Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Only human

Where does the time go?  Eight days since I last put anything on here, which is very poor.  It would have been a slightly shorter gap had I not been having 'proxy server' problems with this machine which prevented me getting on to the Blogger website, but only slightly shorter; it would, though, have been considerably longer (even longer) had I not surprised myself by being able to solve these problems just now.  Sure, solving the problem did actually only mean following the instructions, but even doing something seemingly simple like than can often be harder than it sounds, as many people have discovered in this modern world.

Anyway, I'm glad that I'm back on here as we're heading off to Kempton tonight with Senator Matt (nearly visible in this paragraph, ridden by Hannah and obscured by Tommy and Iva on Waterhall on Saturday).  He's again having to run in a maiden race and again it is likely to be a bit too tough for him, but I hope that he will show a degree of promise.  We were down there last Wednesday with Roy (pictured with Paddy Pilley in the first paragraph, after the race) and he ran what has become his usual race (ie well, but not well enough) so that meant that we came home reasonably happy.  Let's hope that we come home reasonably happy tonight too.  And the good thing is that we won't be too late, as we're in a much earlier race this time, 5.45 as opposed to last week when I think it was something like 8.10.  Even though the days are getting longer as we head out of winter, that's still a daunting enough time to be racing in February.

There have, of course, been numerous points to discuss in the racing world since I last wrote on this site, with Lucy Gardner miscounting the circuits at Fontwell being one of them.  It's more usual for jockeys to underestimate the length of the race, but she thought that she still had another lap to go when the race was finishing.  That predictably caused a minor furore, especially as her horse would probably have won had she not erred, but it reminded me of  something which happened one afternoon last spring when I was in the At The Races studio.

They were racing at Sedgefield that day, and a conditional jockey fell off on the flat in a hurdle race.  That too was a very basic error, and predictably sparked a flood of irate emails to our studio.  What struck me was that when I had been driving over to Milton Keynes earlier that day in advance of the show, I had heard on the travel bulletin on the radio that a motorway was closed because two lorries had crashed into each other, the debris from which collision meant the road was shut in both directions.  I saw a connection between the two incidents.

Lorry drivers are not casual motorists, but are supposedly specialists and professionals.  Driving a lorry along a road is much, much easier than riding in a race (and I've done enough of both to say that with certainty) so if two lorry drivers can make such a basic error (probably causing much more inconvenience and expense to the general public than any erring jockey at either Sedgefield or Fontwell) then we just have to accept that once in a while a jockey will make a basic error in a race.  C'est la vie.  Just like horses and lorry drivers, jockeys are only human.

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