A big day and I made arrangements to go to Newmarket – I decided to book a driver for the day. I had a few errands to run in the morning and I headed off a bit late. I slept most of the way there – when I have a driver I usually stay up late the night before knowing I’ll make it up.
The first item on the menu was Winker, who was having a racecourse gallop. I didn’t make it in time to see him. He was working with Striving Storm – apparently he impressed. Jamie Spencer rode, and also takes the ride in Chantilly as a supersub. He said some very positive things, although I tend to ignore such comments as jockeys are invariably positive to owners.
One possible exception here is Alan Munro, who is always cheerful but says it as he sees it. He was riding Bouguereau in the first, and I had a bet. He sat fairly comfortably in third or fourth until the three furlong pole and tried to boot him home from there, but he got run out of it late on.
It was disappointing. I’d love to do a groundhog day and have another go at the race, taking up the pace early and trying to run them ragged – I think those may prove to be the best tactics with him.
In the July Stakes both Pete and Tom Dascombe had fancied runners, and I was hoping they would come out well as I have 2yos working against both horses. As it happened they fought out the finish in a tight race, with Classic Blade of Tom’s just holding sway. A fantastic result for Tom, and his first group victory.
I was very positive. We went for some lunch at the Jockey Club rooms. I didn’t bet in the third race and lost a little on Papal Bull in the fourth. Maxwell Hawke was running in the fifth – he’d been working nicely and had worked with Sayif. He’d been plenty close enough to Sayif on the gallops and Sayif had nearly won a Group 2. I had a large bet.
It didn’t happen for him – he finished last of the five having never had a look in. He’d been colty in the parade ring and he hadn’t travelled down well. Coming back his action was terrible at first – he relaxed after a few furlong and started galloping properly, but it was a short lived effort. He was exhausted afterwards and blew for a long time.
I’m not really sure what to make of that. Obviously it’s disappointing.
I stuck around for a while and headed off after the last. Tom had a 2yo runner at Nottingham – I decided his 2yos were going so well that I’d have a real go at it and try to recoup my losses for the day. It turned out to be a 101 gubbing, nobbled close home by a rank outsider who had looked completely out of it earlier on.
At this point I was staring at my worst day’s betting ever – three large bets had gone down and half my profits from a good two month run were gone. Jeremy had tipped me a horse in the 8:30 at Nottingham. I had a go on that and it came in – I found another late winner and then called it quits. I managed to get back just over half of the days losses – still a terrible day’s betting but a recovery from the lows.
I walked the dog. All in all a bit of a depressing day, and I pondered on a few things. I’ve been betting all of my adult life, but I’m at a point now where the money doesn’t make any difference one way or another, and I keep pretty busy these days. Maybe it’s time to give up completely for a while just to see what happens – I might become more productive, or maybe I’ll go completely crazy. I may think on it a little longer.
For now all my thoughts are with Winker – a year and a day after his last run he will finally line up in a Group 1. Maybe my season is about to begin.