Thursday, January 02, 2014

Filing her nails as they're dragging the lake

Another year over and a new one just begun. Well, yesterday, that is. I'm happy enough to wave the old year goodbye, even if logic says that the passing of one day is no different to the passing of another; and even if I am only too aware that I am lucky enough to have too many blessings to count to be feeling sorry for myself. But it's just that 2013 had more memorable landmarks which were memorable as bad landmarks than as good ones - so let's hope that the balance swings in the other direction in 2014. The worst landmark was the death of Alcalde (pictured) at Warwick in March. The death of a horse under one's care is the worst thing for a trainer (well, second only to the death of a man under one's command) not only for the personal grief, but also for the sense of responsibility. I've read Henry Cecil's autobiography two or three times, but not for 20 years or more, but even after that time it sticks in my mind the story of the day that his step-father had both of the best three-year-olds in the stable break their legs fatally on the Heath during the same lot of gallopers. The Captain's response? He quietly took Henry aside and said, "Please call in at the fishmonger's on your way back through the town and pick up some kippers that we can have for breakfast. I'm told that they have some very good ones in at present". What a man - that's treating those two impostors, Triumph and Disaster, just the same. Believe me, it's easier said than done, even if, as would have been the case with Capt. Boyd-Rochfort, you trained plenty of horses in a hands-off manner, so wouldn't have been particularly close to any of them.

Anyway, I can't even say that it was a good year for the roses (and if the headline rings a bell, then so will that phrase - and if it doesn't, stick with Mumford & Sons, and don't worry about it) despite what this paragraph's photograph suggests. I used to be quite good at encouraging a long-lasting and abundant crop of roses alongside the wall on the way up to the field, but I've completely lost my touch. We will, though, be attempting to hit the ground running in 2014, as we'll be taking Indira to Wolverhampton for the 5.00 race tomorrow, 3rd January. I see that the Racing Post has put her in as the 7/1 fourth favourite, so she must have some sort of chance, having run very well to be second on debut three weeks ago. It might turn out that she needs a bit more experience (and Wolverhampton will be quite daunting tomorrow for an inexperienced horse who might get back in the run, as the kickback remains atrocious) and a bit more distance, but we'll find out tomorrow.

1 comment:

neil kearns said...

Take out the winner and that looked an acceptable performance to me