Thursday, November 19, 2020

A happy night

Our trip to Wolverhampton on Monday was pretty bloody special!  It has been a long road back from the wilderness with Kryptos, who had last won at Doncaster on St Leger Day in September 2017.  After that day, he didn't even run again for 33 months, until June 2020 - and now he's won again, in November 2020.  One never knows whether they will be able to return after suffering from tendon trouble, so it was enough of a relief when he did finally resume at Newmarket on 7th June and come out of his resumption unscathed.  After that he mostly ran well while taking a bit of time fully to come back to himself, but we'd had some disappointments when we'd struck some of the very soft/heavy tracks which have been a feature of the second half of this truncated season.

He ran extremely well in the Cambridgeshire - only 16th, but second on the unfavoured far side - but we'd ended up running him on heavy ground twice since then.  He ran fairly well both times - second at Nottingham and third at Newmarket - but basically he wasn't able to show his best form in the quagmire.  What would happen when he got onto the Tapeta?  Logic said that he should relish not racing in the mud, but it's always a step into the unknown when a horse has his first run on the AW; and doing so from barrier 12 is a further complication.  But all was well that ended well: he did relish getting off the heavy ground and won well under a 10/10 ride from Megan Nicholls, who thus notched her 95th winner and lost her claim, which made the occasion even more special.

That win with Kryptos would have been very special whoever had owned him, but it was doubly so because he is owned by someone who really deserved a good result: Tony Fordham, who had borne the disappointment of Kryptos' tendon injury with extremely good grace, suffered the very long convalescence stoicly and coped very well with the few slightly disappointing runs which circumstances had conspired to bring about since his resumption.  Tony really deserved this victory and it was wonderful to see Kryptos carrying his colours back in the winner's enclosure.

It would be nice to think that The Simple Truth (seen in the third and fourth photographs under Nicola Currie) could take the same silks there at some point in the next few months.  He's been frustrating, not yet fulfilling his potential by doing too much wrong in his races, being too headstrong.  Because of that we'd kept him to sprinting, which really shouldn't be his metier, but we just couldn't have run him any farther while he was so fired up.  He's Roy's half-brother and the ray of hope always came from the recollection that Roy used to be like that, and didn't win his first race until he was five.  Even now he can spoil his chance in a race by pulling too hard if he isn't put to sleep at the back, and he's aged 10 so really should know better.

Roy, of course, finally came more than good, and hopefully The Simple Truth can do likewise.  He ran in the race after Kryptos, a maiden race (which he had no business being in with his 33 rating, but it was a case of running where we could as he needs racing) over the same 9.5-furlong course; and for the first time he raced like a (semi-)professional racehorse.  He had no chance of being competitive with the principals but he, at last, ran a respectable race to give us some hope for the future.  He isn't the finished article yet, but Monday was a massive step forward.  We can now say that he's ahead of where Roy was at the same stage, so hope can continue to spring eternal.

Das Kapital (seen with Jana in yesterday's sunshine in the fifth and sixth photographs) goes to Huntingdon on Saturday for his second hurdle race, so let's hope that he too can take a step in the right direction.  He weakened badly at the end of his first hurdle race after jumping well and travelling well for the first half of the race.  The ground on Saturday should be less heavy, it's a flat track and a shorter race (the usual two miles, compared to Fontwell's minimum trip of two and a quarter) so I hope that he'll do a bit better, although realistically he's likely to find himself meeting a few significantly superior horses at level weights in any maiden or novice hurdle.


glenn.pennington said...

It was lovely seeing Kryptos win and win well (helped by my having a shilling on him)

John Berry said...

Cheers, Glenn. Good to hear you were on. Best wishes, John