Saturday, January 15, 2011

No excuse

I don't really have any excuse for not having blogged for six days. We haven't had any runners so I haven't had to go anywhere. We do have some coming up though, so the next few days will be hectic, hence my jotting a few words down now to ease my conscience. First port of call will be Southwell tomorrow (with Asterisk); then Rhythm Stick is set to run at Wolverhampton on Monday; and then Ethics Girl and Kadouchski are engaged at Kempton on Wednesday. They are the only horses in the stable ready to run at present, so it will be good (or bad) to be getting them all out in quick succession.

I ought just to do a bit of house-keeping, in the form of responding to some comments on previous chapters. Regarding Alan's query about whether my reaction to Ballabriggs' victory would have been the same had I trained him, the answer is that it would have been exactly the same: I would have been pleased but surprised that he kept the race, just as I was as an observer. My view would have been just the same, namely that I had wanted him to win the race but not in that fashion, ie not by causing unnecessary interference. Regarding the Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, the (non-existent) prize has, I think, to go to Matt Trounce for telling us that Denman and Kauto Star both won steeplechases at Newbury on the same day in February 2007, while Rory deserves a medal for telling us that Desert Orchid, Dawn Run and Wayward Lad all won on the same Kempton programme on Boxing Day in 1983, albeit that two of those wins came over hurdles.

Finally, of all the things which I've been doing this past week instead of blogging, one of the more enjoyable has been finishing Philip Kerr's latest Bernie Gunther novel, 'If the dead rise not'. It is really, really good. And it coincidentally provided quite a good companion to the excellent new 'Upstairs, downstairs' programmes which were on the BBC after Christmas: part of their plot, of course, centred around the temporary rise of Nazism in England in the 1930s (which, of course, failed to get a hold, thank God, here as it had done in the Germany which the fictional Gunther had inhabited). Let's hope that they make some more 'Upstairs, downstairs' sequels. I am sure that Alamshar and Natagora will keep practising (pictured) for the parts just in case they do.


racingfan said...

best of luck for your runners in the next week, hoping hannah can ride a winner today.

Just finished any human heart, a very enjoyable read. If you get a chance John I recommend Shantaram and the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo trilogy,

Pleased for william on his lanzarote success, in such a messy race and the horse trying to run out,

I think a big year could be ahead for the following apprentices Dale Swift, Adam Beschizza, and I hope a good year for Andrew Heffernan whom I rate highly.



John Berry said...

Thanks, Ian. Yes, I've heard nothing but good of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy.

I haven't seen so much of Heffernan, but Adam Beschizza has really caught my eye; while Dale Swift has really impressed me too. He rides more like a seasoned senior rider than an apprentice.