Monday, September 23, 2013

No harm and plenty of good done

I'm afraid that our trip to Catterick on Saturday did indeed prove fruitless, the ground having dried up enough to make it the case that, on that sharp track, the race wasn't enough of a test of stamina for Zarosa.  Noel Garbutt rode her very well, but she could only finish sixth of the 15 runners, unable to do quite enough in the inevitable sprint home.  Still, it would have been hard to have scratched her on what was genuinely good ground: each of the six races she has contested this season have ended up being run on what was basically good ground, and a policy of not running on that would have meant that she wouldn't have run at all this year, and would have one fewer win, one fewer second and one fewer third on her record.

Anyway, no harm was done - and then the next day a lot of good was done, because the Newmarket Open Day is a day which brings a lot of pleasure to a lot of people.  It's a no-brainer to open the stable.  There no downsides, and the upsides are that a lot of people have a lovely day, and a lot of money is raised for charity.  The bonus this year was that it was a lovely day: it was murky and misty early on, as you can see in this picture of Ethics Girl and Alix Choppin at the end of Bury Hill earlier in the day, but from mid-morning onwards it was very warm and sunny - as you can see in the photograph in the final paragraph, taken when I took Russian Link for a ride in the afternoon.

There were plenty of brahmas during the day, not least when Niall Hannity and the RUK team showed up her in the afternoon.  Arguably the principal brahma, though, was the trainers v. jockeys football match at the racecourse in the afternoon, which I attended as neither player nor spectator.  I was asked to play, though, but fortunately I got out of that, which was fair enough as I would have been no asset to the team.  However,  the team managed to lose even so, despite the fact that we had Micky Quinn playing, who, being formerly on of the best players in the league, would surely be able to run rings around pretty much anyone on the pitch.  How, then, did we manage to lose?  Unbelievable - or else the jockeys are in the wrong game.

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