Sunday, August 08, 2010

Hard to know

It's hard to know what to expect tomorrow when we run Anis Etoile at Wolverhampton. I'd like to think that she'll run very well - but it's an apprentices' race, it's her first time in a handicap and her first time on the AW, so there are plenty of unknowns. I'm looking forward to the day, though, as she seems well so I hope should run competitively, and I'd imagine that she'll be well ridden by Jeff Pearce's apprentice Sophie Silvester, who featured in a recent chapter and who came in to ride her this morning.

It's also hard to know what to expect for the future of a horse who ran at Newmarket on Friday, but he, like Anis, is one whom I'd love to see do really well. I didn't know about this project, but the ownership of the Luca Cumani-trained Franciscan caught my eye: 'Fittocks Stud for Camilla Milbank'. As you'll know, Camilla was paralysed from a fall when galloping a horse for Luca last summer. This horse, a Medicean two-year-old half-brother to the stable's Zetland Gold Cup winner Fortei Dei Marmi bred by Luca's and Sara's Fittocks Stud, is presumably being raced by Luca and Sara on behalf of Camilla, with I'd guess any prize money earned going towards the fund which is helping Camilla with the expenses resultant from her accident. Franciscan made his debut at Newmarket on Friday night and, while he finished a distant last, he looked so unready that one needn't necessarily take that as a sign that he is devoid of ability - on the contrary, in fact, because he looks a really nice horse and at least showed enough speed, despite his greenness, to lead the field for the first 300m of the race. Kingston Town and, I think, Dulcify both finished a bad last first time out, so let's hope that Franciscan can join the list of distinguished gallopers to have done that before heading to glory. This looks a lovely thing for Luca and Sara to have done, so let's hope that the horse can win plenty of money and provide all concerned with plenty of excitement in the process.

A horse to run considerably better at the same meeting was Cometh, bred and owned by our friend Larry Stratton. Larry does a lot of work, mainly on behalf of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, with Nick Littmoden, and Nick trains Cometh for him. She didn't show much on her first two starts (before the first of which she is pictured here, ridden by Micky Fenton) but she ran a great race in the competitive two-year-old seller at Newmarket on Friday night to finish second, beaten a head, at 50/1. I hope that she can shortly follow up that much improved effort with a win. Larry is a great brahma-meister and her name is one of his brahmae: Cometh, of course, is a daughter of Iceman, and Larry reserved the name for her well in advance of her being ready to go into training. I should do a similar thing with my Gold Away yearling (who is pictured here in a photograph taken at Haras de la Cauviniere in January) whom I might end up having to name myself. Obviously I'd love to keep this lovely young horse, but breeding horses is an expensive business and the plan basically is to sell him, albeit unwillingly. Obviously he will remain un-named (and a colt) while he remains due to be sold. However, that plan doesn't look to be going well currently, so it's not impossible that I will end up racing him myself, in which case the name is a no-brainer for any self-respecting Neil Young fan: After The Goldrush ('Gold' and 'Rush' having to be joined as one to keep the name within the 18-character boundaries). However, I haven't reserved the name, so I might find it taken - in which case, as he's French, perhaps I should make it Apres La Ruee D'Or.

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