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More Pier

And why not.

On a side note: today was 2000 Guineas day. I had a bet for the first time since… I can’t remember when.

I lost.

On the upside it was a free bet and I did not chase it.

So yes, some things stay the same, as much as they change…

These are some kind of aerials, or radio masts on the pierhead. I imagine they are used by the RNLI for communications, but I don’t know. There is a tall ship coming to the pierhead at the end of the month. I am going to visit. I like ships; less sure about the actual sailing. Fortunately, that won’t be necessary to go aboard Atlantis. Thoughtfully they are holding something called ‘Open Ship’ as well as doing actual sailings. I am calling the expedition: research.

pieraerials

I also did the annual grass sowing in the garden. I am sure the neighbours were laughing at me, or heavily sighing. But, I will have grass come June.

Vive l’herbe!

Footstepsinthesand

Live Life Like Frankel (via On wishes and horses)

S’pose it’s the height of laziness to reblog your own post.

Note to Self: Fuck It & Live Life Like Frankel?

Live Life Like Frankel That is my motto from now on. It looks like fun… … Read More

via On wishes and horses

Live Life Like Frankel

That is my motto from now on.

It looks like fun…

2000 Guineas: Stand and Deliver?

I drove back to the county of birth of that famous highwayman last night in an absolute downpour. First I thought:

Have they got this rain at Newmarket? Damn. If so all my thoughts on the 2000 Guineas need re thunk and quick.

and

Damn! I left the cat out. She’s going to be so pissed off with me. Thank God the neighbour has built that funny little shed thing for her to sit in…

As it turned out Southend had not been wetted when I got there and as far as I am aware Newmarket has had had only a light sprinkling and not enough to change the ground description of good to firm.

In the past I have spent weeks going through the runners before the Guineas, but I haven’t had a minute this year. I’ve been trying to do my thinking as I’ve gone along. I’ve watched St Nicholas Abbey’s work at the Curragh, I’ve seen the Elusive one in the Craven and I’ve had eye-witness reports of the Greenham. My job today has been to try and be objective, whittle the big field down a bit to a handful of possibilities and to cross my fingers, a lot.

My shortlist:

Al Zir – I respect this horse but not entirely convinced overall
Fencing Master – I think this horse might run better than his fancied RP Trophy winning stablemate
St Nicholas Abbey – I am not in the habit of backing shorties from Ballydoyle in any case. Not convinced by overall profile and won’t be suffering from shock if it either doesn’t or does win. Great Chamberlain thought that I’m afraid!
Elusive Pimpernel – my idea of a winner. My negative was around the so called “flat spot” coming into The Dip in the Craven. Richard Hills said this morning it didn’t look to him like much of a flat spot, more a case of Ryan Moore waiting, but not in vain.
Dick Turpin – the runner my heart is most attached to. The head has some questions. He is clearly not held in as much regard as his stablemate Canford Cliffs (who does not make my shortlist for reasons of stamina), and is by a bargain basement sort of sire in Arakan. However Arakan came from a good family, despite his race career being not exactly glittering with Group prizes. Arakan’s sire Nureyev ran in the 2000 Guineas 30 years ago in 1980 and won, but was then disqualified for pushing and shoving. He caught a virus and never raced again. If Dick could avenge his grandad today I would be happy. No-one thinks he can really, but in the Greenham he was not stopping. I would settle for a place.
Awzaan – included because of his fine record over 6f as a 2yo. The general opinion seems to be he has too much speed for a Guineas horse having won the Middle Park and the Mill Reef stakes. The Newbury race was run in quite a slow time despite the ground being quick and on balance I reckon he would stay the mile. Possible winner, definite place prospects.

My proposed top three home would be (and I wouldn’t dream of ordering them):

Elusive Pimpernel
Awzaan
Fencing Master
Dick Turpin

Oh, that’s four. Damn.

Bee & My Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

This one of my few non-Rudi ravaged plants and one that has given me a lot of pleasure. That’s Rudolf Nureyev to give him his full name. Is it a sign…

A Mixed Bag

That’s what’s in my head this morning. I have started thinking about the 2000 Guineas next week and can’t help but wonder why Richard Hannon persists in his insistence that Canford Cliffs is his number one Guineas horse. After the Greenham last Saturday he said something along the lines of Canford Cliff would have won the race from his stable mate Dick Turpin if he hadn’t hung left, but horses don’t hang for fun, they are telling us something.

I think Canford Cliffs hung left because he was at the outer edges of his stamina limit. There is no doubt he is a speedy, classy individual, but the horse that finished off the race best was the winner and I am certain that of the duo the only one likely to improve again for the extra furlong of the Guineas is Dick Turpin. That’s not a given either, with the Greenham having been 14 days earlier and needs a whole new mulling over with the horse having been mooted for the Irish Guineas in any case.

Of course it is likely Hannons Senior & Junior (who always strike me as biznissmen not horsemen) are well acquainted with my theory and are mindful of the horse’s future career as a stallion as they continue to talk up Canford Cliffs Guineas chances. I will be very disappointed if the horse I consider to be their real live Guineas contender Dick, gets diverted to Ireland to leave the Rowley Mile clear for Canford because Canford Cliffs just cannot win. I don’t yet know who will though, that’s going to need some more time on the hob…

Sandown hosts the end of the jumps season to day with some nice flat races at the end of their mixed card. I toyed with the idea of going as I am in London later anyway, but other commitments have prevailed.
They are parading some of the season’s stars: Kauto Star, Imperial Commander and Deman were in the original line-up. Last year in the same parade Denman got loose and crashed out of the parade ring for a little canter through the crowd. A loose tank would have been quite a sight but he was quickly caught. I love Sandown very much. I like arriving on the train and walking across the course to get a real feel for the going before racing starts. Sundown @ Sandown is quite possibly perfect.

Anyhow, I’m not there, I’m here and I have looked at the card and I can’t decide on anything. I am a big Paco Boy fan but they say he may not want the ground and they may be right on this! I have looked at the Group 3 at 4.15 and I can’t say I like the look of that much either. Laaheeb looks very smart, but it is probably fair to say Crowded House and Tranquil Tiger might give him a race. Tranquil Tiger looked a bit worked up before running second in the Earl of Sefton last week and I have a suspicion he may prefer to race off a turn which he will get here today. I couldn’t select any one with confidence, although at the prices I will probably side with Henry Cecil’s quirky 6yo.

In the first, the flat v the jumps race, the flat lads will either be carrying lumps of lead or have made free with the pies – Kieren Fallon is riding at 11 stone and I think he’s got a good chance on Twilight Star.

Whatever, the jumps *is/are over: Long Live the Flat!

Dick Turpin: impressive as a 2yo

*either could work grammatically: the jumps’ season is/the jumps are…
I don’t care, I’m off duty.