Thursday, April 04, 2013

Winter rolls on

Our trip to Lingfield went pretty much as anticipated yesterday.  I'd deduced that the race would be stronger than the one in which Gift Of Silence had finished third 14 days previously, and that is exactly how things turned out.  The market summed things up: that form was enough to see her start at 25/1 (33/1 with one bookie, to whom I was tempted to give a tenner, telling him as I did so that I was acting more in hope than expectation) which told us all that we needed to know.

We'd finished just ahead of Kohlaan last time, but he was a much shorter price than us (9/2) - but that was merely a reflection of how badly he had been ridden on the previous occasion.  He should have won that race, and he duly finished six and a half lengths ahead of us yesterday - but that's only about as far as she should have finished ahead of us at Kempton, had his jockey ridden as if he was in a race, rather than a barrier trial.  And, even being ridden like a normal horse yesterday (including going to post with the others, rather than on his own early) and thus beating us decisively, he still only finished fourth.

Anyway, I'm sure that loads of winners will come out of the race - including our mare, fingers crossed. The third horse is clearly very good (Secret Session, pictured in the second paragraph - and his participation gave some extra interest, as Carolina's boyfriend Silvio looks after him) and, as Marco Botti has him entered
in the German 2,000 Guineas, he was clearly always extremely likely to beat us.  And the Michael Stoute-trained winner, who had run very well at Newmarket last summer on his only previous outing, is obviously a very decent horse too.

I've made no plans for Gift Of Silence whatsoever, but off the top of my head I'd say that there's a decent chance that her next race could be a handicap at Yarmouth in maybe a month's time - possibly against Batgirl, although maybe I'm trying to be too much of a clairvoyant if I think that I can predict the opposition as well as the contest, bearing in mind that I haven't even picked up the programme book to see what options there will be, never mind found out what she's going to be rated!

Might be worth mentioning that it was bloody cold at Lingfield yesterday.  But maybe not, as that goes without saying nowadays.  Tuesday had been lovely and sunny, albeit very cold, and yesterday started very promisingly (as a couple of these photographs show) with (obviously) a rock-hard frost but also with some hope in the sky that we could be in for some more sunshine.  But - sadly not.  Grey skies, bitter north-easterly winds, snow flurries - and the same again today. Still, we've got heating in the house, and a fireplace too - and when the log basket is empty, you never know what feline squatters you'll get - as I discovered when I got home from the races yesterday.

So that's our lot for this week as regards runners (and next week too, as I don't think that we'll have an entry): two runners, one second and one sixth.  Still (and I might as well fly the local flag) this street had a winner today courtesy of the Willie Musson-trained Bold Adventure at Lingfield.  And this property nearly had a second on Monday, as well as Frankie's second the previous day, Dave Morris' stalwart Zaheeb finishing second at Yarmouth.  The funny thing was that I was as pleased with the result as I would have been if Zaheeb had won (and I'm sure that Dave won't mind my saying this): he was beaten by Olney Lass, ridden by the excellent Simon Pearce (pictured crossing the Bury Road yesterday morning from the Severals to the Heath) for his mother Lydia.  Lydia has had things tough in recent years but she's a proper battler; and Simon, who is now back home after a stint with Andrew Balding, is his mother's son, a real grafter and proper horseman who is in every respect a model apprentice, not least because he has the self-discipline to do unfeasibly light weights at the drop of a hat.  They both deserve considerably more success than they get, and it is always a pleasure
to see them hit the target.

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