Wednesday, October 24, 2012

All my sons

Well, I really enjoyed my first experience of competing as breeder, owner and trainer simultaneously.  I'm not really sure that I should say that I enjoyed it, because any success which accompanied it applied only to the fact of the horse completing the course, rather than in achieving a worthwhile finishing position, and throughout I was too busy to sit back and smell whatever roses there were - but I enjoyed it anyway.  Which only poses the thought that if I can ever achieve any amount of success in this three-fold role, however small that amount can be, that that would be a really lovely thing.

I keep going on about Roy's participation at Newmarket today, but that, of course, completely masks the fact that we did have two runners in the race today.  The other debutant Many Levels is a lovely horse and probably Roy's superior (as he suggested today by finishing about a foot in front of him) so his debut was excitement enough.  On paper Many Levels should be the superior because, while each horse has 'Classic' form in his first generation, in the case of Many Levels it is 'fair dinkum' Classic form (ie his half-brother The Geezer was third in the St Leger) while in Roy's case it is 'Claytons' Classic form (ie his dam won by the Jersey Guineas and Jersey Derby, which are only Classics in the broadest sense of the term).

Anyway, it was very appropriate that they should make their debuts in the same race as they've pretty much done everything together throughout.  As outlined in the previous chapter, they've done stalls work together, but it goes a lot deeper than that.  Roy was already in the stable when the then-unnamed Many Levels arrived from last year's December Sale.  Many Levels arrived as a colt and was rather above himself.  He was promptly gelded, and was immediately paired up in a field with Roy, who was assigned the task of welcoming him to the real world.  They got on like a house on fire, and have been together ever since.

They were so sweet today.  They walked over to the racecourse together, walked around the parade ring one behind the other, went out onto the track together (Roy just in front of Many Levels), cantered down to the start together - and even passed the finishing line together, Many Levels about a foot ahead of Roy. They were then washed down in the same wash bay outside the pre-parade ring one after the other, then walked home together - and now they are together back out in the field out the back of this house, probably munching away on some hay together.  I'd imagine that they will go for a trot together tomorrow.

So that was lovely.  Oh yes, and by the way I probably ought to mention that they both ran nice enough races - although, I probably only need to say that one of them ran a nice enough race, because from the above you'll have worked out that if one ran OK, then so did the other.  They beat a few, which in an ordinary race wouldn't be much of an achievement, but in Newmarket maidens at this time of year is fine because all the horses in the field tend to be nice horses, so cutting not significantly less ice than the bulk of the others is fine.  It's early days yet - but when horses go to the races for their debut, behave impeccably, run adequately and come home clearly having enjoyed the outing, then you feel as if you've had a winner.  Especially when one of them is one whose life you've been overseeing since a long time before he was conceived, never mind born.  All my sons.

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