Monday, May 28, 2007

When the rain tumbles down in May

There's only one soundtrack to the writing of this blog: 'When the rain tumbles down in July', by Graeme Connors. I'm listening to it as I write and as I calculate how many hours it has been raining now without interruption: I think it's about 33 and counting. I suppose the song isn't exactly right because it isn't July, but it's nearly June so that's close enough. I saw on the forecast that the top temperature today in this area was predicted to be 9 degrees; I think it may have been a bit more than that, but not much. Watching the extremely poor racing on tv on a soggy track at Leicester (where there are numerous scratchings, just to rub salt into the wound) I'm just gnashing my teeth at By Storm's absence. Jill Dawson's absence from Yarmouth two days hence will come at my choice: the discovery this morning that the ground had changed from 'good to firm' to 'soft' (and that it was still raining) made not declaring her an easy decision.

Ah well, so our plans for an all-out assault on the Flat season aren't coming to anything YET. The season is more than two months old, and we've had five runners: Brief's run thrice (two runs good and one ordinary), By Storm once (ordinary) and Jill once (like the wind). No runners this week means that the things aren't going to pick up just yet, but next week ... In the interim, we have Something Safer (see horse biographies) to look forward to. Michael has decided to run her in a Group Three race at Eagle Farm on Saturday, which is great because there must be a fair chance of the race being shown on ATR here. There are only fifteen nominations. It's a three-year-olds only race over, I think, 2100m on the same day as the Queensland Derby and a week before the Queensland Oaks so, if it rains, it could be an opportunity for a horse without obvious Stakes race credentials to put in a bold show. She gets into it with no weight (51.5) and the form of her most recent close second at the Gold Coast has worked out well (the winner has won again since) so it's definitely worth having a crack; and if it doesn't come off, we can always go back to provincial Class Ones afterwards.

Another part of our plan for world domination, Spaceage Juliet, in whom I lease about 5%, raced at Wodonga this morning, and that set the tone for a very dull day. ATR's coverage of Wodonga was set to go off air at 6.00 am, and her race was at 6.10. However, I was delighted to find that the show was going on, and we saw her cantering to post. We saw her loaded into the stalls. We heard the commentator say "And there are three more to go in ..." - and then, at 6.09.54, the coverage ended, cutting straight in to the usual commercial for the paint roller about which the Scotsman is so enthusiastic and of which I'm sick of the sight (as I am of the sound of his voice). She ran fifth, incidentally, which was satisfactory as it was her first run back after a brief let-up - I suppose her not being placed made missing the race so narrowly marginally less frustrating, if that's possible.

That was a suitable prelude to a morning of being rained on, on Racie Gracie, Jill Dawson and Milton's Keen. It was the kind of day when one is so pleased to get home at the end of it, and have a hot bath and a hot chocolate, followed by set of clean, dry clothes. Which won't be clean and dry for much longer, as I'm about to go outside to feed the horses.

One nice thing today was reading the results and seeing that our neighbour Mark Tompkins had had a double at Newmarket yesterday. I'd seen him win with a Tendulkar (rare footage of such an event) under Jimmy Quinn mid-afternoon, but I hadn't seen the last race, which I find he won too, with a Saleem Golam-ridden Halling. I like to see Mark do well and I like to see Saleem do well also, so that's good.


Jumping Jockey said...

I was searching for a few good Horse related blogs, and thankfully stumbled upon Stable Life. Thought of dropping in a line or two on the upcoming Derby.

The Epsom Derby is considered to be one of the most prestigious flat thoroughbred horse races in the world.

The Festival, one of the most iconic events in the British sporting and social calendar will take place, this week, at the Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surry, England.

I've been covering the latest news and tips on the Derby at my website -

For the 2006 Epsom Derby Video please visit


StuartM said...


Never mind about 2006 Derby, to see the best Derby winner of all time in action [and the most mismanaged stallion career!]

Fiddling The Facts said...

Ah, the great Sea-Bird. Sat watching re-runs of old Derbys on RUK last night. Shergar still brings a tear to the eye. As does our old friend Benny The Dip (RIP Benny and Benedict, long live Ben Bhraggie).

Really enjoying the build-up this year. Surely the question for Authorized is not will he win but how much will he win by? Three lengths, five lengths, or will he beat Shergar's ten lengths?