Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A (mostly) lovely day

We didn't have a winner at Yarmouth yesterday, but I had a really enjoyable afternoon - and that's despite one of our two runners (Roy) putting in a pathetic performance.  The only good thing about his feeble display was that he had disappointed me sorely on previous occasions, so I didn't go there counting my chickens.  If one just went on his homework (and I've had ample opportunity to assess his homework, including in this gallop last Thursday, photographed by Emma, with Indira and Russian Link) without reading the form-book, one would have been very, very hopeful yesterday - but I can read the form-book, so had down-graded my expectations accordingly, and consequently wasn't too crestfallen when he yet again finished in rear, yet again doing just about everything wrong.

So we could cope with that setback - and the rest of the day was very enjoyable, primarily because I spent it with Iris and Larry McCarthy, in whose colours Roy ran (and who, too, seemed able not to let Roy's abject display spoil the day).  Roy was in the last race, and what was nice was that they arrived in time for the first, in which the first half of our grey assault (Gift Of Silence, seen here returning to scale under Paddy Aspell) did the right thing by running a very creditable second, beaten only and on merit by the bang-in-form favourite.

Gift Of Silence is a real trouper.  Her only win has come at six furlongs, but she is at least as effective at 10 furlongs, and probably at 12 furlongs too (at which distance she holds an entry at Catterick next Tuesday).  Furthermore, it is not just that it doesn't matter what distance she runs over - she can run on any ground too, with one of her best runs coming when just touched off over a mile in the spring of last year on one of the rare occasions when Yarmouth has provided a wet track.

She's mostly run (and only won) on fast ground, but I'd be at least as happy to run her on a heavy track.  It's only a pity that the second half of yesterday's grey team (the team seen in the previous paragraph surveying the view from the adjacent boxes in Yarmouth's stable yard yesterday afternoon) hasn't yet taken a leaf from her book - but all good things supposedly come to those who wait.  And he's only four - and a young four at that, despite his almost white coat (which does at least make him look lovely, as you can see in this pre-race photograph, even if his performance on racedays does rather temper one's enthusiasm).

A further bonus to the day came via the fact that the first person whom I saw once I had driven through the gates into the horsebox park was former St. Boswells trainer Dick Allan, best remembered as trainer of Pat's Jester.  Dick packed in the training a few years ago and now helps out Iain Jardine, whose stable is arguably the most in-form in Britain.  Iain, who trains just a few miles the other side of the top of the Carter Bar on the Hawick road, ran the top-weight in Roy's race (who had won at Musselburgh
last week and who put in a bold bid to defy his penalty, finishing third) and Dick and Val Renwick had brought the horse down.  It was good to spend time with them - and a further brahma was that the horse's travelling companion (pictured with Dick) looks like he could be related to Roy.  Just as well that they didn't run him, as he might have beaten Roy!

1 comment:

glenn.pennington said...

perhaps Roy needs a missile rather than a "rocket" John ?