Monday, May 14, 2012

We'll get to summer eventually

We're slowly getting closer to spring.  It was a lovely weekend - warm, dry, largely sunny - and, even if today we're back to grey skies and light rain, I hope that this will prove to be just a temporary setback.  As you can see through Silken Thoughts' ears, it was glorious out on the Heath yesterday morning.  The dogs spent much of the weekend outside, but even indoors they were able to enjoy the weather, as Gus demonstrates below.

And let's hope that we can enjoy our trip to Towcester this evening.  Kadouchski has been fortunate to find himself in a five-runner handicap hurdle on course, distance and ground that suits - but, having said that, it will still be very hard to win.  The odds-on favourite Martial Law is likely to be very hard to beat.  He made little impression in three novice hurdles, earned a handicap mark of 106 - and then five days ago, on only his fourth hurdles start, he demonstrated that that mark is way too low.  He was clear and travelling easily when he fell at the last at Ffos Las, so today he backs up before he can be re-assessed.  On that showing he is, bar a fall, very likely to win.  However, I have found that often when a horse falls he has either his body or his confidence damaged, so it cannot be guaranteed that Martial Law will run to his best only five days later.  But, if he does, he'll almost certainly win the race.

Martial Law is actually a very interesting horse, having crossed the equator twice, which is something which not many geldings do.  (Another to have done so is good old Scenic Blast, the 2009 King's Stand Stakes winner, who has crossed it four times.  The reason why he comes to mind is that it might of interest to mention that he rolled back the years on Saturday to finish second in a Group One race in Brisbane.  He's pictured here in Newmarket in 2009 with good old Takeover Target - who has crossed the equator at least eight times - the pair being held by their trainers).  The Irish-bred Martial Law isn't in their class, but he won with Andre Fabre at Saint-Cloud and Chantilly in 2008 and '09, was bought by Lloyd Williams and, like so many of Lloyd's imports, proved rather disappointing, although he did win at Sandown (Vic, not GB) in May last year.  He was then sold back to Europe, joining David Pipe's stable for the jumps career which I have outlined above.  How he goes from here remains to be seen, but he is by a stallion who, subsequent to the death of his father, could arguably be regarded as the best National Hunt sire in the world (Galileo - remark made tongue-in-cheek, of course, but nonetheless true; and just an illustration of how ludicrous it is to categorize a sire as a Flat sire or a National Hunt sire) so he is likely to do well.

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