Thursday, November 01, 2012

Back to reality

After the euphoria of yesterday, today was rather less special.  Yesterday's outing was to Nottingham; today's was to Tattersalls.  And as vendor, unfortunately.  There'd be something wrong with you if you approached the Horses-in-Training Sale as a vendor with any enthusiasm because, whether you're going to sell at a profit (which a few do) or at a loss (which most do) you'll be bidding farewell to friend or friends.  In our case it was Batgirl (pictured shortly before she went into the ring)who moved on.  She's a funny old thing who doesn't contradict the old chestnut of chestnut mares knowing their own minds, but she's a proper trouper who's run plenty of nice races for us and she's generally done so with a smile on her face, despite the fact that she's had her aches and pains along the way.

She's finished in the first three on 12 of her 27 starts with four of those 12 occasions being wins (shortly before the third one of which she is here photographed beside the Yarmouth starting stalls) - and, as I mentioned last week, I feel that she'd have finished in the first three at Yarmouth last week had things gone her way.  That would have put her on the edge of a 50% strike rate for a top-three placing, and I always regard such a figure as a cast-iron endorsement of a professional racehorse who's had a reasonably lengthy career contesting handicaps.  Anyway, she's moved on now - but the good news is that she's gone to a good home and is in safe hands, so that's a massive relief, and one certainly not shared by all vendors this or any other week.

This good news is that Martin Smith bought her.  It's rather complicated as there are two Martin Smiths in Newmarket.  One looks a bit like the late Tony Murray, works for Gill Duffield and is a good amateur jockey in Arab races.  The other is the son of Alan Smith (whom you might remember having the odd runner and winner, usually ridden by his son Paul, on the AW at Lingfield in the '90s when he used to train in Belgium) who trains in the middle-east.  That's the Martin who bought her.  He breaks and pre-trains a few on Brickfields Stud at the top of Hamilton Road, and he and his wife wanted a racemare whom they could continue to race and then breed from.  Batgirl fitted the bill nicely: she's very much still a racing prospect who only ran last week and could win within the next couple of weeks if there's the right race in the book and things fall right for her, and she's from a good family by a good broodmare sire (Mark Of Esteem) from a daughter of another good broodmare sire (Highest Honor) and should make a lovely broodmare in time.

So that's grand.  She's in good hands and her future beyond her racing days is secure.  And that knowledge made saying 'Goodbye' considerably easier.  What certainly didn't help to lighten the mood was the fact tha it was yet another bleak wet autumnal day.  I'd been at Tattersalls briefly a couple of days ago and caught a fair bit of sunshine (as you can see in the previous paragraph) which was rather nice, but today the only time when it contemplated appearing was in the short gaps between the showers, as summed up by this paragraph's photograph.  Uggh!  And we didn't get any rays of sunshine from Lingfield either, whither Hugh and Tim took Simayill, who ran no better than she'd done in her previous races for us.  Worse, if anything, so I'm afraid that I can't say that I'm close to finding the key to that particular enigma.

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