Sunday, February 08, 2015

Looking forward

It was ATR's turn to put on a terrific show today, as the A P McCoy show moved on to Leopardstown, which was lucky enough, courtesy of some mighty horses producing some thrilling racing, to be able to rise to the occasion magnificently by putting on an epic afternoon of sport.  When A P finally retires in 11 weeks' time or whatever it is, his retirement will obviously leave a massive hole in his life - and God only knows how he will manage to fill that. But it will also leave a massive hole in the lives of all lovers of the sport, and today's drama reminded us that he adds so much to the game.  Most things nowadays are deadened by being overplayed by the media, but this is one story which is not going to be made stale.

Moving from the sublime to the less sublime, my hack (Fen Flyer) runs at Wolverhampton tomorrow afternoon at 4.00, our first runner for over two weeks.  In daylight, which will be a rare wintertime pleasure.  I keep chuckling about him being my hack because he was formerly about as bad a ride as one could get, but he has gone from one extreme to the other, and really is a delight nowadays.  If riding out meant riding him four times in a morning, it would be the best job on earth.  He ought to run well tomorrow, and the fact that he seems to have developed a habit of falling asleep midrace before staying on again suggest that the two miles should suit him well.  But we haven't had a winner since August, so one one has to temper one's hopes - but, then again, John Kiely began today not having saddled a winner since September, but now his most recent winner was in the Grade One Irish Hennessy Gold Cup at 3.50 this afternoon.

We can see Fen Flyer's ears in the first paragraph, going up Long Hill AW on Tuesday morning in the half-light of dawn around 7.00 am.  We then see him again in the second paragraph having the second of his three rolls after his work yesterday.  He'd rolled once so I put his rug on, but he had two more rolls after that, which delighted me: I'm always happy to see a horse rolling after exercise, because if they have any aches or pains, they (understandably) tend not to do it.  This final photograph, though, is of a different horse: Indira, waiting to come back in from the swamp at dusk today.  A proper winter evening's sky, but it was rather pleasant today, and if the temperature (which I think briefly got up to 7 degrees) had been a bit higher we'd have called it spring.  It did freeze again last night, but it's not freezing now, and fingers crossed we're going in the right direction.

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