The form book will show that Mister McGoldrick, in his seasonal reappearance at Wetherby, was last of seven to finish in the Bet 365 2ml 4f Class 1 handicap for FOUR year olds and upwards…and upwards….and upwards in order to accommodate my old fella who, now rising FIFTEEN, continues to belie his years with his genuine enthusiasm for jumping fences.
From the horses perspective, he just loves to get out there and perform and at Wetherby he thoroughly enjoyed the experience of, yet again, jumping the SIXTEEN obstacles he faced with undiminished enthusiasm….breathtaking at times as he sees a stride, stands off and provides superb action shot material for those photographers standing by the wings of the fences, and breathtaking also for young Shane Byrne who was in the saddle and who confessed on dismounting for it to be an absolute privilege to ride McGoldrick.
But there are some who will have seen his race, some who will have just looked at the result in the newspaper and seen that Mister McGoldrick finished last of 7 finishers, beaten 30 lengths, and will say that his winning days are over, so why the hell don`t they retire him.
TELL THAT TO MISTER MCGOLDRICK. He doesn`t get birthday cards telling him he`ll be drawing his pension soon old fella, and don`t you think its about time to hang up your boots.
ASK SUE AND HARVEY SMITH….ASK ASSISTANT TRAINER AND JOCKEY HENRY OLIVER….ASK WORK RIDERS RYAN, JOHN, SHANE AND OTHERS.
They would tell you that McG would hate NOT to be involved with his life as a racehorse, and even at 14 nearing 15, there is no more willing or enthusiastic horse in training at Craiglands Farm than you know who, so it would be pointless to retire him.
BUT, as most people will agree….in order to continue to race any horse, there has to be belief by connections that their horse is capable of winning. Thats the object of the sport….indeed any sport.
In my opinion McG`s first run of the season at Wetherby was not too dissimilar to his first run last year….in the same race !! He took the lead on the bend approaching the straight, stayed on, but was no match for the younger horses.
His next race ? he came out and easily won a veterans Chase at Huntingdon.
Pity there aren`t more veterans races on offer, but nevertheless the Handicapper now must surely fall into line and take the publics view that an official rating of 138 for a 14 yo is bloody ridiculous…and act accordingly.
If he does, then the door may be opened for McG to race, and be competitive against younger horses off a sensible and realistic mark.
What do you think?
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