Friday, May 13, 2016

Special day, special horse

Indira's win at Chester last Friday was very special, but I think that her win at Newmarket yesterday was even more so.  Granted, it wasn't one of Newmarket's biggest meetings, whereas the Chester May Meeting is the biggest event in that racecourse's year.  But any meeting at the Rowley Mile is a big meeting, and yesterday we were in the feature race of the day (evening).  Added to which, notwithstanding that the races were of the same grade, yesterday's race was the stronger, even with the scratchings of the favourite and of one of the other main chances.

What added further to yesterday's race was that we were bidding for a hat-trick, which is always hard to achieve.  We were in theory 'thrown in' yesterday as we were running unpenalized off the same 83 off which she had won convincingly at Chester last Friday, and were due to go up to 90 two days later.  But winning the race was never going to be easy, despite the fact that we were widely tipped, and went off the 2/1 favourite.  So when it happened - by a hard-fought half-length, aided by another perfect ride by Josephine - it was a source of great joy.  And, of course, it was on home soil - and surely the first time in history that a winner at Newmarket had been trained by the mayor!

That was actually the first winner that I've ever trained at the Rowley Mile.  I think that both Brief Goodbye and Ethics Girl had been placed in this same race (from memory, I think that they both finished second in it) and Largesse had run some good races there, including second to a good Sean Woods-trained horse called Raise A Prince in a handicap at the Craven Meeting as a four-year-old in 1998 and third to Blueprint, with horses like Yavana's Pace and Ramruma behind, in the Jockey Club Stakes at the Guineas Meeting the following year.  But we'd never had a winner at the Rowley Mile until yesterday.  So that was very special - as, particularly, was the fact that Lucinda was leading Indira up at the racecourse at which she works, seemingly all of whose staff came down to salute her and share her joy afterwards, which was lovely.

So it was a lovely day all round.  After the perfect conditions of last week, the weather had spoiled at the start of this week, and is turning not very nice again for the weekend.  But yesterday was absolutely divine from start to finish, which was lovely as I spent much of the morning showing the Heath to two visiting Aussies (who had both shown up on the same day, by complete coincidence) including the very good photographer Greg Irvine, some of whose shots have appeared in Winning Post over the years and who is seen in the first paragraph wishing Indira luck in the morning for her excursion later in the day.

So, all in all, yesterday was very special.  Indira had very little in hand yesterday, and almost certainly would not have won with another 2lb on her back - so the imminent 7lb rise in her rating to 90 is likely to make things very tough for her.  Especially as one could argue that Josephine's claim means that she was actually only running off 78.  Josephine has been riding her so well, and with a claim thrown in to boot, that she's been making her look better than she is, and that clearly isn't going to last forever now that the handicapper has had a chance to rate her on that misrepresentation.  But the fruits of that misrepresentation have been three consecutive wins in 11 days including one at the Chester May Meeting and one on the Rowley Mile.  And those fruits have given so much joy that if the price is a horse who now isn't very well handicapped, then that is a very small price indeed to pay.  What a very special day.  What a very special horse.

1 comment:

neil kearns said...

stand corrected you have achieved a Mayorology