The big day

I had an amazing day on Sunday when I went to the tennis.  I’d managed to convince myself that Nadal was a sure fire winner and I had a big bet on him.  As I sat down on Centre Court I was rather wishing I hadn’t had a bet at all, as it was such a big match and I didn’t want to have a bias.

Nadal won the first two sets, but it didn’t feel like he was on top – it felt like he’d managed to pull off a couple of important points but Federer was playing the better tennis, and the stats backed this up.  In the first set Federer won 72% of his service points to Nadal’s 64%, in the second it was 60% to 59%.  I decided I’d trade out of my position on my Blackberry but the price wasn’t very generous – 1.32.  I should have done it anyway, but as it was I decided to trade out half the position and run the rest.

As we know Fed stormed back to two all but lost the final set.  The winning service percentages;  Set 3 – Fed 79%, Nad 67%.  Set 4 – Fed 67%, Nad 72%.  Set 5 – Fed 61%, Nad 69%.  On the basis of this analysis Federer was on top for the first three sets but Nadal dominated the last two – of course there is enormous significance in how well they played the big points.

A lot has been written about the match.  From my perspective I’d say it is almost certainly the finest tennis match I have ever seen and quite possibly the best sporting encounter of any kind that I have seen.

The Tattersalls July sale has begun, and today is mares.  Tom Goff has been down there and we’ve been working them through – Tom at the course and me at home on the computer.  I have one mare in foal already – Baldovina – and I’m looking for a companion for her.  We narrowed it down to two;

Lot 95, Park Acclaim, was unraced.  She had been in training with Jeremy Noseda but had had an accident and had to have a large chip removed from her knee.  The vet had advised to retire her at that point.  We were told that she had been working well – her dam, Molomo, came second in two group 2s and there was a decent half brother.  She was a good looking grey in foal to Motivator (unsexed).

Lot 245, Boast, was a consistent runner when trained by Fulke Johnson Houghton, winning three and recording 8 RPRs between 94 and 100.  She’s had three foals, all trained by Roger Charlton, the last two both listed winners and group 3 placed.  She looked a good consistent producer, in foal to Dylan Thomas with a colt.

Tom thought Park Acclaim was worth around £45k and Boast around £80k.  I was particularly keen on Boast.  I couldn’t find much to value Park Acclaim on, but Tom had liked her as a physical specimen.  We decided to go for Boast and only bid on Park Acclaim if she went for peanuts.

Park Acclaim went first, and as it happened we picked her up for £22k.  Tom only bid once and that was it.  A Motivator cover costs £15k, so this was dirt cheap – I think the market is like this at the moment.  Some lots are making decent money, other lots are making next to nothing.

Boast came up and I had Tom on the end of the phone.  I was dead keen – she ticked all the boxes for me.  The bidding started at £20k but started picking up momentum.  I came in at £105k and again at £130k, but it moved on – eventually she sold for £180k, which was close to the top price of the day.  Ho hum.

The Newmarket July meet starts tomorrow – I’ll have a couple of runners on Thursday.  Bouguereau will appreciate the recent rain and will take all the beating in the Bahrain stakes.  Maxwell Hawke, an unraced 2yo, goes in the maiden – he’ll also go well and could win, although I’m not so sure he’ll appreciate the easing in the ground.  He’s targeting the £1 million sales race in October.