Sunday, March 02, 2014

Which race?

We're ending up running Roy tomorrow at Kempton.  My first choice was the 0-50 at the same track three days ago but we were eliminated from that, giving us three options in the first part of this week.  I declared him for Kempton tomorrow feeling that he was no better than even money to get into the race, and knowing that we'd have a fall-back option at the same course two days later, although as regards that race I'd have made us odds-against to get a run.

But, as it has happened, we've got in tomorrow, and there are only 11 runners, three fewer than the maximum.  So that's good.  I'm looking forward to seeing him kick-off his four-year-old campaign.  If he'd run last week or this coming Wednesday, Paddy Aspell (pictured here riding him seven days ago) would have ridden him; but he wouldn't be able to
do the weight (8 stone 6lb) tomorrow so Jimmy Quinn will take the mount.  Roy's got a lot to live up to - every horse who has previously carried the McCarthy colours has won in them, and all his dam's previous foals have won - but it's just early days yet as he's only lightly raced still and he is just first-up tomorrow, so we'll go with hope but no expectation.

So we'll enjoy running Roy tomorrow, and we'll enjoy running Frankie (seen playing in the lunge ring today) whenever it dries up (soon, I hope) and otherwise we'll put up with interminable pre-Cheltenham discussion.  That's a given on RUK, and even ATR have gone down that route now.  When hearing the latest instalment I keep reminding myself of a very good observation by the Twitter feed 'Betting Wa**er', who has been quiet for a while but who was dispensing good wisdom a few weeks ago.

'Betting Wa**er' would tweet either as a quotation (eg "Boom", or "I made that one top on my speed figures") or as an observation, and would always end his tweets with "#wa**er".  (The asterisks are inserted by me, by the way).  Anyway, arguably the most pertinent of Betting Wa**er's aphorisms is, "Spending more than 5 minutes discussing the likely outcome of any sporting event #wa**er".  Which brings us neatly round to one of the most overdone discussions of the pre-Cheltenha period, ie the one beginning, "If you were Willie Mullins, in which race would you run Annie Power?".  There is, of course, only one answer to that: "The race her owner wants her to contest."

This nonsensical discussion has been running on and on and on based on a misconception, ie overlooking the fact that Willie Mullins does not own Annie Power.  As regards which races a horse contests (and which jockey takes the mount, which is something that was generally overlooked when we were bored stiff earlier this year about Paul Nicholls' supposed choice of jockey for Big Buck's - which was, of course, Andy Stewart's choice of jockey for Big Buck's) it's the trainer's job to advise, but ultimately it's the owner's decision.  I'd imagine that Willie Mullins would have said something along the lines of, "There are three suitable races, ie Champion Hurdle, mares' hurdle, World Hurdle.  She'd have a good chance in any of them.  Her best chance would be in the mares' hurdle and her worst in the Champion Hurdle, but that's all relative as she'd have a good chance in any of them.  Let me know which one you want her to contest."

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