Wednesday 24 July
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
We saw it all yesterday - the good, the bad and the ugly!! Lets start with the good - Ogee was fantastic! With morning rain turning the ground soft there were 4 non runners in his race leaving a field of just 3. Ogee has been running in some competitive big field races, on quick ground, and as he is not getting any younger, they have had him off his feet for most of the way - it has only been his cast iron resolution that has kept him in his races. Although a lot of folks thought the softer surface would not suit yesterday, the yard felt that the slower pace would definitely help him, and the emphasis on stamina would be more suitable. With regular pilot Jimmy McCarthy taking the ride he took it up heading to the last and won by 1 1/2 lengths. A brave performance, and as Jimmy jumped off him in the unsaddling enclosure he announced his immediate retirement. In his interview with Luke Harvey, Jimmy was very kind about Mrs Robeson and said he had wanted to bow out on a winner - and it had to be Ogee - who had given him a Grade 1 win in Aintree. The lads all came out of the weighing room, and champ AP McCoy presented him with a bottle of fizz. Jimmy has been very good to the yard, winning their only 2 Grade 1's, including when being called on as a late replacement to ride Olney Lad to win at the Punchestown Festival for us! He also steered Cettis Warbler to success in the Listed Mares Chase Final as well! We wish him well in his new job as assistant to Jamie Osbourne. Now the bad - Tara Dancer was very disappointing in the mares novice hurdle. Ridden by Paddy Brennan she seemed to travel well for a long way before being left behind a little too easily. Paddy reported that she has a severe breathing issue that needs to be sorted. He also said she was very green, and clueless, running most of the way 'on one breath' meaning she has not learnt the rhythm of racing. He hunted round on the inside on what was better ground, but even that was too soft for her. Paddy was excellent in his debrief and told us exactly how things were, he said she would win a race, but that it would need to be after she has had two more runs, a wind operation, and a few months off. After which he could not guarantee what sort of quality a race it would be, and indeed if she would win more than 1. The cost of implementing this plan (which is the only route open to us) works out at £9,500, and we will do some hard thinking over the next couple of days to assess if this will be money well spent, or if we are not better off consolidating with Guest Of Honour (who at least we know has plenty of ability) and reassessing about a Tara replacement in the spring. Your thoughts are very welcome (please email me). And Finally The Ugly!! Well that could only be me! After At The Races presenter, Luke Harvey decided to do a brief interview with me live on air, and began it with the phrase ' we need to add a bit of glamour to proceedings'!!! Oh Luke - you silly boy!! Photos will follow later today!
Tara Dancer In The Paddock
Jimmy Mac announces his retirement to the world after winning on Ogee
A P McCoy presents Jimmy McCarthy with a bottle of fizz, along with a rapturous round of applause from his colleagues!!