Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Big relief

Massive relief!  Frankie ran a lovely race at Fontwell yesterday.  If there's one horse whom I really want to see win a race, he's the one.  His owners have been wonderfully patient because it's been one step forward and one step back for a couple of years.  He's got potential, but he's really good at finding setbacks.  And he gets disheartened easily, so you need things to be going smoothly for him.  He finished second at Plumpton at Easter, but then I was stupid enough to run him on very bad ground at Worcester early in May (despite a few years previously having vowed never to have another runner there).  He had a bad experience and, although he got over it physically after a while,  it took him longer to get over it mentally.

He resumed at Towcester in October like a horse who wanted to do anything but race so, although physically he had recovered from his Worcester experience, it was clearly going to be harder to get him to recover his enthusiasm.  Yesterday's race was going to be a make-or-break occasion: he was in great nick physically and seemingly mentally too, so there was nothing further I could do to improve him - so if he'd trailed round again, it would have been hard to justify prolonging the agony for his connections.  Happily, though, he ran a mighty race, bowling along in front and jumping well and enthusiastically, before just being run out of it at the end by the favourite, a multiple winner and course specialist to whom Frankie was giving 21 lb (ie Frankie carried 11 stone 9 and the winner carried 10 stone 2).  Anyway, I think it's an easy decision to give his racing career a reprieve and now to press on again with optimism, which was something that had been hard to find on his behalf in recent weeks.

Now we've just got to hope that the fog lifts from Kempton tomorrow to allow our second and third runners of the week to take part.  We've had a lovely day here, as you can see, because the early mist was soon burned off by the winter sun, but in the home counties it seems as if it was a different story.  Most of Lingfield's card this afternoon was lost and alll of Kempton's evening meeting was abandoned.  Surely tomorrow evening will be OK, won't it?  We've got Fen Flyer in the first race and Indira in the second.

Fen should run well although it won't be easy drawn wide in a full field over seven furlongs; and Indira should run well although she's a debutante in a race in which most of the runners have already been placed, so again it would be hard to justify being more than hopeful of a very creditable performance.  Indira's participation in particular will be a source of excitement as she'll be our first two-year-old runner of the year.  It's always good to see a juvenile make his or her debut, and particularly good if it's been a while since one's had such an occurrence.

Granted that 12th December is not the most obvious date in the calendar for a stable to have its first two-year-old runner, but look at it another way: assuming that racing does indeed go ahead tomorrow and she does indeed run, that'll mean that we'll have run every two-year-old which we've had in the stable this year.  So you can chose which way you want to look at it: as regards running juveniles, our practice is either abnormally laissez-faire or abnormally proactive.  Or you can just correctly observe that, for statistical analysis, a sample of one does not lend itself to the production of satisfactory data.

1 comment:

David Winter said...

I have to say that our frankie looks a lovely sensitive soul so I can just imagine him getting upset if he gets hassled .Lets hope he goes on from here as I imagine he is well loved in the yard.