Monday, June 05, 2017

Topical fashion thoughts

Our musings on jockeys being fashionable couldn't have been better timed, bearing in mind that Padraig Beggy rode the Derby winner on his tenth ride of the year.  Yes. tenth.  That was on 3rd June.  That's an average for 2017 of fewer than two rides a month.  And yet he didn't merely ride the Derby winner courtesy of being on the best horse and managing to avoid preventing him from winning: he won on a horse who, in my opinion, beat some superior rivals (and many inferior ones) because he was better ridden than they were.  Who would have thought that the least fashionable jockey in the race would give his mount the best ride?

(Well, one of the very best rides: Oisin Murphy rode Benbatl perfectly too, but they were arguably the only two jockeys in the race who got their mounts from A to B as efficiently as possible).  (And, in fairness to all concerned, I should point out that it's easier to ride with sublime patience in a stupidly strongly run race on an outsider than a favourite, as one doesn't have the worry of being hounded by idiots if one storms home from nowhere to be what the idiots would deem 'a certainty beaten').

Padraig's statistics for 2017 are astonishing.  10 rides (seven in Ireland, two in England, one in France). Arguably the most remarkable aspect is that 40% of his rides have come in Group One races: Wings Of Eagles in the Derby, Hydrangea in the 1,000 Guineas and Irish 1,000 Guineas; Smouler in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.  His winning strike rate is 20%, and both winners have come in Pattern races: as well as winning the Derby on Wings Of Eagles, he took the Group Three Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial on Hydrangea.  Those are his statistics for the first 22 weeks of the year.  It will be interesting to see how the remaining 30 weeks go for him.

In the more immediate future, it will be interesting to see how the next nine days go for us.  We might have six runners: White Valiant at Fontwell tomorrow, So Much Water at Goodwood on Friday, Roy and Sussex Girl at Brighton on Monday next week, and then two days after that Indira at Haydock and Hope Is High at Yarmouth.  Our best chances might be next week.  I was hoping that White Valiant might have been a very good chance, but now that the field has been finalized it is clear that he might find it hard to win as it looks a more competitive race than the one which he won there last time.

Most obviously, White Valiant (seen here mooching around the stableyard after his work this morning, and in the first photograph on the left of the quintet of hoons lairising in the field yesterday, and second left in the second photograph) has to give a stone to mare trained by Amanda Perrett who was sold for a lot of money earlier this year, who is two years older than him and who has finished a very good second in her only bumper to date.  White Valiant is well and should run another very good race, but carrying top weight in a relatively competitive race will make things tough.  We'll see.  Hoping for the best but expecting nothing is generally the best way to go.

1 comment:

neil kearns said...

good luck with Valiant I see not for the first time you are in the last race and will have a late return

The Derby I agree totally about Padraig Beggy's ride but as one who actually picked the winner (check out my blog -and the second and fourth) I thought the horse had shown in his run at Chester that he only starts to motor when fully balanced and similarly on Saturday that Beggy gave his horse time to recover from cornering and didn't actually start to ride his mount until he was balanced again at which point he started running (quickly) through the beaten (and not quite so beaten) that for me is what made this such a quality ride in the heat of battle to allow the horse to effectively re-set himself was pure class and put others to shame .

Given the uproar about "inexperienced "jockeys the week before it shows yet again that these so called lower class hoops are every bit as talented as their alleged betters and that it is only fashion that means some of the more used jockeys get many of their rides which is as much on their name as their ability and that given a good horse the vast majority of jockeys will bring that horses ability to the fore

Back to the winner who I believe will prove himself the superior horse to the beaten in the long run - on his previous start he didnt have a long enough straight to get rolling again when balanced - also that day he was positively rotund in the paddock in comparison to Venice Beach the winner on the day who looked trained to the minute .My feeling is that on a short run in track such as Ascot he will fail to get back balanced in time to mount a challenge on somewhere such as the Curragh or particularly Doncaster he will be the one to beat - but I will be amazed if he goes for the Leger as commercial breeding seems to believe winning that race is a negative

of the beaten I am not sure any of the placed truly saw the trip out fully (which may sound stupid but Cliffs of Moher definitely tied up in the last half furlong)and whilst they may get a mile four on an "easier" track feel all of them will gravitate towards ten furlongs
It will be fascinating to see it all unfurl because we either saw a very average Derby or an absolute top notcher and I have a feeling time will suggest it is the former