Keep on believing

I had a big day planned yesterday with four runners at Warwick. I’d done my homework on the racing the night before and booked up a car for the day – I also had my blog post written but I held back as I wasn’t sure if Maxwell Hawke was going to run.

Warwick were calling it good to firm – good in places, but were watering overnight to maintain. We spoke to them late morning and they said it was g/f, firm in places – we had a man on the course who said that it was “like a road”. In the space of half an hour all three of the Comic Strip runners were withdrawn. I decided not to travel up.

The one runner left was Quaker Parrot going in the first. I rang Tom – he said he wasn’t worried by the firm ground, in fact he thought she’d go well on it. I spent a while looking at the race and decided she was worth following – Richard rode a great race and she nicked it.

Great news for the partnership and the Timeform Betfair Raceclub, who’s colours she runs in. I called the guys up – they were really pleased but there had been a little negativity as their bulletin hadn’t suggested that she would win. All I can say to any TF/BF raceclub members who read this blog is that Tom is totally upfront and gives his opinions honestly, but also he tries to win every race he runs a horse in. He gave me no great encouragement to back Quaker Parrot but I decided to back her anyway as she was a long price and with Tom’s horses I know I’ll get a run for my money.

Later I travelled into town to the entrepreneur of the year assessment day. Ed and I won a prize in this 7 years ago and haven’t been back since – this year, with so many businesses having a tough time, they suggested we had another go. I was up for it – we’ll find out how we got on later in the summer. I popped in on a charity do after that and got home late. Today was my birthday – a quiet day planned.

The big stories for me come at the end of the week, with Marine Boy, Maxwell Hawke and Winker all running. They are all important runners, but Winker is the main one running in the group 1 Lockinge at Newbury on Saturday.

Most people will have given up on Winker by now. I’m not one of them – call me an optimist but I think he retains all of his talent and will deliver one day. Saturday might be the day.

With the benefit of hindsight I don’t believe Winker was ever right last season. He had a knee problem at the end of his 2yo year and had a lot of box rest – he had another problem immediately after that, which was as a result of the long box rest more than anything else. I don’t think he ever came right – it takes time to recover from these problems and he may not have had enough of it. This year he’s moving really well, but he may be carrying a few war wounds now – he didn’t enjoy his first run and ran a real stinker. A straight mile is perfect for him – he wouldn’t want it too firm. The conditions at Newbury may come up perfect for him.