Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cold List to Hot List in one easy week

Well, that was a productive couple of days.  Tuesday evening at Yarmouth was very pleasant in the sunshine.  We didn't make it to the unsaddling enclosure, but we didn't miss that target by far as Magic Ice was only beaten a short head by the fourth horse, which was good as it was her first run for over 300 days and she ought to improve significantly for the run: she's still a bit lighter than ideal at present, and still hasn't really come in her coat yet.

She did everything right all through the day - before, during and after the race - so that was really pleasing and really encouraging.  She was a nice, decent genuine horse when we had her previously, and she's still the same horse now, which is lovely.  I'd guessed that she might run well, not only because she'd been doing things right at home but also because we'd had an excellent omen at the start of the day.  I like my omens, as one or two previous chapters might have suggested.  There's an old adage that one should back the first jockey whom one sees; and the first jockey whom I saw on Tuesday morning was the one who was booked to ride her later in the day, Paddy Aspell.

That maxim, of course, didn't pay off, because if one did back her (which I did) one would obviously have lost one's money (which I did).  But in general it held true, because she ran well, which is the main thing.  The omen, though, was even more promising than it seems at first glance: not only was Paddy the first jockey whom we saw (riding out for Ed Dunlop) but he was next to the horse who can currently be described as the greatest horse in Newmarket, ie Red Cadeaux (ridden as usual by his best friend Steve Nicholson) who looks pretty pleased (below) to be allowed to walk alongside Panto for a while.

That was a terrific omen, and it duly led into a very satisfactory trip to the races.  The next day we also had a good omen at the start of the day when Emma and I headed over to the other side of town (on Panto and Grey Poppett respectively).  We didn't bump into Red Cadeaux, but we did bump into an animal almost as special: a Dalmatian (all Dalmatians, of course, being very, very special). So that was lovely - and that, on the only lot I rode yesterday, set me up nicely for my trip up to Catterick for the 3.30 race there with Indira.

You may have read that I'd taken Indira out of Beverley the previous day when the ground had dried up from 'good to soft' to 'good'.  It had ended up at Beverley as 'good, good to firm in places' so I was very pleased that we hadn't gone there - not because she can't gallop on such ground, but because such ground over 10 furlongs would not have been enough of a test of stamina for her, whereas with cut in the ground 10 furlongs might well have been OK.  As it was, though, we ran on good to firm ground at Catterick yesterday, where the longer distance (12 furlongs) more than made up for the less testing ground, as she got off the mark at the tenth attempt.

So that was lovely.  Robert Winston rode her perfectly (he kept her within striking distance of the favourite, who had been a certainty to make the running, and she duly proved good enough to reel him in and run on strongly to the line, as hoped) and her stamina and genuineness did the rest.  Her connections had had to endure a run of good but winless efforts as she had run up a string of minor placings, so it was great to see her get her head in front.

Needless to say, there was a snippet in yesterday's Racing Post about high-drawn horses being withdrawn at Beverley, but I can say two things.  Firstly, she would have run there had the ground not firmed up; and, secondly, that while the superficial observation is that a high draw at Beverley is a bad draw, I'd like to suggest that any draw at Beverley is a bad draw (leaving races up the straight five aside) because a low draw is at least as daunting, being (unless one wants to make the running) a classic recipe for being odds-on to be boxed in.  So please don't throw any conspiracy theories in this direction.

Oh yes, I should mention that Saleal ran OK at Uttoxeter when sixth in the bumper; and that Gus is enjoying this good weather, as you can see (above).

1 comment:

tom wootton said...

read your blog for the first time regarding Indira running at catterick, and got on early at 5/1 , so much appreciated ;) Tom