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On wishes and horses

This blog was named for horses like this fellow.

Happy Boxing Day indeed.

Boxing Day Wishes

Fifteen people had already found their way to the blog today by typing in ‘Boxing Day wishes’, so I decided to make my own wish.

I dreamt about the King George last night, I was looking for Kauto Star’s colours coming up to the line at Kempton. It looked like a photofinish…

Putting it all in

It’s probably a bit bogus to compare attitudes in horses to attitudes in people, but its my blog so I will do it anyway.

I was enjoying a bit of a re-run of yesterday afternoons racing with AMB before the England Five Nations match (cue WBWC) and we were pretty happy to watch her morning pick Quinz win the Racing Post Chase at Kempton. She was happy because she had backed him some and I was happy for that reason, but also because I was reminded about horses and their ways. We had been to a Cheltenham preview night a few nights before and Phillip Hobbs, the trainer of Quinz, had mentioned the horse didn’t take much racing, which AMB had duly noted. We could then concur that perhaps this RP Chase was his Cheltenham, although it is looking like he may go to the Grand National (16/1).

Anyway, during the race, Quinz was making a good effort from the front before turning for home wherein the extravagantly priced (50/1) Mount Oscar started to look a bit ominous. In fact, for a time between the penultimate and last fence, it pretty much looked like Quinz was going to lose. But he didn’t. He jumped the last the best of the pair and then stuck on, dug deep, pulled more out and stayed on for pressure to the line – take your pick from the bag of racing cliches – and as I watched, and was glad, it seemed more than evident why the horse didnt take much racing: he was giving his all.

Loads of horses dont. They are bridle merchants, or need a late charge, they curl up in the shadow of the post, won’t go past one sticking its neck out, find nothing for pressure etc. etc. Its made me wonder what the majority of humans are like. If they are sensible they will, like some horses, keep a little back for themselves. If they don’t, they’d be a bit like me and Quinz – needing a long lie-down in their stable before the next effort is asked for.

The Guv’nor

MJ made it known early in our relationship that he viewed Computers and the Internet as, if not quite the Devil’s work, certainly in league with Pandora and her Box. He would not have said it like that though, because he is not a waffler like me.

I have therefore respected his anonymity as far as I can, but writing every day, sometimes about one’s own life, things creep in. So, given his embargo on entering the WickedoldWorldofWebdom, I call him by different titles, depending on my mood.

His alter egos thus far are:

The Rebel MC, White Van Man (I wanted to call him White Van, Black Man but was too cautious), the Other Side of the Bed, the Other End of the Sofa (usually the Other Sofa lately given his need to recline) and for the last decade The Guv’nor.

So, I am introducing his aka s and the photo link of him joining in, in his own inimitable style, last October on a family day out with grudging permission. I asked for a statement: no quotes please he said. So that’s that I’m afraid. That’s the key to muddling along if you ask me. Everyone interprets life in their own unique way and to start messing around with that freedom is asking for trouble. Let seated men stay seated. Let football fans watch football and let racegoers go racing whenever the mood takes their fancy.

I thought about going to Kempton today with its magnificent seven races including a Listed filles contest, but the thought of having to take four kids with me was a bit of a deal-breaker. Then I thought about going to the dogs, as I am going to rekindle that flame prior to the Greyhound Derby in May. Five meals in a basket and five lots of combination trifectas (or whatever they are called) on the Tote for each of 12 races was also a bit of a heartstopper. I have therefore settled on outdoors at Hadleigh Castle and feeding Billy the Goat at the adjacent farm. I happen to know that the farm used to do one of the best coffee cakes in the land, so I’m hoping not much has changed there. It’s the thought of that and a cup of tea that is sustaining me 🙂

I want that one

This is the distilled system in the ceaseless quest for a maiden winner.

Arry’s Horse 1.40 @ Lingfield – owned by Harry Redknapp, but that is not a contributory factor in the selection, merely a point of information. Likely to be a fav too, also not a factor.

Killing Moon 6.00 @ Kempton

Proceed with caution

NB: This post comes with a dashed off quickly warning.

The jumps comes back today at Kempton and also at Huntingdon (after passing a second inspection). This recent inconvenient weather will have interrupted exercise regimes for some horses. I know that some trainers, who are near the coast, have been taking horses down to the beach for gallops and we can be sure that those horses are probably going to have a fitness edge on their more land-locked rivals. Obviously some trainers will have better facilities to cope than others, and some will have been harder hit and for longer, so rather like the weather forecast it is going to be pretty difficult to predict. Without the benefit of paddock-side view I will just pass on the information that Ferdy Murphy, Evan Williams (entries tomorrow @ Ffos Las) and Victor Dartnall (entries next week) have been using the beach. There will be more, but you are going to have to work those out for yourselves!

I also read that Lucy Wadham has been using Godolphin’s facilities at Newmarket and was rewarded for her efforts with a winner at Southwell this week in the all-bumper card run on the fibresand. Nicky Henderson had a good few winners that day too, so we can surmise (no surprise there though) that his facilities are pretty much up to scratch in the big freeze.

I have looked at the Lanzarote Hurdle today and Henderson’s Tasheba is currently just shading favouritism from Venetia William’s Aachen. I think Aachen might go off favourite. I am not convinced about the step-up in trip for Tasheba where it is obvious that it will be right up Aachen’s street. We will see. I will also be testing the “off a break” theory in this race, combined with different fitness regimes mentioned above. I am aware I am stretching my own credulity a bit with this each way selection – Fenix, trained by Lucy Wadham and off the track for 819 days! I have popped this one in a speculative Lucky 15 with the two Johnston horses I expect to win the 6f and 1m maiden races at Lingfield as well as Bridge of Gold at 15.40.

I am expecting some favourites to get turned over today on the NH cards and I am feeling quite chipper about Aachen, my only niggle is how they’ve got on in the weather up in Herefordshire as he’s making his seasonal debut. Anyway good luck, I think we will need it!