Tanya's Blog - August 2015
Connoisseurs of the sport are not convinced this is the best Juddmonte International we’re about to see, but they paw over the figures and will dust down the archives to reveal a race of the highest calibre. I respect their abacus, but at times their analytical nature misses the point.
Races of this nature don’t come along very often, and although some will lose themselves in the hype of the match between Derby winner and dual 2000 Guineas winner, in 2015 we have not one, not two, not three but four outstanding colts spicing up the ten furlong spectacle.
Golden Horn, Gleneagles, The Grey Gatsby and Time Test, a varied bunch offering so much to debate, the race, in fact the meeting promises to be so good it ought to have warranted preview evenings aplenty.
Instead though, rather than proclaim to the world outside racing’s bubble, there has been hesitancy and in a way well founded. Mother Nature has intervened twice already to the best laid plans, robbing the King George of Golden Horn and the Sussex Stakes of Gleneagles so the rain needs to stay away.
I don’t know about you but this has been a treat of a season and rather than at times to pause, reminisce and enjoy what has gone before, there has been a sense of urgency to rush to the next contest. Much like a child at a birthday or Christmas ripping open the wrapping of each present without giving care to seeing what the gift is let alone valuing and showing gratitiude.
We won’t appreciate Golden Horn and Gleneagles until they’ve gone off to stud, but we should be hailing them and other major players, such as Muthmir, Muhaarar, Acapulco, Big Orange, Trip To Paris and the legend that is Sole Power.
Normally the flat code craves for equine personalities, this year it’s blessed with an embarrassment of riches and yet it’s treating it’s to some extent being complacent and possibly contemptuous. Rant over.
I’m not even going to attempt to pinpoint the winner of the Juddmonte International I had my one piece of luck many years ago when backing Terimon haven’t gone to that well since.
Also on Wednesday 19 August is the Great Voltigeur where I’m hoping Tashaar takes up his place, he is a three-year-old of immense promise and fingers crossed connections then supplement him into the St Leger. No need to go to in depth regarding the Doncaster selections, suffice to say that the danger to Tashaar would be Fields Of Athenry at York and Doncaster.
On to Thursday 20 August, the Lowther has immense potential as both Lumiere and Illuminate are amongst the entries. The former has been well backed for the 1000 Guineas, while the latter has an enviable CV already. On prices and the inexplicable record of Mark Johnston at this meeting (something I’m sure will receive imminent rectification), I’d have to be with Illuminate.
Friday 21 August what will you do? Will you let your heart or your head rule? Acapulco for the sensible option, or the sentimentalists like me, although I have backed Wesley Ward’s speedster, would like nothing more than Sole Power to lord it over the Knavesmire once more. No matter how many times you replay last year’s victory it’s very hard to comprehend how he gets up, but then has the cheek to ease up near the line!
The Ebor is full of quality, with the debate over where best to be drawn to be protracted and in the end probably irrelevant as all you need is luck in running. The horses are experienced in matters of big fields. I’ve gone for versatility in Quick Jack, he ran third in last year’s Cesarewitch, the same place in the Chester Cup, he won the Galway Hurdle and comes to York in tremendous order. My sneaky alternative is Wadi Al Hattawi, who was well fancied 12 months ago before bombing out. He hadn’t been seen since until returning at the Knavesmire in June under top weight, weaving through the field and pouncing late. He has been rested since as it may prove prudent that he is best when fresh.
While the racing fraternity are enjoying the Sprint Cup at Haydock I’ll be, weather permitting, sat at Lords for the ODI England v Australia, but there will be a personal interlude for a few overs to watch the race. Adaay currently an enticing double figure price along with Twilight Son are attracting my interest. Over the years it has proved beneficial to boast form over 7f. Adaay was a hardy winner of the Hungerford Stakes.
I’ve put in a line or two regarding the St Leger and that should bring me round to my next posting and by then my beloved American Football season will be underway, it all comes round too, too, quickly and before you know we’ll be in Gloucestershire!
On a personal note I found working for TurfTV disciplines, not only are they a fun, welcoming and hard grafting team. It has force me to study every single horse to meticulous madness prior to even getting to the place of work, doing it again in a short space of time in the minutes up to the race and then scrutinising the performance after, though I do loathe to play Ms Hindsight which all live TV lends itself open to. Otherwise watching races again and again live and record is good for memory retention.
The members of the Horseracing Bettors Forum were announced on Monday 17th August, marking a new era in the sport. I’m thrilled to be part of the Forum and along with the other members and Chair Simon Rowlands, there is a chance to channel your thoughts, collate your ideas, and find reasoning which will evolve to solutions to various matters or criticisms.
Please be part of this as you now have the opportunity to eradicate “if only”, it’s not to be squandered. To find out more there is a dedicated website and methods of communication. And if you see me or other members on course please come up and convey your feedback and opinions.
For now though hope like me you will relish the next few weeks of action and please come and say hello, until my next post.