Sunday, July 20, 2014

Third alternative

As it turned out, today's dilemma was not an either/or.  There was, of course, a third option.  I'd thought that the two scenarios would be that either the ground at Redcar would stay the same and Zarosa wouldn't run, or that the ground would change and she would run.  As it turned out, the ground at Redcar today has changed, but we haven't run even so.  The forecast of up to 20mm of rain proved, inevitably, to have been optimistic (or pessimistic, if one were planning either to run a firm-ground horse there, or to lie on the beach where they filmed the Dunkirk scenes in 'Atonement').

There were 6mm of rain there yesterday and then another 3mm overnight.  These changed the ground from 'good to firm' to 'good, good to firm in places'.  That's enough of a change for her to be withdrawn because of 'going' (ie the going has changed) but it's not enough of a change for us: we saw at Newcastle last time that there's no point in sending her to the races if the ground is faster than good so, with the forecast being for a warm, dry day today, it was an easy decision to abort the journey before we set off this morning.  Which was a real shame as she's very well and it was a winnable (granted the right ground, which we didn't have) race for her - but disappointment comes along easily enough without opening the door and inviting it in.

So today's an easy day for me, for Zarosa and for most of the others - including Ethics Girl (whom you can see enjoying her leisure in the first paragraph) and, of course, good old Gift Of Silence, who ran a very nice race to finish second in the gloaming at Lingfield last night.  It actually wasn't as dark as it looks (in the second and third paragraphs) - which was just as well, as there was still another race to be run.  The 10 furlongs represented her first venture beyond a mile, and she coped with the distance very well, greatly helped, of course, by Paddy Aspell's horsemanship, because she settled beautifully for him and had a lovely trip through the race.

It was a lovely hot evening down there yesterday (notwithstanding the lack of sunshine) which was great as it was Ladies' Night, a hugely popular fixture at which a huge crowd had a lovely evening.  It wouldn't have worked nearly as well had it been raining; but, as things were, conditions were perfect.  It's lovely to see racedays so well attended, and to see the crowds so clearly enjoying the day/evening.  That made two Ladies' Nights for me in one week (following Yarmouth on Tuesday), and both were terrific and very popular and successful events.  Congratulations to all those involved in staging the shows, particularly the two clerks of the courses Richard Aldous and Neil Mackenzie Ross, who (as is the norm with ARC racecourse clerks) are among of the best in the business.


M Anderson said...

Horses are now in full flight and going well good Sir.
Long may it last.

John Berry said...

Thanks, Mick. Fingers crossed.