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Age Quod Agis – Do As You Are Doing

I have cleaned the glass since

I’ve mislaid the camera, so am relying on the Blackberry.

Fingers crossed the actual one turns up soon.

This is an original, possibly by a well-known equine artist called Jacquie Jones (I think, in the process of verification). I found it in a charity shop earlier this month. Jacquie Jones is the artist in residence at the Newmarket Horse Racing Museum. I also think that this horse might be her ‘muse’: Age Quod Agis, a horse who won the July Stakes in 1980 at Newmarket as a two year old for Henry Cecil, Joe Mercer up. Jacquie ‘did’ Age Quod Agis who was owned by Daniel Wildenstein who is now deceased, but owned other good horses such as Ascot Gold Cup winner Westerner.

Anyway, one morning, when she was not riding work on the grey, he got rid of his rider on the heath and bolted into the road where he collided with a car. The young man driving was killed. Jacquie never rode again after that, but stayed on at the yard and nursed the horse for another six months before he went off to stud in America. She took up painting full time after that and says of Age Quod Agis

He comes to me in dreams. Not very often, but sometimes when I’m going through a low patch he’ll just appear. It’s almost as if he’s encouraging me on, saying ‘Yes, you’re on the right path’; it leaves me feeling very uplifted.”

'Elegance' by Jacquie Jones

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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…

You never quite know what a day might hold

Ely Cathedral

In my case, on this day, it was this.

And a fruitless hunt for Oliver Cromwell’s old gaff.

Was he good or bad my co-pilot asked?

Oh, a bit of both I suppose, I said.

From the back the 8 year old piped up: he was warty…
Christmas is sinful…music is sinful…dancing is sinful…

We played David Guetta on the way back.

Old Ironsides must be spinning in his grave.

Bad day @ the office

That would cover Richard Hughes’ day chasing the jockeys’ championship this afternoon at Newmarket. The scowl from him and his mount, Tale Untold, is probably due to being beaten into second by a short head in the valuable Fillies 2yo Trophy. No wonder she’s cutting her eye at me.

Things picked up a bit for our boy on Carnaby Street in the 16:50, where he was on the right side of another short head, but then the wheels really fell off the wagon. He left early to get to Wolvo, leaving Ryan Moore to clean up in the last on the Hannon trained 25/1 shot Lethal Glaze. Then matters really went downhill. Having travelled all the way to the West Midlands for some rides with chances, he was found guilty of using the whip with excessive frequency on Tallawalla who then only finished second. The only mount to oblige was Aviso by a neck in the last, wherein Hughes picked up a whopping seven day ban for causing havoc on a bend.

Hughes is appealing but with Paul Hanagan still holding the upper hand, having also ridden a double at Redcar, it looks like Richard Hannon’s son-in-law can kiss the jockeys’ title goodbye.

@Suffolk for the Cambridgeshire

I like this shot. I like to watch from the head-on stand, but whilst you can see the runners come into the dip from there, this photo gives a better sense of the camber they are dealing with. No wonder so many become unbalanced going into it.

I’ve had a look at the declarations, but with massive fields in the first two races and the ground going soft yesterday I couldn’t possibly pick anything out from those at the moment. I might be tempted by William Haggas’ Fury in the second if the paddock inspection offers some hope. In the Sun Chariot I would like to see Seta hack up, but she will only run if the ground is suitable according to Cumani. If she doesn’t run I will be back to banging my head on the Spacious door.

Big Saturday handicaps give me a rash. I managed to find the Cambridgeshire winner last year, Supaseus, in the paddock. A repeat performance is highly unlikely. I may have a closer look at the Irish raider Pires and Elliptical. Really I just want some fresh air and a day out…

Picking a winner – or not – by the light of the USB

Stephen Foster’s blog queried the new-fangled USB light the other day. So it has prompted me to take a day off from the handbag delvings and press the USB light I’ve had for over a year and a half (Christmas present 2008) into use. To see if it had one.

This is what I did with it.

That was after I had fumbled around in the gloom for a few minutes trying to work out how to switch it on – plugging it in is not enough. In due course I managed to press the right thing, not a switch but the whole base in only one particular sweet spot, and then there was Light and an Unusually Silvery Beam at that. Is it environmentally friendly? I don’t know. Did it effect the usually piss poor performance of my laptop? Hard to tell. If it is actually possible it seemed to run even slower than usual. Oh and the glare off the screen hurt my eyes, but I could see my keyboard better. I could really see the banana antibiotic medicine that my daughter helped me to throw all over it a few weeks ago (she helpfully loosened the childproof lid before I shook it…). It’s congealed between some of the keys and the touch pad and the laptop still crashes so the drugs still don’t work.

The light of a Spanish Moon would never have been so harsh (the blog loves a bad boy).

Polo: Argentinian Style

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I don’t really understand it, but it was a good afternoon out.

Mother Hubbard

Just a postscript to yesterday’s turn up: Dubawi is the only stallion by Sheikh Mo’s late beloved Dubai Millenium, so to sire a Classic winner with his first three year olds is a great achievement that will do wonders for his stud career. I saw Dubawi at the Darley stud in his first year of stud duties and he was a cheeky, chippy sort of chap. I can be happy about that.

The kids are going through a phase of calling me Mother Hubbard. There has been no mention of “Old” which is just as well! I have tested the theory of empty shelves on them in case it was a further slight on my domestic abilities, but they were *unaware of the dog and no bone connotation and therefore unlikely to extrapolate it to there never being much food in the fridge round here. If they had gone down that route I would have stood firm with the protestation that if it’s there, they just eat it thus rendering the shelves empty anyway…

I am playing a dangerous game today in the motherhood stakes. I am attempting to persuade them that an afternoon of Suffolk fresh air is just what they need. I last took them to HQ for Champion Stakes day a few years ago. The youngest was one year old and due to lack of sleep (!) I failed to pick a winner. The winners I failed to pick included Sir Percy in the Dewhurst, Sergeant Cecil in the Cesarewitch and Spanish Don at 100/1. It was a name day theme and I think that persistent underachiever trained by Brian Meehan called David Junior also featured. In order to conduct a paddock inspection I had the youngest strapped to my back in some kind of metal-framed papoose. Sorry if you were behind me that day.

Anyway, all this is a preamble to say: how can I preview the 1000 Guineas? It’s been raining overnight and the ground has eased to good/good to soft in places. It’s still forecast for light showers so by 2 p.m. we might be looking at soft. Either way, I don’t fancy Special Duty.

A look at the card tells me that I will also be renewing my long-standing and unprofitable Rowley Mile acquaintance with Spacious and that I will be closely examining her rivals Sariska and Strawberry Daiquiri on that basis alone…

As it stands the kids are being refuseniks. I have sold the dressing up angle hard (they are girls after all) and the oldest said “Yes I’ll dress up as a little witch and you (me) can dress up as a cat”. She was being sarcastic. Is the Rowley Mile ready for a makemeadiva appearance dressed as a cat? I think not.

So depending how bribery and persusion go I might get there, or not. My fancies for the day are:

Sariska in the Dahlia (maybe Strawberry Daiquiri)
Yarooh (big, big fancy in the 4.30 maiden)
Classic Vintage (not my fancy but borrowed – think ground should still be ok)

I am still trying to find a 1000 Guineas filly and I can only say that, if the ground continues to go, any close paddock inspection (without a child strapped to my back) will be of the following:

Seta, Misheer, Lady Darshaan, Pipette and Pollenator.

Sariska takes the Irish Oaks last year

*they are taking their inspiration from the Janet and Allan Ahlberg “Each Peach, Pear, Plum” illustrated classic for pre-readers.

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…