Friday, July 31, 2020

Everybody's makin' it big but me

Elvis, he's a hero, he's a superstar
And I hear that Paul McCartney drives a Rolls Royce car
And Dylan sings for millions and I just sing for free
Oh, everybody's makin' it big but me ...
Neil Diamond sings for diamonds and here's ol' rhinestone me
Oh, everybody's makin' it big but me ...

Well, I hear Alice Cooper's got a foxy chick
To wipe off his snake and keep him rich
And Elton John's got two fine ladies and Doctor John's got three
And I'm still seein' them same ol' sleazos that I used to see
Oh, everybody's makin' it big but me
Yeah, everybody's makin' it big but me ..

And I wear the same mascara that Mick Jagger does
Well, I paint my face with glitter just like Bowie does
And I even put some lipstick on
That just hurt my dad and mom
Everybody's makin' it big but me
Oh, everybody's makin' it big but me ...
They got groupies for their bands
And all I've got is my right hand
And everybody's makin' it big but me ...

No, don't worry: I'm not losing the plot altogether.  Tomorrow is 1st August and we'll have had 12 runners (I think) in the two months since racing resumed on 1st June and the closest we've come to victory was when Hidden Pearl was beaten a short head at Catterick.  But that's OK: there are a few horses here who I think have decent prospects of success in the coming weeks.  But more immediately, I just wanted to highlight a few of my neighbours who really have been making hay while the sun has been shining over the summer.  And that presents a suitable opportunity for me to throw in a few Shel Silverstein lines which always make me chuckle (and thus create a bit of space to insert a few more photographs of this week's glorious sunshine).

Most notable is Charlie McBride, who trains at the bottom of the street.  He's been churning out a remarkable quantity of winners for someone who doesn't have many horses, the reddest of his many recent red-letter days coming when he sent four horses to a Wolverhampton evening meeting and came home with three wins and a second.  Charlie's immediate neighbour James Ferguson is also enjoying a very good season, meaning that Exeter Road really has been a great source of winners.  We just need Don Cantillon and I up this end of the street to do our bit, and Don's got a good excuse as he hasn't been having any runners!

Around the corner in the Fordham Road, William Jarvis and Chris Wall are both enjoying great seasons.  William's Group winner at Ascot on Sunday was a particular highlight, while Chris had a particularly special moment at Yarmouth this week when his apprentice Pam du Crocq rode her first winner on Hi Ho Silver, trained by Chris and owned by his wife Carol.  It's always good to see local apprentices getting going, and Pam's worked very hard to get to the position she's now reached.  Hers was a very popular win indeed.

Over on the other side of town, Sean Keightley has been mirroring Charlie in churning out a remarkable volume of winners for someone who only trains a handful of horses.  Masked Identity's win under Josephine Gordon at the July Meeting was an obvious highlight.  On the subject of Sean's stable, I think there's a fair chance that his apprentice Molly Presland will be Newmarket's next apprentice to ride her or his next winner. She's only had a handful of rides so far but rides very well.  Aside from Sean, the other trainers in Hamilton Road to be getting eye-catchingly good results are George Boughey and Amy Murphy, whose strike-rate this National Hunt season (and I haven't looked it up) must be Michael Dickinson-esque.

Elsewhere in Hamilton Road, Rae Guest is also having a very good season and is Stuart Williams, which almost goes without saying as he never has a bad one.  William Knight has done very well since moving into Rathmoy Stables in the first half of May, the most notable of his several winners having come at the Ascot Heath meeting in June.  The two biggest stables on that side of town, Simon & Ed Crisford and James Tate, are both also in very good form.

The two trainers in Hamilton Road who have only taken out a license this year, Terry Kent and Joseph Parr, should both be very satisfied with the starts they have made.  And you'd hope that Terry has further success not too far away as he has had two two-year-olds run very well at Wolverhampton this evening.  And a little farther afield we have William Stone, who trains somewhere near Balsham, enjoying another fine summer.  (Apologies to those who have also being doing particularly well - this purely subjective overview has, like Amy Murphy's strike-rate, been produced off the top of my head with zero research.  Like the rest of this blog, it's just the view from this particular bridge).

And as for this stable?  Well, hope springs eternal, and I hope that'll we'll get there too sooner rather than later.  We've had one runner this week: Kryptos on a glorious summer's evening in a mile handicap on beautiful ground at lovely Thirsk on Wednesday.  He'd run a shocker at Haydock the previous time and I went to Thirsk quite sombrely, thinking that another disappointment would be very hard to swallow.  Anyway, he did finish towards the rear again, but I was actually as un-disappointed as I could be with that.  This was nothing like the Haydock debacle, and I just think that we need to go a bit farther with him now.

He got the mile well as a three-year-old and even then we were on the verge of moving up to nine furlongs (in the Cambridgeshire).  He's six now, so it's easy to see that he might be best suited by going up to ten furlongs (or more).  The fact that he showed plenty of speed first up over a mile at Newmarket shouldn't be allowed to cloud the picture: if a horse doesn't show a bit of dash first up after an absence of nearly three years, he's never going to do so.  Anyway, hopefully we might be closing in on the target with him, as with a few of the others.  

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