Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Deserved success

I've been thinking that I ought to highlight the winter progress being made by Noel Garbutt, who has put in some good rides on a few horses trained in this stable, including partnering Zarosa to both her wins. I'm pleased to say that Noel (pictured on Zarosa, Ethics Girl and Gift Of Silence) is enjoying a successful winter in Dubai, having had, I believe, two wins thus far, one thoroughbred and one Arab. I'm doubly pleased about this, being pleased for Noel and also relieved for myself. I'd worked out in the autumn that Noel had something on his mind which was worrying him, so rang him one evening and asked him what the problem was. Anyway, it turned out that he'd been offered a job for the winter riding for the French trainer in Dubai, Erwan Charpy, and didn't know what to do: for everyone who told him that taking the job was a good idea, there'd be someone telling him that he should stay here.

Anyway, my very strong advice was that taking the job was a no-brainer, and that he should accept it forthwith - and then shouldn't waste even a second worrying about whether or not he'd done the right thing. It seemed a golden opportunity, if the job indeed was as described to him, ie including race-rides for the stable. He'd enjoy the winter, would earn good money, and would improve as a jockey as the result of the overseas experience - and his status as a jockey would rise if he did well, because people in Britain see the UAE results, and people here would notice if he did well, and he'd return to the UK in the spring as a successful international rider, rather than just as yet another apprentice who'd had a few rides, and maybe the odd winner, on the AW here during the winter.

Anyway, he took the job, and I'm delighted that it seems to be working out for him (which I presume from the fact that he's ridden some winners appears to be the case). As you can imagine, I'd have felt a bit bad had it not worked out, which of course was always a possibility. I believe that George Baker had one winter over there when he was an apprentice and it went anything but well: basically all he did was ride a bit of trackwork in the mornings and then spend the rest of the days kicking his heels, feeling bored and hungry, and scanning the British results on the Racing Post website saying, "I'd have ridden that ... I'd have ridden that ... I'd have ridden that ... I'd have ridden that ...". George, of course, has never made that mistake again, and has never looked back.

And, while we're on the subject of jockeys, I ought to record how pleased I was that one of Newmarket's newer trainers, James Tate, sent out two winners on the AW between Christmas and New Year. As with Noel's success, I was doubly pleased about this: I was pleased for James, who is a nice man whom I'm always pleased to see enjoying success, and I was also pleased that he gave these winning opportunities to two local jockeys who genuinely do fit the bill of the cliche 'deserve more opportunities than they get': Harry Poulton (pictured) who works for James, and Paddy Aspell, who works for Marco Botti. Both are very good, very hard-working jockeys who have the self-discipline to keep themselves light without having much to show for it, and both genuinely do deserve any success which they get. There's even more b**ls**t talked about jockeys than about most other racing-related subjects (and that's saying something) but basically it doesn't matter who rides the horse; it merely matters how he is ridden. And, in my experience, you're just as likely to have your horse ridden well by an unfashionable jockey as by one of the leading lights.  So that was good: it's always good to see the battlers score a goal.

2 comments:

David Winter said...

Well, you must also be a mind reader John as well as a bit of a trainer.
[Understatement and self effacing is the British way]
I was looking at the Meydan card the other day and took a double look at one Noel Garbutt being put up. I was amazed... not that I didn't think Noel was good enough, but I had a feeling that getting connections over there must be extremely difficult.So well done to him.John ,your advice was spot on...take your chances when you can !! Knowing that he had ridden a couple of winners for you i remember him being interviewed by Robert Cooper [ i think] at Yarmouth and remember thinking what a level headed nice young man he was and such a good horseman.Talking of jockeys; does anyone know where S. Saunders has gone for the winter? Have a lot of time for him and miss his presence.

David Winter said...

Well, you must also be a mind reader John as well as a bit of a trainer.
[Understatement and self effacing is the British way]
I was looking at the Meydan card the other day and took a double look at one Noel Garbutt being put up. I was amazed... not that I didn't think Noel was good enough, but I had a feeling that getting connections over there must be extremely difficult.So well done to him.John ,your advice was spot on...take your chances when you can !! Knowing that he had ridden a couple of winners for you i remember him being interviewed by Robert Cooper [ i think] at Yarmouth and remember thinking what a level headed nice young man he was and such a good horseman.Talking of jockeys; does anyone know where S. Saunders has gone for the winter? Have a lot of time for him and miss his presence.