In a gambling mood....

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
Cataulanian Fields
Domesday Book
Havana Dancer
Presenting Mahler
Thanks for Tea
and (unfortunately)
Tiger Roll

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...