Thursday, November 06, 2014

Winter's here

We had the first frost of the winter last night, with temperatures of minus one shortly before dawn.  However, as often happens, a frost was followed by a splendidly sunny dawn, which certainly beat rain.  The sunshine won't last, it seems, as it had already clouded over by lunchtime, and I believe that another band of heavy rain is on its way.  However, this morning's brilliant sunshine was lovely while it lasted.  I saw some of it here, and then some of it on the road to Ascot, whither Gus and I headed with Wasabi, who found a new home today via the Brightwells' sales-ring.

I like often to jest about 'Darkwells' because Andrew Hickman,one of their team, is a good friend and thus I'm happy to make him the butt of a few jokes.  However, I have to say that 'Darkwells' really do run a good show.  They don't get the opportunity to sell horses at the top end of the market, but they do a really good, really efficient job if putting vendors and buyers in touch for horses at any level of the market.  Wasabi has been disappointing as she hasn't progressed; but, thanks to the intercession of 'Darkwells', she is now off to a new home as a broodmare.

I'm always pleased to see any filly head off to become a broodmare because broodmares tend to lead the life of luxury, and almost invariably love the life of being a mum.  They want for nothing, and their futures are usually safe and secure.  Wasabi has never won a race, but she has been placed a few times, and she is a three-parts sister to European Listed/US Grade Three winner Mrs Kipling (ie three of the four grandparents are the same, and in this case it's the classic case, as they share the same dam, while one of the two paternal grandparents - Danehill, sire of Mrs Kipling's sire Exceed And Excel and of Wasabi's sire Tiger Hill - is the same) so that's enough to make her a viable breeding prospect.

Anyway, that was today, a day on which we can say that winter has properly arrived - hence the fire being lit tonight, as you can see in the previous paragraph.  Tomorrow's trip will be to Fontwell, which might be a cold and/or wet Fontwell.  It's only Russian Link's third hurdles' run, but she's been placed in both her novice races, so that - apparently - means that she's eligible for a handicap mark.  She's rated 105, and I'm pitching her straight into a 0-130.  On the face of it, this seems very harsh of me, but it's a mares-only race, and they generally lack the depth which one would find in a similar grade of race for which geldings are eligible.

Flat or jumps, I like to hone in on fillies- or mares-only races, so she can run in that tomorrow.  She's in the handicap and can run off her true rating - and over jumps, with the higher weight-scale, it's often not a bad thing to run in a higher grade than one has to: put in 105-rated horse in a 0-105 race, and you find that your horse has a huge weight and is giving significant amounts of weight to horses who themselves have some ability.  So we'll head down there with hope, and we'll see what happens.  Joe Akehurst has been schooling and riding her, but he can't do the weight (which would be 9-12 for him, with his 7lb claim).  Jack Quinlan and William Kennedy have both schooled her in the past week (Jack seen doing so six days ago in the previous paragraph, and William shown on her here on Sunday).  William is riding her tomorrow, and I'd have been equally happy with Jack if for any reason William had been unable to ride.

1 comment:

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