Thursday, December 10, 2015

Happy horse

Our glut of pre-Christmas runners seems to be going OK so far.  A total of a third and two fourths from our three runners last week was followed by a third from what has turned out to be our only runner this week.  (Fen Lady was indeed eliminated yesterday from tomorrow's race at Wolverhampton.  I think that there were something like 44 entries, with 34 declared when I last looked at around 9.30 yesterday morning, for maybe 13 to get a run.  Ah well - a maiden race wouldn't be the obvious choice for a 45-rated horse, but there are only nine, including her, entered for a maiden at Wolverhampton on Monday, so she can run there.  And she'll run well.)

Lingfield yesterday was a real pleasure, despite the fact that we were arguably an unlucky loser.  Franny Norton was decent enough to say that he definitely ought to have won, thus showing admirable powers of self-criticism.  Koreen travelled very easily and very kindly through the race, but just couldn't get room to move forward until the field was in the straight, when ideally he would have been moving forward a couple of furlongs before that.  Still, it was lovely to see him finish his race off very well, and a strong-finishing and very promising 20/1 third with a long-standing maiden certainly didn't seem like a disappointing run.

The Racing Post close-up was "In touch in midfield, not clear run 2f out, switched left and headway over 1f out, stayed on well inside final furlong".  It's always lovely to see a horse hit the line strongly - Henry Cecil always used to say, in the pre-CCTV days when you needed binoculars if you were to see anything of the race, that there was no need to take binoculars because one didn't need them to see the only thing which really mattered, ie whether or not the horse was hitting the line strongly in the final furlong - and Koreen certainly did that.

What was doubly nice was that this was easily the most professional I have seen him on a raceday.  He's previously been inclined to put a bit too much into the early stages of the race and has consequently finished tamely; and he's previously been very edgy once the jockey has got up, dancing his way out onto the course.  That was far from the case yesterday, as the first photograph makes abundantly clear, so let's hope that this long-standing maiden can shortly start to make up for lost time.  Yesterday certainly gave us grounds for hope in that respect.

He's come out of the race very well - as his happy little face in this photograph of him having his light exercise this morning, under another 'shepherd's warning' sky, suggests - so we can add him again to our list of pre-Christmas runners, which is currently looking like Fen Lady at Wolverhampton on 14th; Cottesloe and Koreen at Lingfield on 20th, and Zarosa at Fakenham on the same day; Tommy at Wolverhampton on 21st; Indira at Wolverhampton on 22nd.  What to expect?  Well, past form suggests that, never mind whether or not any of them might win, if they all actually run it will be a miracle!

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