Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gerolstein goes racing ... without me!

Just getting a horse to the races is a victory. During the summer, only Mikey made it, then eventually Agnes. Fritzl was to have been next, but at the last moment he got a bug. So it’s still just Agnes. But reinforcements are coming!

Agnes, after her really tough second at Rangiora, was entered for a race at Addington. Well, it was the only one possible: all the other clubs had scheduled nothing but those sissy mobile starts. She’d missed a bit of work thanks to the bad weather, but we HAD to go, or there would have been no race for her in April.

She drew eight. Thank goodness, front row. The tipster even picked her first! The public didn’t. She went out sixth favourite, behind a first-starter and one of mate Gav’s horses which has been trying to win for quite a time.
The start was a bit odd. Far from the horse next to her playing up, it charged the tape at exactly the instant that they flew. So Agnes didn’t make the front. She popped into the favourable one-one. But the damned leader went off so fast that a gap developed behind it, the parked horse slotted into the trail, and Agnes – once again – was stuck out without cover. Grrrr. And good friend Gav, who knows his onions, was right behind her!
Never mind!
The leader imploded after the half-mile, and Agnes went easily to the front with Gav close in pursuit. Round the bend, anything looked possible… the commentator called her as leading to within metres of the line, as Gav laid into his horse, but her lack of condition told. Not only did Gav edge her out, but some horse that had never done anything sprung out of the ground and nicked them both.
So Agnes was a very close third. Third? I would have paid for that a fortnight ago! A grand confirmation for the girl!

And now, we’ve got to search for the too rare stand-start races in the next weeks, or else Agnes’s five-year-old season is over. After five starts. And unspeakable expense.

While Fritzl is at home, taking his medicine and hopefully getting better quickly, a new babe has stepped in to take his place.

Thomas is a three year-old son of our dear old Sally, thus a half-brother to the fabled Mikie. He’s only been out on the track once before, but Saturday was his second go. A limited-speed learners’ heat at Motukara. A nice way to ease an inexperienced horse into racing.

Huh! Want to bet! We drew a heat with an evidently non-learner horse which obviously had something to prove or show off. It set off like the clappers, ran the distance all the way in front, and all the poor, real ‘learners’ behind the hideous thing could only chase.  The Thing ran seven seconds faster than the allowed time. What vanity! Well, Thomas chased pretty well. He finished about 5 lengths behind it. And he ‘learned’ nothing. I felt like asking for my $20 entry fee refunded, on the basis of the jobs description act.

We’ll put him in a heat with adult drivers next week, and he should do fine on today’s showing. And he’s got plenty of time … Wendy doesn’t have to ‘prove’ anything or ‘show off’ to her owners … because they’re me. Or us.

So, find a race for Agnes, more workouts for Thomas, get Fritzy off the sickish list … Gerolstein may have a fun season without me!  I’m sure Wendy and Yoshie will care for that!

Stop press: and meanwhile, over in deepest Tasmania, dear little Livia ran second for new trainer Natalee Jayn Emery! Hurrah!

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