The ‘big horses’ as I called them as a child, were my absolute favourite way back when.
My heart still skips a beat when I see a proper carousel.
I went into a bookies for the first time in years today, to look at the card for the Derby. I wanted to check for stamina in the winner’s damsire, but the Racing Post was firmly weighted down under the sharp elbows of a serious old gentleman who was holding forth around one of those plasticky tables they have in those joints, so I left without the information I wanted.
I am not so fond of the Derby that I am desperate to back a 13/8 winner, but I was certainly glad for the owner (Oppenheimer), trainer (Gosden) and jockey (Dettori) – particularly the former two who had decided it was worth supplementing the colt for the race.
I did not venture back into the bookies. I am quite glad I didn’t too. I would have backed the winner with my only fiver, and then tomorrow I would have had to traipse back to collect the small winnings. I mean, who needs that kind of hassle on a Sunday. Now, if I had backed the 50/1 Oaks winner on Friday, it would have been a different proposition altogether.
There’s not much to go on for today’s Classic. A bunch of mainly beautifully-bred, well trained colts taking on the idiosyncracies of the Epsom course, it’s difficult not to make a reasonable case for most of them at least making the frame. There’s a good chance that the uneasy favourite Jan Vermeer will win, his jockey Murtagh said this morning he has got speed and balance, the key ingredients to win the race. That would be too boring for this blog, so we have a shortlist of three. The three are based on a vision of them all coming sweetly down the hill. If you’ve never been to Epsom it is hard to describe the fearsome camber that slopes away to the farside rail. Imagine yourself, not only running full tilt downhill, but on ground that is uneven under your feet and you will have an insight into what these lads face this afternoon.
Cassia, who was absolutely brilliant company at the Oaks
I couldn’t leave the blog crying over the laptop, so to cheer myself up I shall be looking forward to this Guineas weekend at Newmarket and the heats of the Blue Square Derby @ Wimbledon that start this Friday night.
Without even looking I know I am going to be supporting the son of Westmead Hawk, Westmead Osprey, although this dog will be up against it as he is quite a youth. Mistley Colonel is a 250/1 outsider but as a son of the great Hawk himself a couple of speculative quid is going to be going his way.
This year looks like a great field of dogs. Some come into this with great records but things having not quite gone right for them recently. To be honest I have still not got over the sale and closure of the Stow and do not attend as closely to the form as I used to but I can see stand out dogs like the fav Fear Zafonic, Ninja Jamie, Ballymac Ruso, Barnfield on Air, Ballymac Under and Blonde Dino (who is probably a bit old now but it didn’t stop Loyal Honcho last year!)
I know Barnfield on Air is coming back after a long lay-off and he has question marks especially during such a gruelling contest but there is just so much to look forward to here that I would urge everyone to think about taking a trip to Plough Lane over the next few weeks 🙂