Thursday, June 15, 2017

A moment of bliss!

I'll be brief.  Not because I want to be, as I have plenty to say, as always.  But I'll be brief anyway, not for not wanting to bore any readers (boredom coming with the territory of being long-suffering enough to read these musings) but because I am tired, and am short of both sleep and time.  But I just should update the runners' situation.  I think that we left it with So Much Water (pictured in the field on Sunday evening with her friend Kilim) not going to Goodwood.  That was annoying, but no harm was done.  And the small cut on her near hind pastern has healed itself nicely, and I hope that she will run at Windsor on Monday.

This week we were looking at a few potential runners, some but not all of whom have run.  Roy went to Brighton on a lovely day on Monday.  There were only five runners, but all five looked to have a chance, and Roy (pictured with David Egan after the race) was the outsider, primarily because it is plain from a quick perusal of his form that he is badly handicapped at present.  He duly finished fifth of five, which went from seeming likely to seeming inevitable once it became clear that the race was being very slowly run (Tom Queally riding a superb race on the winner, getting away with leading at a very slow tempo, which is bad news when you have a horse who likes to be ridden from the rear).

Two days later (ie Wednesday, ie yesterday) we had Hope Is High entered at Yarmouth and Indira entered at Haydock.  I elected not to run Indira because the ground was very soft a few days before the meeting, and the forecast was for a fair amount of more rain.  In the end, the forecast rain didn't materialise and the ground ended up as no worse than good to soft, but no harm was done and she can go to Chelmsford next week instead for a valuable race which might be just right for her.  We did, though, take Hope Is High to Yarmouth, and ended up having a very happy day in the sunshine there.

Since her win at Bath last summer, Hope Is High hadn't really had much luck.  She'd gone back to Bath and it had rained and rained and rained.  We gave her a run on the AW at Newcastle and (in common with most horses I have trained) she didn't run as well on the AW as on the turf.  We were drawn very wide first up this season, and consequently didn't get the run of the race, finishing fourth.  And then we were carried across the course by the winner at Lingfield and then squeezed up on the rail (the official version was that no interference took place, but that's wrong) and finished fourth, when either first or a close second would have been the fair result.

Yesterday, though, the stars aligned.  She was drawn one in an 11-runner race in which I regarded at least seven of the runners as having very little chance.  Silvestre De Sousa, as he does on every horse he rides, put her in a position from which she could win if good enough; and then gave her every encouragement to go on and win.  And win she did, by two and a half lengths.  Training horses is a joy if you love horses and love riding, but its downside (over and above that it's very hard to earn a living from it unless you are training for extremely wealthy people; and that you have no time off; and for much of the year the weather, notwithstanding that at present the weather is one of the best bits of the job) is that disappointment is your regular companion.

The disappointment does get you down at times - but then that's all forgotten on the infrequent (and they are only so special because they are so infrequent, because there would be nothing special in success if you achieved it every day) occasions when things go right, and you have a winner.  The title of Bill Wightman's biography was spot on: 'Months of misery, moments of bliss'.  Well, it was half right.  'Misery' isn't the right word because you can't be miserable when you live with horses, but 'despair' isn't far away at times.  But the second part is spot-on.  Moments of bliss.  And, thanks to Emma having picked up Hope Is High for 800 gns at Tattersalls last year, and thanks to Jana Trnakova who rides her every day, and thanks to Silvestre De Sousa who rode her so well yesterday, and thanks to the filly herself, we had a moment of bliss yesterday.  That'll keep me going for a while!

1 comment:

D J Dizzy said...

It was a superb ride and an excellent piece of placement by the trainer to find the right race congrat to all SDS was the icing on the cake!