Sunday, June 26, 2016

Trying to dodge the downpours

We did end up running Cottesloe (seen here finishing second, and then in the second paragraph having a stroll with Lucinda the following morning) at Newmarket on Friday night.  During and immediately after the deluge on Thursday evening (31 mm in an hour and a half) I was very bearish, but Friday morning was lovely.  It stayed dry into the afternoon, and had it done so through the evening we would have been nearly racing on good ground.  However, we had further downpours during racing and it was soft ground - but not bottomless, so he coped with it adequately, finishing a close second, beaten only by one horse who seems hugely favoured by soft ground.

So that was very pleasing.  Cottesloe is a smashing horse who enjoyed a very good campaign last year, so it was great that he ran so well on his resumption.  His owner Stewart Brown had been very patient with me as I'd initially told him that I thought that the horse would be ready to resume around the end of May.  However, he wasn't - but then early in June he started to show his former spark in his homework, so there we were, finally resuming on June 24th.  So I was particularly pleased that my assurances that he was back to himself were proved justified.

We've continued in the sunshine-and-showers routine since then.  Saturday morning was actually really, really nice, as the last photograph shows.  Sure enough, however, such conditions didn't last - as anyone who watched the almost-unwatchable (because the visibility was so poor as the race was run in a storm) Criterion Stakes at the July Course yesterday afternoon will testify, when the weather turned bad it turned really, really bad.  I think that it ended up as 'heavy' at Newmarket yesterday, so that's twice since the Second World War that they've raced on the July Course on 'heavy' going, the first time being the day when Mayson won the July Cup four years ago.

Sunshine and showers are likely to remain the pattern for the rest of the month, but I hope that we'll be fine for Roy back at Brighton on Tuesday.  It was wetter than this a couple of days ago, but it's currently 'good to soft' there, and the forecast suggests that they will have considerably more periods of drying weather than of rain there over the next two days.  He's one of six horses declared for his race and clearly ought to have a decent chance, so hopefully he'll be racing on ground that isn't much softer than good.

Wednesday might be more problematic for us, with Hope Is High (seen in the third paragraph leading the 'string' along Rayes Lane on Friday morning, and then here alongside White Valiant on the Heath quarter of an hour later) entered for a race at Bath.  That would be her first run for this stable, as she came here after Tattersalls' February Sale (where she was bought for 800 guineas, having previously shown only moderate form with David Simcock, as her rating of 40 would imply).  One always particularly looks forward to a horse's first race, whether that be his/her debut or merely first race since joining the stable.  However, that 40 rating might scupper the plan: I would have thought that she'd need fast ground (and the consequent smaller fields which ensue) not to be eliminated, so I would imagine that, as there are 31 entries and she's the lowest-rated of them, she will be eliminated unless the weather improves rapidly.

And I'm not sure that I'd want to run her on ground significantly softer than good anyway, as she's quite petite and immature too so, while she has galloped well on fast ground, I have my doubts about whether she would be strong enough at the moment to handle very soft conditions.  Anyway, we'll see what happens, but I think that, one way or another, we're odds against to be running.  Those are our only two entries for the week; and then I think that Cottesloe (at Chester) and Indira (at Ascot) will be our entries for the following week.  Plus Hope Is High (maybe atSalisbury) if she doesn't run this week.  But we'll cross those bridges when we get there - in sunshine, if we're lucky.


Brian Jones said...

Well Done John and Roy.

Absolutely brilliant run, hd and 15 lengths,

how game was he there!

neil kearns said...

double heart failure job didn't think he was going to get there even on the replay !! Fabulous ride from John (there aren't many - if any - better and he is improving with age) top training performance and a star of a horse . congrats to all

John Berry said...

Thank you very much. Massive thrill thanks to a wonderfully genuine horse and a top-class jockey.

Rose Maria said...

Gender Studies, wtf is a "life coach"?
Leah Gniwesch - Open Mic