Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Off the mark!

Well, Monday was a long day, but it was a lovely one too.  It's great to have a 100% strike rate for the current Turf season - all I need to do now is not run another horse all year, and I'll be a genius!  Zarosa ended last year on a high note with her five-length triumph at Nottingham, and it's just lovely that she has picked up where she left off, winning by one and a quarter lengths at Newcastle on Monday.  As we were the last race at 6.00, it was an easy decision to go up the same day, rather than the previous day, and we didn't leave home until gone 9.00 in the morning - but the drawback of a late race (at a course 255 miles away) was that we were late home - but when you've had a winner, the journey home is never a long one.

So that was just lovely.  Roger Vicarage is a lovely man who really deserves to have a successful horse, so that made the win particularly special - and, although he couldn't be there, he was well represented with family (his daughter Zoe) and friends both being up there and being able to attend in his stead.  And I was also particularly pleased for Terri, who looks after Zarosa and who rides her nearly every day, and who dotes on her.  I ride her just the odd time to satisfy my curiosity, but Terri and she are usually inseparable.  And Terri had had a bad weekend, having had to have her old dog put down at a venerable age, so it was very timely that she could have a happy day to counteract a very, very sad one.

The funny thing is that I'm not sure that we'd have gone to Newcastle had we known how much the ground had been going to dry out.  Throughout the lead-up to the meeting, the ground was good to soft with the forecast of more rain and the prediction that the ground would soften.  As it was, the rain didn't come, and raceday was warm and very windy, so the ground dried dramatically to good.  Of course, one can never not run on good ground, but when one's horse has only previously won on heavy, it is potentially not ideal.  But, of course, we get brain-washed into thinking that a horse can only win on one type of ground (or over one distance) and she duly handled the conditions well.  The ground was no firmer than good so it was grand - and the strong winds meant that the races were testing anyway, so her stamina came into play even so - and a very good ride from Noel Garbutt, who kept her shielded from the wind for as long as possible, helped too.  All in all, therefore, things just fell into place nicely.  If only it could be always thus!


bigalp said...

Pleased to hear you have had a good start to the season well done.

Alan March said...

Well done John. You should run more up here in the North East, the fresh air is good for them :)
Hope to see you at the Guineas weekend