Tuesday, January 05, 2016

What's a few weeks?

It was a wet stormy day at Chelmsford on Sunday, but it wasn't a bad one.  The best result was that normal service was resumed with Blue Sea Of Ibrox, who completely put her abysmal run at Newmarket behind her.  Ridden a treat by Dan Muscutt, she did everything right, finishing fourth, beaten two and a half lengths.  Indira also ran well, finishing a neck behind her in fifth.  To anyone who had asked me, I had replied that I didn't think that there would be much between the two of them at the line, notwithstanding that Indira was one of the favourites and Blue Sea Of Ibrox was the outsider.

I'd also made the (to me, obvious) point that if I'd thought that one had a significantly better chance than the other, the other would not be running.  Anyway, as they passed the post only a neck apart, I was in theory entitled to be very smug.  As it was, though, that result flatters my judgement: Blue Sea Of Ibrox got a perfect trip through the race, while Indira  enjoyed no luck at all.  One could say that Indira might have finished a few lengths in front of her stablemate had she had the run through the race which her mate enjoyed - and as Indira was beaten less than three lengths by the winner, that's a good and a bad thought simultaneously.  Anyway, they both ran well; and when the horses run well and come home safe, then it's a good day.

Let's hope for a good day tomorrow, when Fen Lady runs in the 12.30 at Chelmsford.  She ought to run well.  Mind you, she ought to have been one of two runners for the stable on the day, but that's not happening: I've already scratched So Much Water from the 5.40 at Kempton.  This was supposed finally to be the debut at age of four for So Much Water, who will run for the same connections (McCarthy & Berry) and in the same yellow and blue silks as her half-brother and doppelganger Roy (Rocket).  You might say that, as her breeder, I've only been waiting four years for her debut, but really as it was in January 2011 that I inspected Youmzain at Haras du Quesnay and booked the nomination for Minnie's Mystery to visit him, then I've really been waiting five years for such a day.

As it is, though, I'll have to wait a bit longer - but after five years, what's a few weeks?  Annoyingly, So Much Water tied up after exercise yesterday, which was about two hours after declaration time as she went out last lot (and jumped out of the stalls, as you can see in this paragraph).  This was surprising, but not a complete bolt from the blue as she had tied up previously, albeit not for maybe six months.  Tying up basically means having cramp after exercise.  Some racehorses are prone to it.  If they lived as nature intended - ie outdoors and eating grass rather than grain - it would probably never happen, but as things are it does.  And when it does happen, the muscle enzyme readings in their blood go through the roof, and you've really got to wait for the blood to come right before putting them back into strenuous work, and that takes maybe three weeks.

Anyway, as she'd shown herself in her younger days to be prone to tying up, she's always lived outdoors and has eaten very little grain.  However, with a race looming ,she'd been sleeping in at nights for maybe three weeks.  And with a race looming and our fields a quagmire, she'd even been spending fewer afternoons outside, as one doesn't want them to turn up at the races looking as if they've just been rounded up off Exmoor (as seen in a lovely piece on Countryfile on BBC1 on Sunday).  And with a race looming, I'd been slipping a bit of grain into her feed to give her more carbohydrates, because anyone who knows anything about horses knows that oats help them to perform better (notwithstanding that Roy never eats oats, and performs better without them).  Anyway, I've got things wrong and yesterday she tied up. Still, no lives were lost, and the sun still rose today - and, after all, what's a few weeks?

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