Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Well deserved

It's rarely that things run according to the script, but happily today saw one such occasion.  As suggested in yesterday's chapter, Zarosa really ought to have run very well at Nottingham today.  She'd been placed in every turf handicap she'd previously contested, she had virtually no weight on her back (7 stone 9lb) and this looked her most suitable opening so far.  However, such impeccable logic usually sees one tipping a short-priced loser - so it was lovely that today's result was a winner at double-figure odds.  But, really, the odds were irrelevant: it was just lovely to see her land a win which was richly deserved in several senses.

The most lovely aspect of Zarosa's victory was that it was the first win of the first horse which Roger Vicarage has owned outright.  Roger had had a share in the odd horse previously and had had winners in that role, but this filly is his first outright venture, the first horse to run in his name and his colours.  And so, as he remarked after the race, this was a day he'd been dreaming about since he was five years old.  And that was just lovely.

Roger picked Zarosa out at the yearling sale at Tattersalls 106 weeks ago (and the chapter's fourth and fifth photographs show her there, consigned by Ballylinch from whom we'd previously bought another nice horse Critical Stage, with Roger alongside her in the final shot) and he has been a pleasure to train for throughout - and when you train a horse like this who clearly needs time to come to herself after showing very, very little in the early stages, an owner of Roger's patience and understanding makes the difference between the horse having a nice career and the horse doing nothing.

And for the filly it was lovely.  I think that she's still a long way short of the finished article, but it's great that she has won this year (sentiments usually expressed about back-end two-year-old, rather than three-year-old, winners, but there you go) and I'm so pleased that she's now followed up some creditable placings with a win.  And with a special win, because the first win of any horse's career is, in many ways, always the most special.  If she hadn't won this year it wouldn't have been the end of the world as I'm sure that it would only have been maiden-breaking-deferred, but it's lovely that she has done so.

And it's also lovely for Terri, who rides her every day and does everything with her.  She's Terri's favourite horse so it's lovely that she's won for her - particularly as  Terri had not previously looked after or led up a winner here, so the word 'jinx' had been mentioned on a few occasions.  But we've firmly put that myth to bed now.  And I should just credit Noel Garbutt for his part.  Obviously he's done virtually nothing compared to what Terri's done as he only rode her for a few minutes (and the filly probably would have won with anyone riding her) but I'd thought that, with such a light weight, we might as well make it even lighter; and I'd picked him out as the lightweight apprentice well worth his claim - and, as things have turned out, he rode her exactly to orders, and certainly has done nothing to shake my conviction that he's a rider to keep an eye on.  Noel (who was initially apprenticed to Rae Gues but who is now with Hugo Palmer) has been around for a while, works hard and takes thing seriously - and so he, too, deserves the success.


racingfan said...

Well Done to everyone concerned including Zarosa, I saw the race and it was a very impressive performance and praise to Noel Garbutt as he gave the horse a lovely ride.I also followed your advice and had a whole £5 win on and I'm more than happy with my return!



John Berry said...

Good to hear, Ian. Thank you.

AlanM said...

Oh if only I'd read the blog last night but I was away in the Lakes enjoying Michelin cooking.
Bravo John and team, well done

Wayward Lad said...

Hi John,
I've been reading your blog, on & off, for many months and it really is very enjoyable.
May I ask, did you buy a horse at the Ascot HIT sales in October called Look Left?
I was trying to get the other members of my syndicate interested enough to make a bid, but they would not commit.
If you have him, do you have any plans?
Many thanks,
Ian @ Wayward Lad