Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Story of Mikie

Once upon a time a wee horse called Mikie was born here at Gerolstein. A lovely baby, but with a race-horsey handicap. His father was the soon to be vilified stallion Island Glow. But we didn’t know about the vilification, at that time ….

Mikie is now six. And trying, this year, to be a race-horse.

Everyone who has stayed at Gerolstein -- from Germany, Slovakia, Ameirca or Alaska -- knows Mikie. No matter that there are a host of  beautiful mares and geldings here, multi-winning horses whereas Mikie has never as much as run a place on raceday .. who is it (put your hands up) whom our guests love best? Yep. Mikie. Hands down.

His form line would shrivel you. 00X00. It’s a while since he finished in the first ten. But that formline doesn’t show that he’s run a couple of nice workouts recently ...  even won one, beating a horse called Limitation which performed creditably on the Coast circuit this week.

But, basically, Mikie is seen by the pundits and the public as a maiden makeweight. When he goes racing, he goes out at 100-1.

He was entitled to today. We entered him for a dopes’ race with a $5000 stake at Banks Peninsula. And the club (who are allowed to) put him instead into the grass-track graduation final worth $12,000!  Mikie in a final??!  Of anything? Against horses three years younger who had mostly run 1, 2 and 3 in their last starts. Thirteen of them. Another zero in prospect?

He went out rank outsider. 100-1. It might as well have been 1000. Any sane tipster looking at the field must have thought ‘what the hell’s he doing in this field. 00X00 ?’. We kind of did, too. But we love Mikie.

Well, to slice the story thinly, and come quickly to our muttons, Mikie ran this evening like a hero. He got out well, but not quite quickly enough to make the front. Then a striving pony galloped outside him and came back on him. And he went off stride. That’s it, I thought. Last. But Mikie pulled himself together and tucked in in the running line.

I could see him at the back of the bunch until they came into the straight .. please just run on Mikie! Don’t drop away!

No, its not a fairystory. Mikie didn’t win or even get a place. But he got in the call. In spite of being – again! – backed into by an exhausted and fading runner near the line, he punched bravely on to finish 6th, and we had the pleasure of hearing his name in the final call…

So Cinderfella didn’t win the Princess, but don’t anyone again try to tell me again that Mikie isn’t a racehorse. A C0 racing mostly C1 horses (non-winners and winners) and he beats half the field home?

I’m proud of you Mikie! You are a dear, dear boy. Have some hay!