Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer joy

Gosh, Roy couldn't have given me a better birthday present, although I must say that he can't take the total credit for the gift, as John Egan gave him plenty of help in getting across the line in front at Brighton on Wednesday, three days after my birthday.  Roy's successes this season have been a great source of joy, not least because we had to wait for so long for him to come good.  He was a 44-rated five-year-old maiden at the start of the season, so it's been so exciting to have him turn himself around and become a three-time winner and Brighton course specialist.  He's come good physically and mentally this spring, which is part just natural maturing, and part a little bit of help from John Egan.

I'd been waiting long enough for him to come good as I bred him, which means that I've owned him since his conception 11 months before his birth on 2nd April 2010.  I bred him and train him and I've been riding him every day for the past few months; and I part-own him too.  And the fact of the part-owning is the happiest thing of all, as my partners in him are Iris and Larry McCarthy.  Their friendship was instigated by the late Joe McCarthy (husband of Iris, father of Larry) and the fact that I am sharing the joy with them makes that joy many times sweeter.  The idea initially had been that we would take turns with whose colours he carried, but the fact is that I get so much pleasure from seeing their (ie Joe's) colours on him that I don't want to see any other silks on him, mine included.

It was a lovely day at Brighton and the track was quite fast, although not worryingly so as Brighton look after their ground very well nowadays.  But with Roy I'm not too worried about the surface - unlike with our next three entrants, on whose behalf I have been keeping a close eye on the weather forecasts.  We have Grand Liaison declared to run at Chester tomorrow afternoon, and then Hymn For The Dudes (the little black Sakhee's Secret two-year-old colt, seen here galloping away from the stalls on the Heath yesterday under Hannah) and Tommy (Platinum Proof) entered for Nottingham on Monday.  And the plan is to declare both of those.

The only problem, of course, is that we've been having lovely weather, as this other photograph from yesterday (of Roy's two younger half-siblings, White Valiant and So Much Water, discussing their brother's victory) shows.  Haydock (not far from Chester) and Nottingham both raced yesterday, and the ground was lightning-fast at both tracks.  I watched a mile-and-a-half race at Haydock where they went very fast, seemingly setting things up for closers - and the first three home were the first three all the way round.  And I watched a low-grade sprint handicap at Nottingham where the winner ran 0.2 seconds outside the track record.  Both courses were rated 'good to firm, firm in places' today, and none of the three horses would run on such ground.  But the forecast is for heavy rain at Chester tonight continuing on through the day, and for significant rain at Nottingham Saturday and Sunday, so I hope that the ground will be OK for all three.  Grand Liaison will run if it isn't firmer than good, and the Nottingham duo will run as long as it isn't hugely firmer than good.  Let's hope that all three do indeed run, and run well.

1 comment:

neil kearns said...

cannot believe the ground was firm at chester today with the amount of rain we had here thirty miles away weird thing the weather