Friday, November 17, 2017

Once more unto the breach, dear friends

It isn't actually a long time since we last had a runner - I think it was three weeks ago today, Roy at Newbury - but it seems longer.  But our gap between the season proper and the winter season (which mirrors the official gap, which inexplicably creates a twilight zone which runs from the end of what our overlords have decreed is the end of the season proper on 21st October and the start of the winter season on 13th November; so if you rode a winner during that period, too bad - it doesn't appear in any table, even if it's the Group One Racing Post Trophy) has seemed a long period.  But it will end tomorrow.

We have two horses in strong work at present.  Neither has run for us previously so it'll be an informative outing in both cases when they run - and that 'when' means Amenta tomorrow at Lingfield and Freediver at Wolverhampton on Monday.  The former has previously run three times (for Roger Charlton, one last year and two this year) while the latter has had two runs (for Sir Michael Stoute, last year) so they both have had some experience, but they're both still relatively unseasoned, so the outings should both see them learning about racing and us learning about them.

It'll be nice to be going to the races again.  In one sense I should be able to predict Amenta's performance better as I always ride her - which means, as the pair have been doing their galloping together (as in this photograph, taken by Emma, of them on Sunday, with Georgia Cox on this side on Freediver) in recent weeks, I've galloped her plenty but haven't galloped Freediver since the summer.  However, with Amenta it's hard to know what to predict as she has a tendency to be very headstrong and, while she's been very tractable at home recently, it cannot be guaranteed that she won't blot her copybook tomorrow.  Freediver is probably more straightforward. (I hope so anyway).  Whatever, let's hope that we get two creditable and promising runs which will encourage us to head on into the winter with both horses.

Joey Haynes will ride Amenta and Freediver will be ridden by Nicola.  Joey rode a winner for Amenta's owner Liam Norris a few years ago and was thus an obvious choice.  He hasn't ridden for us since he was an apprentice, but I've always been very happy with him and I particularly remember him giving Zarosa a beautiful ride to be placed in a staying race at Newcastle a few years ago.  I'm pleased to be using him again - and it goes without saying that I'm pleased that Nicola is able to ride Freediver (whom she is riding in this picture, taken yesterday).  She rode another winner today (on an 18/1 shot at Lingfield with a perfectly-judged front-running ride which deserved to be rewarded with victory) and would be an asset even without a claim.  As it is, her 7lb claim (which won't last much longer) is a gift.

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