Thursday, September 19, 2013

Royal blue

Our trip to Yarmouth didn't pay dividends
yesterday, but Gift Of Silence ran well even so, finishing fifth, beaten about four lengths.  She's got form from six furlongs to a mile and, while she'd won a maiden handicap over six furlongs last time out, she found things happening just a bit too quickly for her over the same course and distance in a stronger field yesterday, a field which contained a couple of seasoned five-furlong horses who set a strong pace (before finishing out the back).  She doesn't help herself as she doesn't like standing still and tends to rock in the stalls, which sometimes means that she's off-balance when they jump.

That happened yesterday and she just missed the start by a fraction of a second.  As a horse who isn't an out-and-out sprinter running in a fast-run six-furlong race, this was a recipe for her being slow to muster, and she duly found herself too far back.  But she did plenty of good running in the second half of the race and, while her run flattened out in the final furlong, she ran her usual good game race.  She'll have other days, possibly back over seven furlongs.  She never lets us down - and Frankie, race-riding in a royal blue jacket for the first time since leaving Godolphin, didn't let her down, giving her plenty of assistance and generally being as helpful as I've always found him to be.

Gus enjoyed his trip to Yarmouth too, an outing which contained a bonus in the sense that yesterday was rather a pleasant day whereas the weather was pretty grotty for the other two days of the three-day September Festival (ie Tuesday and today).  He's done well for trips in recent days as he'd been to Bath on Saturday, but he was denied the opportunity of a third trip within a week today as I scratched Roy from his engagement at Kempton tonight.  That was a real shame as it was a good race for him, he'd got into it (which is always far from guaranteed with a lowly-rated horse at this time of year) and it worked well for all his connections.

However, he just seemed slightly under the weather: nothing serious, but we've all found to our cost that, generally speaking, if you take a horse to the races with a vague suspicion that he's not 100%, you generally come home wishing that you'd listened to your instincts and stayed at home.  Still, it'll only be a temporary setback and he should be able to run before too long - and we received another reminder today that, in theory anyway, he's only going to get better as time passes, his four-year-old half-brother Dream Walker (pictured here as a yearling colt at Colton Stud in October 2010) winning again at Ayr this afternoon, his fourth victory of the year - making me again a very proud breeder in the process.

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