Well..two wins yesterday. My forecast regarding the early Fahey night on Sunday proved accurate – they arrived home at 3am. The second win , obviously, was the incredible performance from Bay of Freedom; I think it left me and Peter in a state of shock and wondering what to do next. Let me give you an example: Peter was interviewed immediately after the race and said something like “ he was well weighted today…getting lots of weight off a few of them” I said to him “what are you talking about – he was only getting 4-5 pounds?” Somehow, he had convinced himself we must have been getting a stone (14 pounds) or more to have won like that – he admitted later he was in a state of shock when interviewed.
He did tell me that Ruby Walsh (on the favourite: Domesday Book) had asked our jockey., Kevin Sexton, at the start “ Excuse me Kevin but why would you be running such an inexperienced horse in a race of this quality?” OK, well the words he actually used we’re a little more forthright and succinct but I think I know what he meant. After yesterday, we probably won’t be asking Ruby to choose his next race!
Peter showed me the Racing Post ‘in running’ comments and I had my typical reaction to the Racing Post. Peter felt I was being harsh but I will let you be the judge:
Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, went 2nd from 4 out, pushed along after next to lead before 2 out where left clear, pushed further clear last, eased close home, easily
chased leaders, 3rd from 4th, 2nd before 4 out, improved to lead entering straight, shaken up briefly before last, easily
The other thing I have noticed is that whenever Bay of Freedom wins, somehow , according to the Racing Post and Timeform, all of the other horses perform below form. It must be some aura Bay of Freedom has and he is casting some magical spell on the other runners; long may it continue!
Timeform’s provisional rating is only three pounds higher than his win at Listowel. Racing Post rating has us at 138; fully 18 pounds below Tiger Roll who we beat by 12 lengths in receipt of four pounds. In effect, they are saying that Tiger Roll ran 26 pounds below his best and that we are given no credit for how easily we won. I would acknowledge (and, in fact, sort of predicted) that Tiger Roll was not at his best but 26 pounds or more worse? Come on!
The horse was in great condition this morning and the race has taken nothing out of him. Where we go now is a real question. Peter and I spoke briefly but the simple fact remains that there really isn’t much over 3 miles for a novice who has won twice. We may be forced down the Graded route and that is a little scary – we will see. For now, he will be going out into a field for a few weeks today or tomorrow and we will be looking at the same 6-7 week break again.
I did a search for Bay of Freedom on the Irish Field site and came across the Owner profile they did on me back in January 2015. This is what I said then: I have convinced myself he is an embryonic three-mile chaser so I still have a few years to make excuses and continue to dream.
I am disappointed that Kevin probably won’t be able to ride him for the rest of the season. He has developed a great rapport with the horse and we will have to work hard to find another jockey who suits him as well. I was delighted for Kevin yesterday; like I said in the previous blog, let’s hope he comes back having learnt his lesson and hopefully, he can look forward to many more great days on Bay of Freedom.
Wexford was as wonderfully hospitable as ever and it really is a pleasure to have a winner there. We now have a second plate to add to our collection. I was interested to read that Ruby Walsh described the chase course in very complimentary terms; there is no doubt that it is a much better track for going left-handed and they can look forward to attracting a better class of horse in the future.
I will be posting a link to the race video later this week so please check back