Saturday was a disappointing day. Mon Michel was running at Kempton, and having given the matter some thought I concluded that at 14-1 he was an outstanding bet. I don€™t normally proactively tip my horses, but I decided to share the good news. I rang my mother, my uncle and my sister and told them to have a good bet €“ I also rang one of my wife€™s friends. It was Mrs Goggins€™ birthday, and all of my in-laws came round for a small party €“ I shared the news with them and my brother-in-law headed off to the local bookies having collected money from everyone. I headed off to the racecourse, arriving 30 minutes before the race.
I met up with Rodger and Gary Moore €“ Jamie Moore joined us in the ring. There were two concerns about the race. Jamie felt that the horse liked it soft on the gallops but hadn€™t liked it as much when it had been really heavy €“ the ground was reported as soft with heavy patches, and the early feedback was that it was pretty desperate. It was also apparent that every jockey in the race had been instructed to hang back early, and no-one was prepared to make the running €“ Jamie thought that when the tape came up they would all just stand there and wait, which was exactly what happened. Mon Michel didn€™t settle in the early stages, but he got going after about three fences and for a while was looking as if he might run a race. At the third last he lifted his head and started to slow up €“ he trailed in a distant fifth of six.
Cheltenham looks out for him now €“ we have an entry for the Triumph but he is unlikely to get in and in any case we have to assume that he isn€™t good enough at the moment. He may run on Friday at Newbury and he could run well, but I won€™t be recommending him to anyone and I may not back him. I think he has ability but he might not be the most genuine and he may need better ground. I€™ll be keeping my head down at family gatherings for a while.
Sunday was a quiet day. I was in a very reflective mood, thinking about the horses and a few things at work. I€™m an obsessive thinker, and often I get so deep in thought that I don€™t function properly otherwise and do odd things. My wife is used to it, and she refers to them as my €œBert moments€ €“ I had a quality Bert moment on Sunday morning when I stopped at a green traffic light.
I was on my way to the dump €“ the car was piled high with boxes blocking my view in the rear view mirror, and I had the music on full blast. I sat there waiting for the lights to change, but it was a pelican crossing and it wasn€™t going to happen. After a few minutes a load of cars started filing past me, and someone shouted out something rather rude €“ in my side mirror I could see about 15 cars lined up behind. I drove on to the dump with a red face.
I don€™t enjoy looking like a fool, but it happens to me more than most and I€™m pretty philosophical about it. One thing I see time and time again in my business life is people who won€™t challenge or ask questions when they should because they€™re worried it will show them up as ignorant. I never do this €“ I tend to say exactly what I think (always politely) €“ and although it sometimes lands me in sticky situations I think it€™s the right long term policy. In a similar vein in life in general I€™d rather be on the field than in the stands. It€™s a combination of having to speculate to accumulate and learning from one€™s mistakes €“ if you€™re not in the mix then you won€™t progress. This blog is a good example €“ I€™m not sure I know why I€™m doing it but it might take me somewhere interesting so I€™ll give it a go to find out.