For a start I was not in favour of the circumstances relating to DoG`s first race over fences, when, if he was going to win the race, he had to beat not only horses from other yards, but also his stablemate, Vintage Clouds.. It`s a sort of conflict of interests.
But it happens, and Sues explanation was perfectly plausible, “very few ideal options for him, he was very much ready to race. and Haydock would serve as an ideal track for his first attempt at tackling fences in public.”
The betting market was in no doubt as to which of the Smiths horses was the one to be on, and their judgement was spot on, though neither would have beaten the Nicholls horse on the day.
However, despite finishing a distant 4th of 5, and being asked on numerous occasions since…”was I happy with the performance” ….Harvey would say …”you`re never bloody happy” !!…. I have chosen to print below the comments of Timeform, which, after reading them myself, brought a wry smile to my face.
“Useful over hurdles, shaped as if needing the run after 9 months off and showed aptitude for chasing; close up, jumped fine, led third, headed sixth, weakened approaching 4 out, not knocked about; sure to progress with this under his belt.”
As Richard and Karen Carpenter sang……“We`ve only just begun” !!