Bay of Freedom runs at Wexford tomorrow evening – but more of that later. First of all, I need to apologize for not following through on my promise to provide betting insights over the last eight months. To be honest, it’s you who should be thanking me given the state of my betting account; I must have saved you thousands of pounds!!
Today is the most romantic day of the year; it’s the day that Kim and I met: April 7th, 2009. Kim has drawn a big red ring around it on our calendar to signify the day that started the rest of our lives; I only just realized that as I thought it commemorated the last time we went to TGI Fridays! Anyway, as true followers will know, Bay of Freedom was born on April 7th. That could be called a remarkable coincidence but when you then realize that Bay ofFreedom was born on April 7th, 2009 then that surely is fate and pre-ordained! To celebrate Kim and I are flying out tonight and will be there, totally exhausted, tomorrow evening.
Let me give you a two-minute version of what’s happened since we last spoke:
As you may remember we found out that he had a grade 3 ulcer; this was on top of the misalignment in his shoulder that we dealt with before Roscommon. We let him enjoy himself in a field between September and January and he was in light work until early March. We took him for an endoscopy in early March to make sure his ulcers had gone and, to our surprise, given the weight he’d put on and his general condition, there was still a low-level ulcer; nothing like last August but still a surprise. Over 90% of racehorses have ulcers and he seems particularly prone; that being said, the ulcers he has now can be controlled: he is out in a field as much as possible, he has an automatic feeder in his stable and has been treated with Gastrogard. We have upped his training and he is fit and seems to be in great form and enjoying himself. We took him for a schooling hurdle last week with Kevin Sexton riding and he went well under a ‘restrained’ ride; jumping well and finishing with his ears pricked.
The ground tomorrow at Wexford is heavy but I am actually hoping it may be better than that given they haven’t had much rain since the weekend; it’s going to be testing though and he hasn’t run on such ground before. Well….that’s not entirely true; it was very heavy at Tipperary last week and Peter was surprised at how well he coped with it and how much he enjoyed it. Tomorrow is a different ‘kettle of fish’ but we have a little more confidence than this time last week that he will act on the ground. We probably wouldn't have run at Wexford a couple of years ago when it was a sharp right-handed track but now it's been transformed into a more galloping left-handed track we've convinced ourselves it will suit Bay.
Just seen the declarations and I have to be honest: if he’s anything like the horse we think he is then he has to win this race. The early prices on Irishracing.com make him 4/1 joint favourite with Nikki Steel; in my opinion he should beat a porn actress with good abs every day of the week! Actually, that may be a little off target as Nikki Steel is actually a 6-year old gelding who won his last point-to-point by 20 lengths. It’s difficult to know what to make of that form as it was a five-runner race and only two finished; he was well beaten in his two previous points but they were over a year ago. When the initial entries were made I noted four horses that would scare/concern me in terms of potentially beating Bay of Freedom. As it’s turned out, none of the four have been declared so either I did a poor job of identifying potential threats or the omens are good for tomorrow. If I can get 4/1 tomorrow we may be living in Ireland next week because, if he loses, we won’t have a house to go back to!
I should probably shut up as I don’t want the weight of my expectations weighing too heavily on Peter’s shoulders; he’s already got enough pressure with the fact that Kim is coming over to watch Bay of Freedom (or the ‘money pit’ as she so pithily calls him).
I will provide an update tomorrow (pre and post) , on Saturday and on Sunday. The blog is back and the Wexford dream is on!!