Sunday, January 16, 2011

Toby Tobias B P

In the excellent documentary which RTE made a couple of years ago following two or three of Paul Nolan's string, including the mighty Joncol, through the season, there was a particularly memorable snippet when Paul Nolan's father was interviewed. He explained that he wasn't really a racing man previously and had only started to follow the sport since his sons have become involved, but that during that time he'd learned one thing: "If you can't handle disappointment, then you've no business being in the game". Those words are ever so true and today has been a mini-reminder, certainly as far as Hannah is concerned. The day dawned with her looking at having two rides for the stable this week, both seemingly with chances of winning. Sadly, the total was soon halved as Kadouchski didn't show his usual sparkle at exercise this morning, which means that, while I don't think that there's anything seriously amiss with him, it would be unwise to run him on Wednesday. Still, that left her with one ride - ie on Asterisk today - and she must have gone to Southwell thinking that she had some sort of chance of riding her first winner. Not so, I'm afraid, because, while Asterisk cantered to post nicely and got there, as this photograph shows, just behind the horse who did win the race (Magic Haze), she finished the race miles behind that horse and only a neck or so in front of the horse who finished last. Still, there are far worse things than a horse running safely but more slowly than one would have hoped. All live to fight another day, so we should be able to put today's disappointing run behind us. Especially as Hannah has just received the news that she has, deservedly, made it through to the interview stage for the David Nicholson Newcomer Award for the Godolphin Stable Staff of the Year Awards.

It wasn't an unpleasant outing to Southwell, although it would have been much worse had we been in a later race as torrential rain began to fall just as we drove away from the track (which was shortly before the last race was due to be run). Being caught out in that wouldn't have been much fun. As it was, the trip was jolly enough, even if I found myself slightly unsure of how to address a few long-standing acquaintances. You'll have seen that trainers are now listed in the Racing Post and the racecards by their christian names, rather than, as previously, by their initials. It seems that each trainer was asked by what name he would like to be known, although I wasn't as I was already down as John Berry, for the reason that when I began training there already was a J. Berry (ie Jack) which meant that I've been John from day one, so didn't need to be consulted. The amusing thing is seeing the trainers who have been listed by their correct, but never-used, names, presumably because they mistook the letter of request for junk mail. Hence my uncertainty as to how to address "Desmond" Donovan and "Ronald" Harris when I met them today. I'm sure they won't mind that I still called them Des and Ron respectively, just as I've always done. My real quandary, though, will come at Wolverhampton tomorrow when I see Toby Coles (pictured), who seemingly wishes henceforth to be known at Tobias B. P. I think that I'll probably take the easy way out and use the answer to the question, "Which horse finished fourth in the memorable and dramatic 1992 Cheltenham Gold Cup, the race in which his stablemate Golden Freeze was ridden as if the only instructions given to his jockey were seemingly to make life as difficult for Carvill's Hill as possible, even if it meant sacrificing whatever chance he himself had of winning the race?".


Nathan said...

Great training performance by John and the team with Rhythm Stick. Hat-trick landed in game fashion :-)

racingfan said...

Well done to John and the team, I thought Franny Norton gave the horse a fantastic ride again, Stick battled on gamely and the jockey only used the whip when he needed to.

Lets hope rhythm stick can win again as long the handicapper is fair.

Well done again to horse trainer and jockey,