Racing Syndicate

The Highs and Lows…

The Highs and Lows...

The Highs and Lows…

I`ve had many, many “highs” with my  old boy Mister McGoldrick over the last ten years, and plenty of “lows” as well, but his performance yesterday, in the Paddy Power Gold Cup was a real shock to me.

I could blame it on superstition, in so much as on my way down to Cheltenham on the M1 yesterday, travelling towards Nottingham doing about 80mph, there was this bloody great sickening thud on my windscreen.  All in a split second I thought……hooligans on an overhead bridge……at least my windscreens not smashed……and then looking through my rear view mirror saw what I assumed to be floating feathers. No doubt a forensic expert would have also told me that the large  white dust like imprint on my windscreen was that of something like a wood pigeon or similar. When I had recovered from the shock of it all, the thought occurred to me……….bird hitting, or flying into a window, if you`re superstitious, means bad luck!!!  McGoldricks got no chance this afternoon now!!

After the race Dominic was at a loss to give a valid reason or excuse for McG`s poor performance, saying only that the horse usually takes him round, hard on the bridle, but on this occasion he was niggling away at him after the 3rd or 4th fence. He knew then that he had no chance of winning so there was no point in being excessively hard on him, especially with 11st 12lb on his back.

Sue phoned me to say McG had eaten up Saturday night and was grazing in the paddock this morning so all seems to be well. However, whilst its too soon to make any sound judgements, I am certain that for a horse of his age to be carrying top weight in as hot a handicap as  yesterdays Paddy Power, shows the handicapping system in this Country to be something of a joke.

Yes I admit he won the Racing Post plate at Cheltenham in March, but what happened.? Most of the runners in that race were entered anticipating Good ground. When declaration time came, the ground was still forecast to be Good

But on the day of the race,at about 1:00pm, just as I was arriving at the Course, light rain began to fall. This continued, unabated until by 4;00pm, the time of his race, it was raining quite heavily and had seriously affected underfoot conditions.

Consequently, of the 20+ runners that went to post, the majority of them would not be relishing the very soft ground. In contrast it suited my fella and the rest is history. But run that race again on Good ground and I know damned well the result would have been different.

So Mr Handicapper why didn`t you make allowance for the change in the going relative to the horses that were`nt expecting it so soft, and consequently did not run their true race. If you had done your job properly using your head, instead of the keyboard of your computer to assess that race, a rise of 8/10 lb…and not 17lb would have been the answer.        Would you please, now, do the honourable thing and drop Mister Mcgoldricks handicap mark to a true and sensible figure of between 148 and 150.

What do you guys out there think? Please let me know.

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