… and treat those two imposters just the same… I’m not sure I agree with Rudyard Kipling on that one – I definitely prefer triumph to disaster and I’ve seen a bit of both this week.
Authorized‘s defeat last week was a blow – I was hoping he’d have an unbeaten 3yo year. I’m less comfortable with the tactics of the O’Brien team in cutting off the pacemaker than some – it makes me wonder where the line should be drawn. The plan apparently had been to come up the stands side, but Frankie changed his mind mid manoeuvre. We’ll never know if Notnowcato deserved it or if he nicked it – I think the latter but that may be unfair on him. Ryan Moore proved what a star he is for anyone who hadn’t worked it out already.
I went to the Wimbledon Men’s final on Sunday, and it was a real classic. I grew up in Wimbledon and as a child I was obsessed with the tennis. Borg was my hero – when McEnroe beat him in 1981 I left my house with tears running down my face, the only time I can remember that happening to me in a sports event. Sunday’s final was a real ripsnorter, and it took me back to the Borg days. I thought Federer would be a bit of a shoo in, and he started well, but Nadal soon got into it. Fed looked like the winner after the third, but he got rattled by a couple of line calls – the first time I have seen him do this – and his game fell apart for a while. When he finally came back to take the fifth my nerves were in shreds – I wasn’t sure who I wanted to win by then, and I was gutted for Nadal who had put so much in. It was the most exhilarating sport of any kind that I have attended for many years.
Winker winning was obviously a massive high point, not just for the win but also in the style that he did it, setting an almost impossible task before pulling it off. The rest of the week was not so successful however.
Baldovina ran last Monday and was well beaten, finishing almost tailed off. She has loads of ability but is completely soft, and jacks it in the first chance she gets. We’ll continue looking for ways to get her to perform, but it isn’t looking good. Shawhill was well beaten in France, and I’m unhappy about that as the jockey (Christophe Soumillon) gave her next to no chance. She’s a gutsy and relentless galloper, but she doesn’t have much of a turn of foot at he end of a race – her only chance of winning is to gallop the opposition into the ground. Soumillon got her to the front, but didn’t keep pressing her to push on as he should have – he just allowed her to cruise along until the three furlong pole, when it was too late. It’s unfortunate – Soumillon may not have understood his instructions as he should have, and I guess it’s the sort of thing that happens when racing abroad with unfamiliar jockeys.