Wednesday, October 01, 2014

I'm still here

Very poor.  Eleven days since I last blogged.  The last time I wrote was on the Saturday morning before we headed up to Catterick; and it is now two Wednesdays later.  Catterick was OK.  Indira ran well yet again, finishing a very creditable second in a good race.  Wasabi ran considerably less well, but her cause was not helped by the interference which she suffered on the final bend.  She was beaten at the time, but it meant that she ended up being beaten farther than would otherwise have been the case.  Anyway, no harm done.

The main reason why I've gone so long between chapters is that, having got home fairly late from Catterick on that Saturday, I headed off to Stansted fairly early on the Sunday morning, and then didn't get home until the early hours of the Thursday morning.  The reason for this 'holiday' was to attend Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale at a remarkably summery Fairyhouse.  Was that trip worthwhile?  Well, we'll find out over the next couple of years, but just at the moment it feels as if it was, as the upshot has been that a lovely Rock Of Gibraltar colt has arrived in the stable.

This horse - a colt when he arrived here, but a colt no longer - is entitled to turn out a nice horse, not only going on his impressive physique and hefty price tag (38,000 euros) but also because he comes from a lovely family.  He descends from the great American mare Quill, who bred some lovely horses going from her first foal First Feather (dam of Paul Mellon's top-class horse Run The Gantlet, whose best progeny included Ardross and Commanche Run) to her last foal Last Feather, who was placed in the Oaks in 1982.

First Feather is this gelding's fifth dam, with his fourth dam being the Grade One-placed Spring Is Here and his third dam being English Spring, a lovely grey mare who carried Paul Mellon's colours to victory in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot in 1986.  She turned out to be an excellent broodmare, her offspring including the Breeders' Cup place-getter Spring Oak as well as the superb broodmare Fragrant Hill, dam of the Group One winners Fragrant Mix and Alpine Rose.  This gelding's dam is by Halling from Spring Oak, so we can dream that he can turn out to be very good.  Time will tell!

Anyway, four days away from home mean that it takes me a week to get organised after my return, even allowing for us not having had a runner for 11 days.  But now I feel almost back to normal - hence this blog being written at last.  There's been plenty to do over and above catching up on the things I didn't do while I was away, particularly as there are quite a few horses on the property at the moment.  Three arrived the day after my return, and that was notable because they were three yearling colts - probably the only three who will arrive here all year - so it was remarkable that all came on the same day.  And that they came from three different countries.

One of these, obviously, was the bay Rock Of Gibraltar colt.  From England came a dark brown Sakhee's Secret colt, whom I collected from his home over on the east coast last Thursday afternoon.  And from France came my own horse, Minnie's Mystery's grey yearling by Youmzain, a half-brother to this stable's inmates Roy Rocket and So Much Water, and to the multiple winners Dream Walker (who is entered in a Listed race on Saturday, which is exciting for his breeder) and Grey Panel.  He is now a gelding, and he and the Rock Of Gibraltar horse have befriended each other easily.  The Sakhee's Secret has not needed to make a friend as he brought his friend with him, which has been rather nice, but that's just a temporary arrangement as the friend has just been passing through, and is off again tomorrow.  They'll miss each other, as the photograph in the previous paragraph suggests!

Anyway, that's what's been happening.  We also have a few horses in strong work at present, and I hope should have a few runners in the near future.  Russian Link goes to Bangor tomorrow (and I hope that the 'good' ground is indeed good, as we might have a wasted journey otherwise) and then I hope that we might have three runners next week: Magic Ice, Energia Eros and (you've guessed it) Indira.  So that's good - as has been the weather.  My prediction three weeks or so ago that we'd had our quota of 20+-degree days has, I'm pleased to say, proved very inaccurate, as we've had a run of very warm, dry days and warm nights.  This lovely Indian summer has lasted right through to October; and one can't ask for more than that.

1 comment:

Fiona Moate said...

I'm curious to know why you had the colt gelded?