Tuesday, October 13, 2020

A wet autumn

I think that I wrote the last chapter saying that we were abandoning plans to run Kryptos at York because the 5.7 GoingStick reading was the lowest at the track since 2013.  I'm glad we didn't run because it actually got even lower as the race(s - we were entered in two) approached.  5.7 on the Thursday.  5.6 on the Friday.  5.5 on the Saturday.  What was particularly helpful is that the course told us that the GoingStick reading for the centre of the straight was fractionally higher than that for the ground along both the stand's rail and the inside rail.  That was great service, telling us that: takes both the effort and the guesswork out of trying to find the best ground.

So what we're doing is heading to Nottingham tomorrow. Again we have the GoingStick to thank.  The ground is and has been 'soft, good to soft in places'.  But that can mean anything.  According to the GoingStick, however, it genuinely does mean somewhere between good to soft and soft.  And I'd be happy enough with that.  I was hopeful because (a) the weather hasn't been as bad in the middle of the country as it's been in East Anglia and (b) Nottingham's season did not begin until September, so the track won't be as battered as it is elsewhere.  And the GoingStick confirms that it won't be the usual Nottingham autumnal quagmire because the reading is roughly two points higher than it generally gets down to at this time of year there.

So I hope that Kryptos will run very well there.  He ran well in the Cambridgeshire, although you wouldn't necessarily know it from his finishing position, as he finished a good second over on his unfavoured side of the track.  (It wasn't that we hadn't done our homework, but rather that our low draw - four of 29 - basically meant that we, and the others who stayed over on that side, basically had to go there).  Tomorrow's race will obviously be considerably less competitive, so let's hope that we can get a very good run.

Other than that, it's basically been a case of weathering the weather, as it often is at this generally fairly demoralising time of year, when one is becoming accustomed again to inclement conditions when the glorious days of summer have gone and the days are getting consistently shorter and the weather is getting generally less pleasant.  Still we plod on - and that's the case for everyone, even for a champion trainer such as Aidan O'Brien, who really must have found the double whammy of the Gain feed contamination and the wrong-jockeys-on-horses debacle at Newmarket hard to swallow.  It's a testing game for everyone!

Aidan's a perfectionist and he must have been scratching his head as things unfolded at Newmarket, clearly his responsibility despite the fact that he wasn't even in the country when the mistakes were made.  It's amazing that this can have happened twice in the same year - the previous occasion was back in March when the Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig stable managed to put the wrong jockeys on two runners in the Bendigo Guineas - and I can only repeat the observation which I made back then.  The most baffling aspect for me is that neither of the people leading the horses up noticed the error.  I couldn't understand that back in March, although in this more recent instance one can see how they might have both failed to identify their rider as the jockeys would have been wearing masks, which does make things difficult.

Still, I suppose that that debacle is easier to understand than the strange situation we have concerning the government's continued refusal to allow a controlled number of spectators to attend sporting events, including race-meetings.  We just keep seeing and hearing more and more non-sequiturs which make a nonsense of this.  We can start with the car-boot sales at racecourse, proceed via Boris Johnson urging people to go to the cinema (strange but true) and continue on to two more strange things which were brought to my attention today.  Firstly, one can buy tickets to go to the circus and secondly, almost unbelievably, the London Palladium is playing to what look like fairly full houses.  It's a pretty pass we've reached if we are feeling sorry for racecourses, but I do feel really sorry for them at the moment.  I really do.

1 comment:

neil kearns said...

Couldn't agree more with your final paragraph , how a few hundred spectators dotted around a race course , or a few thousand in the likes of Old Trafford or Twickenham are a danger is completely beyond me , i have heard no logical coherent reason given by any minister or scientist how spread numbers in the outdoors are more contagious than kids in schools or people on public transport it totally baffles me .