Fan Club said...

Best of luck with your new youngsters. Lovely type Hellisio filly from pic. Well bought.Keep Dickie away from them.

War'n'Place said...

It was trainer Julie Camacho who wrote in the Racing Post letters page that 'training racehorses does not leave much time for writing letters', but the Beverly House operation must be run on premium efficiency taking into the account of The Master's length of blog, more akin to War and Peace! I'm reliably informed there's even time to cook a tasty Welsh Rarebit every lunchtime prior to sitting down to type 5000 words on a daily blog. I'll sign off on this with a Brief Goodbye, wishing The Master could sometimes do same, but with the hope that the wit and wisdom continues to flow.

gerrysfanclub said...

Cliff's comeback has yet to be reported.Sort it please,.,.

billy joel said... this space, the piano man is coming

problemwalrus said...

Very worried about the HRA? Whats wrong with strong opininons.