Friday, February 13, 2015

Secret charm?

I came home very happy from Wolverhampton on Monday.  Fen Flyer took us on to zero winners from six runners for 2015, and on the face of things finishing out of the first three off bottom weight in a 0-60 shouldn't be considered a great achievement.  However, I was delighted with him at every stage of the day: before, during and after the race.  He used not to be tuned into the role of a racehorse at all, but he seems to have gone from one extreme to the other in that respect, because he was so content and professional at every stage of the day.  Although he only finished fourth, he was only 1.25 lengths off the winner, and would have finished no worse than a close third but for being short of room in the final 100m.

So that was lovely.  And we look to be heading out of winter too.  We had a hard frost overnight Sunday to Monday (and you can see the windscreen of the box prior to its departure for Wolverhampton) but the sun came out and it was a lovely day (here if not at Wolverhampton) and we've been frost-free since then.  So we look to be heading towards spring - and we can look towards summer too, with the big news of the week being that Kylie Minogue will be playing Newmarket's July Course on the Friday of Royal Ascot week, 19th June.  Apparently that tickets for that fixture sold out half an hour after they went on sale, so I've come up with a little game to amuse myself since then.

My game has been to come up with a list of horses likely to be running at Newmarket that evening (and I've come up with this list having no idea what races will be on the programme).  I'd like to include the list in this chapter, but I fear that if I did I might incur the wrath of the connections of one or more of them.  (And that would never do).  So what I've done is to write the names of 10 horses in the back of my diary, and when the time has come I'll let you know how many of them actually turned up that night (or were at least declared, which will be the pertinent point).  And only four of them are trained in this stable, I hasten to add!

On another matter altogether, I've been to two AGMs today.  During the afternoon we had the AGM of the Newmarket Trainers' Association at the British Racing School (and I took the opportunity to visit our old friends Extreme Conviction and Brief Goodbye - both looking in great heart - while I was there) and then this evening we had the AGM of the West Suffolk Conservative Association in the Bedford Lodge.  The former meeting had a bonus in the form of the BHA's new principals Steve Harman and Nick Rust coming along to introduce themselves to us, and that turned out to be very heartening.

The former has a big disadvantage in that, arriving at the helm with big plans, he is following in the footsteps of his predecessors who did the same only to find that the answers were considerably more elusive than they had led both themselves and us to believe.  None of them has arrived saying, "Please understand I do not have a secret charm to get me to heart of this (or any other) matter", so we've inevitably become sceptical of claims of a rosy future.  However, today emphasised that Steve Harman is an intelligent, committed man who has some very good ideas - so it's not impossible that he might indeed have just such a secret charm.  Let's hope that he has.  Furthermore, I'd say that he has an excellent lieutenant at his side.  I'm confident that Nick Rust will prove to have been an inspired appointment: if I'm any judge of character at all, he has the integrity, passion, thoroughness, diligence, intelligence and commitment to prove himself to be totally the right man for the job.


M Anderson said...

It seems it'll only be a matter of time before Fen Flyer finally comes good John.

Brian Jones said...

Kylie tickets commenced sales on the Wednesday [I bought some] they then sold out on the Friday ... that isn't 30 minutes imo

Lazy journalism from you John, following the PR hype....