In other news

I’m still reeling over the Winker news – apart from anything else it was only a gentle piece of work today.  I really believe he was a virtual certainty in the Middle Park – Pete certainly thought so and the only threat looked to be Sir Gerry – he would have been a very short price.  Reading the Betfair forum I see the conspiracy theorists are out in force.  Ho hum.

… and the day began so well with a winner at Warwick – Lord Peter Flint winning a maiden at the third time of asking.  I agree with the Racing Post write up – he won well enough but in workmanlike fashion – but given that he is really a 3yo type who wants further I think it was a big run.  He’s an eye catching horse and looks to have a lot of scope – I’d expect him to sell well, possibly to the US, and he may not run in our colours again.

No sooner has the Warwick race finished when the phone rings – Tom Goff is ringside at the Goffs Million sale in Ireland, and a yearling filly we have been eying up is in the ring.  I’m in the process of buying a farm and I’m planning to keep a few broodmares – Tom is keeping an eye out for the right horses.  I’ve never paid top end for a racehorse before, but we’ve decided to look for at least one really top class animal to get the operation going – Lot 304, by Rock of Gibraltar out of Spirit of Tara (a full sister to Salsabil) looks like the right stuff on breeding, and she has caught Tom’s eye.

The bidding starts quietly at 100k euro and creeps up.  At 250k it slows and Tom comes in with his first bid – I tell him he can go to 600k.  There appears to be only one other bidder – it goes to 620k in no time and he asks if I wanted to go 650k.  I agree, and they come straight back with 700k – he asks me for 750k.  I umm and aah – I ask him what he thinks.  “She really is a lovely filly…”  I go 750k – they come back with 800k. 

“Oh well, maybe next time” I say.  Suddenly Tom pipes up “I’ve gone 850!”.  I’m slightly taken aback…  “damn – they’ve gone 900”.  “I think that’s enough” I say.  We have a little post mortem chat and I head back to my desk.  I’m sad we didn’t get the filly but I’m amused that Tom bid 100k euro over my top bid without my permission.  I decide that I’m completely cool with it.  It’s a bit like a jockey not riding to instruction – he builds his own leeway into the orders, which is completely acceptable in a good working relationship.

I ring Tom back to tell him that I’ve come up with a great name for the filly – Teia Tephi, who was “the Queen of Tara and Gibraltar”.  I ask him to email me the buyers details so I can send on my congratulations and suggest the name.  I ring Jeremy to regale him with my stories of the day.  “Hang on” he says, “that’s Pete on the other line – I wonder what he wants…”

Major Eazy runs tomorrow and he might go well after his break.  Let’s hope so.