Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A lovely day

Today has been a lovely day, thanks largely to dear Gift Of Silence, who ran her little heart out under Jamie Spencer to break her maiden at Yarmouth in a race sponsored by the Royal Marines' Association, which sponsorship gave the race an extra dimension of interest and specialness.  I'd said this morning that I was concerned that two well-bred three-year-olds might prove tough nuts to crack, the fillies trained by Michael Stoute and Jeremy Noseda.  Anyway, we had one stroke of luck when Jeremy's filly was scratched, and then another one appeared to be coming our way when I caught sight of Michael Stoute's filly in the stable yard before the race: she's not very imposing, and appeared less of a threat in the flesh than she had appeared to be on paper.

Anyway, the rival who most caught my eye in the parade ring was a Green Desert filly trained by Chris Wall.  The closest Gift Of Silence had previously come to winning a race had been when she'd been beaten a head by a Chris Wall-trained son of Green Desert in the spring; and for a while around the furlong pole today it seemed as if lightning was going to strike twice.  However, dear Gift Of Silence was just slightly too gritty, beating Chris' runner by a neck, with the Michael Stoute-trained favourite a length or two farther back.  It was really, really exciting, lovely to see this filly winning a race after a series of good efforts and after having been here for more than two years - and all the more special as we're having a very quiet year, with winners (this is only the second of the year), runners and horses in training all being thin on the ground.

Over and above the victory, it was lovely to have Anthony at the races; and another great travelling companion who came to the races with Hugh and I was Suzy Quirke, a native of the Curragh who's over from Ireland for a fortnight and who has been riding out here every day during her holiday, riding Gift Of Silence most days.  It was a very happy gathering all round, with further jollity being added to the group by the presence of Richard and Jane Jones, long-time supporters of the stable.  Richard has been ticking off Britain's racecourses and, with Yarmouth now ticked off the list, only has three to go.

Let's hope that tomorrow's trip to Lingfield with Roy (whose ears are pictured looking down Railway Land on Sunday in the previous paragraph) can be as enjoyable.  Might be a tall order, but we live in hope, as ever.

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