Blog Archives

Hoof It

The blog has not had much time or inclination to entertain, or be entertained, lately but I did manage to watch the Nassau Stakes and the Stewards Cup from Goodwood last Saturday. Aftertiming is a disgusting habit as all punters will know, nonetheless, after not having had a bet for ages I was very much taken with Hoof It’s appearance and was therefore prepared to overlook both his joint favouritism and top-weight of ten stone.

Looking at the horse, with his deep chest and powerful engine, I concluded he would be well able to carry the weight. And he was, and more impressively than I could have hoped. He was a joy to watch, and you should take those when you can in my experience, as they can come few and far between in a gambler’s life.

The horse’s owners are supplementing him for the Nunthorpe @ the Ebor Festival I think. Good.

Hoof It and Kieren Fallon coming home well - ears pricked

Derby Day: Part II

The Queen *curtsies* not Carlton House *admires nostrils*

Well, well, well. Kieren Fallon comes a cropper in the law courts.

Native Khan’s owner, Ibrahim Araci, has been successful in his appeal to prevent Fallon from riding Recital this afternoon and the sensational story has usurped the favourite in the market, the Queen’s horse, in the racing headlines.

Going into the race it has all been about Her Maj’s Carlton House and his twanged leg tendon. Now we will be hanging off our seats going round Tattenham Corner to see if Fallon’s intended mount, Recital, is running like a Derby winner and Native Khan’s Araci will be wanting right to be on his side for the second time in a day in the UK.

Imagine the equivalent in another sport? Injunction prevents footballer playing in a Cup Final. Legal ramifications may abound. But that’s for another day.

Today we have the Queen, the Aga Khan, the Turk and the Irish, plus a billion punters. What story are they going to back this afternoon with so many to choose from.

Now, with a little help from the judge, one of the most intriguing narratives of the day belongs to Recital.
Pat Smullen is forgoing a date in Tramore, Ireland this afternoon and hot-footing over to the Epsom Downs to partner Recital. I don’t really rate the form of that horse myself – Fallon may know better than me of course, but I would like to see Native Khan come home in front of that one, for both the craic and on pedigree.

Then there is Carlton House, belonging to the Queen. She has never had the Derby winner, so a first winner for her and a sixth winner for her trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, would be a nice headline for the Sunday papers. Better yet that she saves her first winner of the Derby for her Diamond Jubilee year (that’s 2012)?

Best story: Native Khan wins, making Fallon a liar and a fool
Second best: The Queen wins and a nation rejoices
Third best: Recital wins and the British justice system prevails

Ok, not buying that analysis? Try this instead.

Ballydoyle run 4 – yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn. Of the four, I would take Seville.

I can’t have anything by Montjeu today so that narrows things down nicely. And I find I am bored of typing now so I will leave it as a combination forecast involving Native Khan, Seville and Vadamar. Oh I am nothing if not rigorous in my analysis…

Native Khan's sire: Azamour - an exceptional looking horse

This blog is now sponsored by:

When things aren’t going well I always find it useful to change the subject. So, whilst I may actually spend some time over soggy form in the week – I won’t be mentioning it. But I don’t want to change the subject on a completely bum note. We had some good races this weekend and it’s been fun, if not entirely financially rewarding.

I managed to take some pictures yesterday, one of my good winner Fury, so before I start blogging about, ooh I don’t know, X Factor or Strictly I will just post these up and get some “closure” on a big weekend of racing.

The roan/dun pony Fury, who was a facile winner

Sharp suits, tight fists and a Strawberry Daiquiri

My pin up: Seta not Kieren

She didn't win, but I still love her

Watching the Derby-winning former jockey watching them go down (minding the kids too)

My sponsor

The silver lining to Arc weekend

^_^

And now I’m going to read my Sunday paper. I may be a while.

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.

Kieren Fallon punched in the paddock

This unseemly incident happened this afternoon at Lingfield. Apparently an owner of two horses in the second race (David Reynolds) came over to where Fallon was unsaddling his mount and punched him in the face.

I don’t mind admitting there was a time when I would have paid good money to see that, especially after a Group race in the summer perhaps at Royal Ascot, but I’ve revised my opinion somewhat of Mr Fallon. Besides what I may or may not think, it not the proper way to carry on if you are an owner. It would seem that the favourite The Scorching Wind, who was one of the horses owned by Reynolds, was seriously hampered by Fallon’s ride Elna Bright as it appeared to lose its action and was practically pulled up.

God knows how much money the owner had backed it for.

Still, there’s nothing worse than a bad loser and as Fallon said afterwards: it’s fine he punches “like a girl”.

Kieren not being punched in the face