Sunday, June 06, 2010

Good horses

Our trip to Doncaster on Friday with Silken Thoughts, who finished a creditable third, was very pleasant indeed, so let's hope that today's outing to Southwell with Keep Silent is equally satisfactory. Sir Mark Prescott entered six for this low-grade handicap, so it's fair to assume that the one on whom he relies ought to be very hard to beat - notwithstanding the fact that the horse was never sighted in his three qualifying maiden races! But I hope that we shall run well. The filly certainly seems to be in good form, as this photograph of her cantering with Aisling around Bury Hill AW a few days ago suggests. The horses whom Aisling has ridden regularly have generally done well, including La Gessa, another grey Largesse filly owned and bred by Henry and Rosemary Moszkowicz, so let's hope that this filly today can show that she can maintain this happy sequence.

Wasn't the Derby exciting? I'm really pleased that Workforce won, both because it's lovely to see a top-class horse posting a top-class performance and also because I'm very happy on behalf of the horse's lad, Paul Grassick. Workforce first came onto my radar about four or five months ago when I passed Paul on the Heath one morning and he pointed the horse (whom he was, as usual, riding) out to me and said that he believed that he would be a Derby horse. I've enjoyed regular sightings of the horse since then, and I was delighted to see Paul's judgement and faith proved so very correct yesterday. I'm also pleased by the result because it has allowed King's Best, a lovely stallion (pictured) whom I had the pleasure of inspecting last year at Haras du Logis, to achieve the unprecedented and remarkable distinction of producing the Derby winner and the Japan Derby winner in the same crop.

It was good that Workforce won the Derby because he was one of the few horses (possibly the only horse) in the race who hadn't previously given cause for belief that he was some way removed from the highest class (if one assumes, which I think is fair enough bearing in mind how much the horse did wrong in the race, that he didn't give his true running in the Dante). So that's great: it's always lovely to see outstanding gallopers in action and, while we might not have Sea The Stars around any longer, Workforce and Fame And Glory (pictured before last year's Derby) both did enough at Epsom last week to suggest that they deserve to be regarded with similar respect. I suspect that Sea The Stars' connections might now be rueing their premature decision to retire their champion, knowing that they have denied the horse the opportunity to prove just how good he really was. Were all three horses to line up this summer at weight-for-age over 12 furlongs on good ground, whom would you back? See what I mean: it's hard to answer that one with confidence.

No comments: