Sunday, August 06, 2017

Reasons to be cheerful

Subsequent to the previous chapter which was written on Wednesday, we had our second runner of the week.  Roy went to Epsom on Thursday and acquitted himself well, finishing third behind two nice horses.  Again he was ridden extremely well by Nicola Currie, who is currently beginning to enjoy the success that her ability and application deserves.  Let's hope that it continues.  Certainly last week was a good one for her as she doubled her career total of winners, taking it from three to six (from five rides during the week).  Her three winners were for three different trainers: her boss Richard Hughes, Mark Usher and Henry Candy.

On the subject of jockeys, one of the consolations of our two good minor placings during the week (ie consolations that they didn't win, Roy having been beaten on merit and Hope Is High, beaten a head at Yarmouth, having caused her own misfortune by stumbling as she jumped out of the stalls) was that in each case I was delighted on behalf of the winning jockey.  Hope went down narrowly to The Detainee, who helped his jockey Trevor Whelan (formerly of this parish, when he was riding for Neil King prior to Neil's relocation to Barbury Castle) to continue to establish himself on the Flat, having prior to this summer been riding only over jumps.

Trevor is very effective under both codes - as he demonstrated on Tuesday, dashing away from Yarmouth shortly after his win to make the long journey to Worcester, where he rode in a jumps race in the evening.  I had an enjoyable shift on ATR last night, covering the Lingfield card plus US racing from Saratoga, Laurel and Mountaineer Park with Tim Carroll, and was very pleased to be punditising (if that is a word, which it isn't) on another winner for Trevor (which took his Flat tally to three) when he stepped in for Shane Kelly (held up in traffic) to win a race for Gary Moore at Lingfield, a victory which owed plenty to Trevor's positive riding.

At Epsom the winner of our race, Miss Inga Sock, was ridden by Georgia Cox, who is apprenticed just round the corner from here to William Haggas (and who is pictured in this paragraph's photograh, on Kryptos this morning) and who is not only one of the best apprentices in the country but also one of the most diligent.  Her professionalism, work ethic and thoroughness of preparation is second to none, and she deserves any success which she achieves - which is plenty because she only really started to get going last season, and she has already ridden 45 winners.  On both occasions last week, therefore, I can genuinely say that, while obviously I would have preferred to see our horse win, I was happy to salute the victory of the horse who did.

Another others' victory (if that makes sense) which has given me pleasure (colossal pleasure, in fact) has been the triumph today of Dream Walker in the 100,000-euro EBF Ahonoora Premier Handicap at Galway, repeating his mighty win in the race last year in at least as exhilarating style.  He is a true marvel (as is his trainer Brian Ellison, who was saddling the winner for the fourth year in a row, and who supplied the trifecta) and this triumph, I think, takes the tally of victories for the offspring of Minnie's Mystery to 32.  She has given me plenty of reasons in the past to describe myself as a proud breeder, but never more than today.

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