Friday, May 03, 2013

Guineas preview (sort of)

Great excitement.  For most of the past two weeks you'd have you'd hardly have known that the Guineas were about to happen, never mind the Kentucky Derby.  But now they are here, Godolphin-gate is less all-consuming, and tomorrow we have the 2,000 Guineas here and the Kentucky Derby on the other side of the pond.  (Mind you, you'd still hardly know that it's the Kentucky Oaks tonight).  But, anyway, now they're here and that's really exciting.  And I'll be going to Goodwood, which is even more exciting.

Some readers might believe that they can detect a hint of irony in that previous sentence, but anyone who knows me will know that there is none.  Anyone who has horses will know that ANY race in which one has a runner is more exciting than any race, however exalted, in which one doesn't have a runner.  And when the race in which one has a runner is at one of the most special racecourses in the world, and when the horse one is running is Platinum Proof, that's really exciting.

I'm really looking forward to taking him to Goodwood tomorrow for his first run of the year - and if that lovely place in that lovely partof the country happens to enjoy the lovely weather we've been having all day (as seen today in the first four photographs, and as seen two days ago in the fifth), that'll be the icing on the cake.  We're not in until the last race, but we'll leave here mid-morning not only for fear of the bad traffic which one can get on a Saturday morning when the weather is nice, but also to be in good time to enjoy Goodwood in the flesh and Newmarket via the TV.

An additional pleasure is that we'll have a great jockey on board, Kieren Fallon.  I saw Kieren at Yarmouth on Tuesday and was able to alter the stock reponse to 'Howya goin'?' from 'All the better for having seen you' to 'All the better for having booked you to ride for us at the weekend'.  I thought that maybe he was looking a bit sceptical (but that might just have been him, or me) so I assured him that we had a nice horse for him to ride.

Kieren's ridden enough winners for us over the years (although none this century, I think - but that's only because he's been harder to book than used to be the case, what with retainers, injury and suspension) to know that it's not impossible that we could be sticking him aboard a nice horse, so let's hope that 'Tommy' (seen in the previous paragraph through Ethics Girl's ears today, and then in this one coming off the Al Bahathri on Wednesday) does indeed give him a nice ride.  Well, he should do that come what may, but let's hope that he runs well too.

I can't close without saying how well the new National Hunt season has started.  I think that William only rode 12 winners during the 12 months of the past campaign (which is a travesty) but he's had two already this term - and the season isn't even a week old yet.  Let's hope that he can keep that up - which he would if given anything like the quantity and quality of rides which he deserves.  Other than that, Joe Akehurst is also off the mark, as is Jack Quinlan (seen here in the winner's enclosure at Stratford, with his father Noel chatting to Richard Pitman behind him, after scoring on Peader Miguel a couple of years ago) and James Banks (unlike those other two conditionals no longer in this area, but he grew up here and we still look on him as one of ours).  So that's a great start for the good guys.  Long may things continue thus.

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