Another St Leger Preview – because they’ve been watering and I’m wavering!
Apparently Town Moor was riding firm with a loose top yesterday, loose ground is my pet hate. It gives the impression of one thing but the horses are feeling quite another. Presumably the clerk is watering to keep the Classic field intact. He is certainly not putting enough on to effect any change in the going. Some trainers hate courses watering, believing it to be to the detriment of the turf in the long run. The thinking is that light, regular watering (unlike rain deluges) encourage short root growth eventually compromising the durability of the grass. Sounds plausible to me, but I am no expert. I only know I don’t much like the top coming off.
I watched the Morning Line this morning, I’ve not watched in months but I needed some insight for the Ledge. I didn’t get any really 😦 We did have Peter Chapple-Hyam on though and he was pretty interesting. He still doesn’t seem convinced about his horse, Monitor Closely. He also seemed pretty nervous and admitted as much. That said, he looks to live on his nerves. I stood next to him a few seasons back at the Craven meeting where he had nice little 2yo colt running. He was fagging it like a good ‘un and twitching like a villain (which he isn’t!). In the end the horse didn’t load which may have accounted for his nerves but he does look like he suffers. Which would make you more nervous though; appearing on the Morning Line, fielding a horse that might win, or running a horse that won’t?
I also like Monitor Closely! I like his white face (apparently the owner’s prerequisite for purchase!). I like his sire, Oasis Dream, and having seen again his last win I like his style. There is also the issue of sire stats. Oasis Dream’s progeny actually post their highest win to run ratio between 12-13f where the figure is a staggering 25%. At the sprint distances, where he is anecdotally prepotent, his progeny post a (still impressive) 17%. Fair enough, we are going 14f today but Monitor Closely didn’t look like he was stopping “that day” (to borrow from Emma Spencer) and he led from 1f out, which most of us would consider is doing it the hard way.
I wonder if the white face wins it?
So, that’s it. Mastery already backed e/w and soon to be joined by Monitor Closely.
I also need to wish Yeats all the best for his turn round the soggy Curragh in the St Leger this afternoon. The trip and ground are all against him but there will never be a more popular winner welcomed back if he wins this afternoon in his last Irish race. I hope he wins, but there are dangers lurking in the royal blue, the Aga’s green and red and in the mare going to Melbourne.
Good luck Yeats!