2 Results Found For: October 2015

17th October 2015

What a remarkable horse Fire Fighting is. Last night, at Dundalk he won the Listed Carlingford Stakes by five lengths. That was his 22nd start of 2015. But, if we look a little further back through his relatively short career, we see that it was his 37th start since May 2014.

Even more fascinating is that, when looking at his training record, I see, since the 8th January 2014, he has only twice had two consecutive days when he was not ridden. Those were when travelling to and from Dubai.

In January 2014 he was coming back from a complete break and he had 27 days walking and trotting before he commenced cantering. Since then, the longest period he has had without cantering is 22 days in December 2014 when we were preparing him for Dubai.

It is remarkable because, in most sports and particularly in horse racing, it is very unusual for an athlete to go two years in training without some form of injury enforcing a period of rest. But it does make me wonder how many other horses might thrive on constant training and racing. Fire Fighting, like every other horse, had at least one run during that period when the jockey got off and said he needed a break. It is an easy thing to say and, if you give a horse a break, it is impossible to prove that it was the wrong decision. They can’t get beaten if you don’t run them but, then again, they can’t win either. It depends whether you are judging your horses on their best performances or their worst. Fire Fighting has suffered many defeats but last night he performed as well as at any time in his 48 race, three year, career.

16th October 2015

My apologies for the lack of recent blethering but I have been, as my Australian friends would say, ‘flat out as a lizard drinking’ at the sales. As I write I am still at Tattersalls for Book 3 but, after a count up of my purchases last night, I have decided that I can’t buy any more until I clear some of those that are on the shelf. I currently have thirty yearlings available for sale which is a record for me but I have been aiming to buy the same numbers as last year and they have not been finding owners as quickly as in the past. Last year’s buying spree was driven by some uncertainty at the time about my numbers for this season but the formula worked so well that I am determined to try and repeat it with similar numbers in 2016.

So, today I find myself at a horse sale but trying to keep away from the ring for fear that I feel compelled to buy another horse. Hence, a few moments to read the Racing Post and do some blethering.

I will not be at Ascot for Champions Day tomorrow and I see Tom Marquand, the leader in the apprentice jockey championship race, won’t be there either as he has opted to ride at Catterick where he can get more rides. Silvestre de Sousa will be there to be crowned Champion Jockey as he is 36 winners clear of William Buick but it should surely have occurred to organisers that, if it was a close run thing, the excitement might be at Catterick rather than Ascot. Silvestre has no rides booked after Ascot on Saturday and it looks like he will be sticking with his plan to depart for the United States as soon as the championship is over. It is interesting to note that, if the championship was based on all rides in 2015, he would still be in front but only four ahead of Like Morris and I think we could rest assured that he would not be leaving to ride abroad.

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