It won`t be long before I look back on Delusionofgrandeurs second season with us, and appreciate the successes we`ve had…. but right now, somewhat car lagged after a near 500 mile round trip to Scotland and back in one day, there`s still a bit of the grumpy old man about me, and the wife`s keeping her distance.
Why grumpy ? I suppose because I expected better than to be beaten 28 lengths to finish a distant 8th of 12 to the Alan King trained winner, Label des Obeaux.
I also thought we would finish in front of Sues other horse in the race, I Just Know, as did the rest of the world …. with the exception of Mr Scholey, I Just Know`s Owner.
So were myself and fellow DoG syndicate members actually suffering from delusions of grandeur? or did our fella simply ….
a) have an off day ?
b) just not good enough ?
Well certainly not on looks in the Parade Ring, because he looked magnificent, though it was noted as he was led round that he was keen and pulling quite hard and needed to be constantly restrained, yet still insisted on moving with a slow trot action, rather than a laid back walk which we have come to expect from him, and which all the other horses were doing.
The next tell tale sign that something might be amiss was spotted on the big screen as Danny Cook circled round at the start with the other horses and jockeys.
A large patch of foaming sweat was prominent on his neck and also, though to a lesser extent, between his hind legs.
Yet, though mindful of what I had seen, I still chose to disregard the possibility that all was not right.
Certainly the betting market was not reflecting what I had seen, as the money poured in for him down from 8-1 into 11-2 just before the off.
The race began, and DoG seemed to be travelling ok, but I Just Know was jumping far better, gaining ground at 3 / 4 fences,causing Danny Cook to be continually playing catch up.
With well over a mile to travel, it became clear this was too hot a race for us, and we eventually came home some 28 lengths behind the winner, with Sean Quinlan and I Just Know running an absolute blinder to finish third.
Did we choose the wrong race ?
Were our sights aimed a bit too high ?
Was there anything to learn from the race ?
Whilst Danny Cook confirmed after the race that his horse was far too gassy in the parade ring , on his way to post, and at the start, causing the horse to burn up energy beforehand that was needed for the race, in my opinion it made lttle or no difference to the eventual result, and what we have to learn and accept is that DoG is a horse that will be best suited by further than 3 miles, at this level anyway, hence the original decision to enter for the Scottish National, only to change the plan and wait for next year.
It had been previously agreed this would be his last race of the season, and whilst its always much, much better to end a season on a high note, lets forgive him for the disappointment of yesterday, and agree that we can`t be anything else but delighted with the way our 7 yo gelding has performed for us this season to become a real “Saturday horse” for us guys in the Delusionofgrandeur syndicate. and we look forward to more and greater success with our fella next season.
Finally, one thing that did puzzle me about yesterdays run.
Who`s money, in such a massive betting market as there was at Ayr yesterday, caused our horse to be backed down to 11-2 second favourite ?
Certainly not my £25 ew on Betfair, thats for sure !