I am really not sure if this is a good idea. Sitting here at Logan Airport in Boston I am desperately trying to remind myself why we decided to enter Bay of Freedom in the Listed race at Wexford on Monday. OK I know it was because we know he likes Wexford, it’s a left-handed track and the distance is about right; also it’s six weeks after his run at Listowel, which we think is the right gap. In addition (getting on a roll now) there aren’t any more races for him until Navan on 18th December and even that is a shade shorter than ideal at 2m 4f. So, basically, we had no choice but to enter and run. Here’s the problem: there are only 12 horses entered but a 5-6 are rated much higher than him.
That would lead a sensible person to conclude that we have no chance and , if I were a pessimist then I would readily agree. Unfortunately, I am still the same old dreamer and this is how Peter and I decided we would run after we had looked at the entries:
ME What do you think?
PETER I’m more worried about the ground than anything (it’s good ground and little rain forecast)
ME It’s not ideal but most of the others actually need it heavy and there’s a good chance they may not even be declared
PETER That’s what I’m thinking. I can’t see Tiger Roll running can you?
ME Hopefully not but if he does he won’t mind the drier ground and is rated well ahead of us. I think Bonny Kate, Noble Endeavour and Venitien De Mai all need it much softer so they may not turn up. I do worry a bit about Domesday Book. De Bromhead (trainer) said he could be well-handicapped at 138 so that would put him well in front of us. That being said, he hasn’t run since April and this will be the furthest he’s run. How is he anyway? (meaning Bay of Freedom)
PETER He’s in good form and we need to run him soon and there really isn’t much
ME I know. I have compared the Racing Post Ratings, Timeform and official ratings and with a few exceptions we’re not totally out of it (here’s what I had produced):
Timeform Rating Official Rating RPR Rating
Bay of Freedom 143 141 146
Annamatopoeia 131 131 133
Bonny Kate 148 146 149
Catalaunian Fields 129 137 109
Domesday Book 150 152 154
Havana Dancer 131 136 136
Just Cause 150 144 155
Noble Endeavour 160 155 160
PresentingMahler 140 139 147
Sizing Scorpion 114 114 114
Thanks for Tea 144 142 152
Tiger Roll 161 161 174
Venitien De Mai 151 149 152
I didn’t include Topspeed but that would have shown Bay of Freedom in a clear 2nd place (albeit well behind Tiger Roll)
Anyway, back to the conversation:
ME So…what do you think?
PETER You’re asking me to decide?
ME It’s always your call
PETER I think we should go and hope there’s just the 5 or 6 runners. We just want him to get into a nice rhythm. Are there any front runners?
ME Had a quick look – doesn’t look like it.
That was about it until the next day when we spoke briefly after he had galloped. It all went well and Peter had spoken to Gordon Elliott who did know know if was going to run either/both of Tiger Roll and Noble Endeavour. I think he was being honest: he and Peter are good friends ( so he tells me).
So, my first prediction is in respect of the final declarations. This is a mixture of hope and logic. At the risk of proving I know nothing I think the runners will be something like this:
Bay of Freedom
Thanks for Tea
I think the ground will be too quick for most of the others and Just Cause is running at Galway on Sunday anyway.
If it does turn out that way then I think we would be hoping to finish placed and dreaming of doing better. Flight has been called so I need to post this before tomorrow in case it’s anywhere near accurate.
Another blog after the declarations
Well the declarations are out and I might be best advised to catch the next plane home! Here they are:
No Horse Rider Wgt
1 Domesday Book (USA)(138) R. Walsh(C) 11,00
2 Venitien De Mai (FR)(135) J.J. Burke 11,00
3 Tiger Roll(146) Donagh Meyler(B, T) 10,13
4 Bay Of Freedom Kevin Sexton 10,09
5 Annamatopoeia(105) Robbie Colgan 10,02
6 Presenting Mahler(121) 10,02
7 Thanks For Tea(116) Jonathan Moore(T, H) 10.02
I will write a proper blog later but my initial thoughts are (well, the ones that are printable):
Tiger Roll is thrown in at the weights and should win. However, I didn’t think he ran with much sparkle at Cheltenham last time out and has had a busy time of it. The biggest danger to him has to be Domesday Book; Ruby’s been booked to ride and I am sure he is expected to run well. Venitien De Mai probably wants it softer so could be vulnerable. There probably isn’t much between Presenting Mahler, Thanks For Tea and us based on form but I am hopeful we can improve and beat them (although Presenting Mahler should like the ground). Annamatopoeia is probably the outsider of the seven.
More to come later...