Monday, October 17, 2016

Parek's first school report

Right. First things first.  Re R P McArdle's comments below the last chapter: thank you very much indeed.  Your observations are very much appreciated, in every respect.  Regarding Sedalin, I don't know if it is a prohibited drug, but I presume that it is.  I have never looked into it - I have never owned or used any, so it has never really been on my radar.  I do recall once giving a horse some ACP, but that would have been at least 15 years ago, and I couldn't even tell you which horse it was without looking it up in some journal (which I have probably lost by now anyway).  Watching the vet give a horse a very strong sedative prior to castration is pretty much the only time I'm ever involved in the administration of one.  (And every time I marvel at the skill, strength and courage of our forebears who were gelding horses for centuries before sedatives and pain-killers were invented.  I would imagine that they used to give the horse plenty of alcohol, and morphine too if they had it.  And then I think that they tied the horse's legs together and winched them up.  But even so ... rather them than I!).

Basically, giving a horse a sedative would hurt my pride too much.  Rightly or wrongly, I kid myself that I am a good horseman, and to me giving a horse a sedative to make him/her easier to control is admitting one's deficiency in this respect; and I'm too proud / deluded / arrogant to want to do that.  Roy is (or, rather, fingers crossed, was) the worst traveller I have ever trained (although, thank God, over the past 12 months I have devised a routine which he seems to accept calmly) and there was once a time when I was offered some sedative (Sedalin, one might presume) to make the journey home safer.  Of course, I was too proud to accept - and when I was pulled over on the side of the road a couple of miles down the road trying to restore some order in the back of the truck, I did rue my pig-headedness.

To return to the matters in hand, today has been a long day.  The first photograph (taken of the 'Supermoon' through Roy's ears on Long Hill) confirms that.  (One could say that I was preparing him for tomorrow's assignment of racing in the dark).  And, dark as it was, it was taken on the homeward-bound part of the ride, not the outward.  We weren't actually home late from the races today (we were in the 2.40 race, left Pontefract at about 4.15 and completed the 148-mile journey just before 7.00).  But it felt like midnight - which is a worry because that (ie midnight) is about the time that I will be getting home from Kempton tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to the outing - I love Roy and love taking him to the races, and it's always a real pleasure to spend the time with my co-owners - but I'm not good at late nights.

As for today - well, it was a satisfactory debut for Parek (ie Sussex Girl - I don't usually use nicknames, for either horses or people, but Sussex Girl is Parek, for reasons which I will probably explain at some point, but not now) notwithstanding that she was beaten a very long way.  She showed plenty of speed for two thirds of the race, and it is likely that in retrospect we will see that the very soft ground (which Ethics Girl would have hated) was against her.  It was good to get her racing career started, anyway, and in good weather.  The highlight of meeting, though, took place after I had left.  Prior to today, Josephine had had eight rides (for four wins) in a royal blue jacket, but with a dark blue cap each time. Today, by a happy and topical coincidence, she rode in a race with a royal blue jacket and a white, rather than dark blue, cap.  And she saluted the judge in such livery, which result has given me great pleasure on her behalf.


neil kearns said...

a question why do the Australian horses seem to get a range of trips and perform well over them when the UK horses seem pigeon holed to a set range and are rarely campaigned over a mix of distances ?

neil kearns said...

not wanting to labour a point but I would be interested for all the connections of owners who felt fair to comment on your remarks on the elephant would tell the rest of us how many times they have used female jockeys for their respective connections . am guessing that the percentage rides to runners will be less than a couple of percent .