Tuesday, April 17, 2007

30,000 lb of lemons

I'm delighted with the feedback on these blogs nowadays. The Lemon is doing very well. I'm tempted to think that the Lemon is Joff from the gratuitous reference to Francesca Cumani, but I suspect that that isn't the case. I'd forgotten about the Bathwick Tyres Lady Riders' Derby at Bath (where else?) but I had had in my mind the Beaumont Insurance Lady Riders' Derby at Ripon which used to be run on Derby Day when Derby Day was a Wednesday - or THE Wednesday - and I'd been thinking that I ought to specify that that race was obviously excluded from the list of Derbys (Derbies?) won by female hoops - but then I remembered that one shouldn't ever use the word obviously, because if something is obvious, there's no need to say it, so I didn't say it. So we're onto the Ladies' Derbys (Derbies?) now, and I think that's side-tracking us. Anyway, we've got Macau, Pennsylvania and Perak. Any more? And, if so, by whom?

And the Dingle Derby doesn't count either.

I recall Officer being hailed as a future Derby winner (Kentucky). That was until Johannesburg ripped him apart in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, and I can't recall him doing much thereafter. But, even after that thrashing and demoralization, and even after the several years he's been out of training, I bet he could beat the Officer who ran at Nottingham today. JD Smith riding for Sir Michael Stoute was eye-catching, but we should have taken the tip: the horse had to be a real lemon for JD to be allowed on board on the track, and so it proved. Today looked like his first gallop, and it could well prove to have been his last. Poor JD - it must be so demoralizing only being allowed to ride horses if they have no aptitiude for racing whatsoever. Still, it's not impossible Officer could eventually win a race, but I bet poor JD won't be in the saddle if that happens.

A more heartening sight today was Nigel Walker and Isobel Monk appearing in the yard, visiting Dave Morris. Isobel is, of course, forever immortal in this yard, as the photograph of her leading Diamond Joshua into the Cheltenham Festival unsaddling enclosure on Gold Cup Day 2002 rightly takes pride of place. She and Nigel have relocated to Sussex, she working for Amanda Perrett and Nigel for Lawrence Wells. Isabel has had a rough time of it over the past year or two with illness, but she seems very well now and had had a good report from the doctor today which is great. It was very good to see them, hear how life is going for them in that lovely part of the world - and to make a mental note to be prepared for a few winners (probably well backed at good odds) coming out of the Wells stable.

Less happy news was the inevitable Friday the thirteenth casualty, who was Debra England, apprenticed to our neighbour Willie Musson. She had a fall on the dreaded day, courtesy of a horse rearing over while refusing to be put through the stalls on the Heath, and I think has a broken arm and leg. She's had a good winter with a few rides and two or three winners, so this bad accident couldn't have come at a worse time - not that any time would be good. I hope her recovery goes smoothly and quickly.

As has been noted on Emma's blog, Brief resumes on Saturday, which is "something to look forward to". It is bound to be a very emotional day, as our thoughts will be with Joe and also with Leslie Harrison, mentor of Brief's dad Slip Anchor and who liked to keep a friendly eye out for Brief. Tomorrow there is a memorial service for Leslie in the church in Fordham, and there won't be a dry eye in - or near, because the church will overflow - the house.

And lastly, on a happier note, I'm pleased to report that Emma has put a few photos on previous blogs. These are definitely worth scrolling down to see. You'll pass a photo of Stan and Alice taking Colin for a walk at Towcester on Easter Day, and eventually reach two pictures of BRYCHAN (spelling right this time) on Brief Goodbye. However many times I see these, they still bring a smile to my face.


The Lemon said...

I apologise for the Lady's Derby as it was an obvious no no. but a gratuitous mention of either Cumani female should never be missed. side track over, back to enearthing more Derby Divas

The Lemon said...

Can we assume from the Paul Haigh's article on p.19 of the RP today that he is an avid reader of the BHS website?