King’s Head won nicely yesterday to give me my second successive Sunday winner and I think my first ever winner at Kempton. Fergus Sweeney gave him the perfect ride, dropping him in the middle but on the outside and making his move early to give him plenty of time to get going. He didn’t get too aggressive with him, and although he finished the race looking as if he had plenty left in the tank I suspect he gave about as much as he was prepared to give.
Nick Luck interviewed us after the race and asked me if I wanted him to be claimed. I ummed and aahed. It’s an odd question as my interests are best served by saying the opposite to what I think – if I want him back then he’s worth claiming and vice versa. I was fairly impartial – as it happens we had an approach from an owner at Gary’s yard and we claimed him back and sold him on at the same price.
It’s a nice way to exit, i.e. with a win. We got a fraction of what we paid for him, but we had three wins and we had a good bet on him. We will follow his progress and wish his new owner the best of luck.
I’m on beta-blockers now, and the effects have been dramatic. I generally struggle to watch my horses run as my heart races so much, but there were no problems yesterday. I played in an 11 player poker tournament in the evening and I drank a can of coke – later I slept throughout the night, which is unheard of for me. I was still a bag of nerves when I did my TV interview, but I guess you can’t have everything.
I was the first out of the tourney despite having a healthy chip position – I blew the lot in two consecutive hands, which is rather par for the course for me as I’m not the most disciplined player out there.
Blinds were £200-£400. First of the two, and I hold K-Q offsuit, sitting fifth. There is a raise to £1100 and I call – left of me goes all in for £4k. The raiser calls and I call – he has AA and neither of us hit. Second hand, and I hold 9-5 of hearts. The bet again is £1100 and I decide to call – the flop is H2-H3-S9. Again he bets £1100 and I go all in for my remaining £4k. I get called by A-J offsuit – I’m a big favourite but he hits a Jack and that’s that. Ho hum.
Jane and I have been watching the Sopranos – we bought the box set of the first series last week. Friends have been telling us for years that this is something to be watching but we’ve only just got round to it. It’s hard to describe – I was expecting it to be heavy going is but it’s very funny at times and also very thought provoking. Well worth the effort in my view.
The weather might mess with my racing plans this week. Peintre D’Argent goes on the all-weather and I’m hoping for a nice run – the concern is that she has a long way to come and there is a lot of snow forecast for Wednesday. I live very close to Sandown and it’s chucking it down at the moment – Sandown is heavy and will probably still be heavy on Friday With snow also forecast there has to be a good chance that racing will be off. I’m hoping it won’t be – I need to get runs into my two horses declared (Astrodome and Theophrastus).