And, Speaking Of Which...

When Dermot Weld’s Speaking Of Which won his maiden at Cork in early April the bank balance was immediately in a healthier state.

He made every yard of the running and was impressive enough in beating Aidan O’Brien’s Taigan by two and a quarter lengths.

In third was Jim Bolger’s Dynamite Dixie, John Oxx’s Alindjar filled fourth and Joe Murphy’s Jumbo Prado was fifth.

It appeared at the time to be a decent enough race and we waited for confirmation that such thinking was correct.

But then Dynamite Dixie and Alindar subsequently headed for the same contest at Naas and both were blown out of the water.

The race went to Ger Lyons’ Strada Colorado, with Alindjar doing best of the pair in sixth and Dynamite Dixie eleventh.

Then Jumbo Prado tried his luck in what was a modest affair at Gowran Park and trailed in a disappointing fourth of eight behind 20-1 shot Korbous.

The only logical conclusion to be drawn was that the form of the Cork race was basically worthless and Speaking Of Which was likely to face an uphill task when tackling better opposition.

And so we fast-forward to the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh last Sunday and the reappearance of Weld’s son of Invincible Spirit.

You really couldn’t make any case for him and here’s one who watched with incredulity as he bounded up the Curragh straight to score by nine lengths.

It didn’t make any sense at all. But there was still a bit more to come as far as this story was concerned.

Taigan, who had chased home Speaking Of Which at Cork, was in the last at the Curragh, a moderate maiden.

He had looked less than genuine that day at Cork, but you still had to think was now the one they all had to beat.

But Taigan died a thousand deaths from the two-furlong pole, only managing a poor fourth behind Michael Halford’s promising newcomer, Blue Corner.

It does seem then that Speaking Of Which made the most extraordinary improvement from Cork to the Curragh. Either that or the Gallinule was a shocking contest.

Anyway, Speaking Of Which is now heading for the Irish Derby and it’ll be gas if he wins it.

It’ll be gas because, you suspect, Taigan, Dynamite Dixie, Alindjar and Jumbo Prado — the latter two were in action at Down Royal last night — may all to struggle to win any race!

Today we will find out a bit more about Camelot when he bids to justify a cramped price in what looks a very ordinary Epsom Derby.

A press-room colleague summed up Camelot best, I thought, at the Curragh last Sunday when remarking that we really won’t know much about him until he meets the older horses.

Personally, I have real doubts as to whether the vast majority of the three-year-olds are actually any good or not.

The Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh a week ago did much to reinforce such a thought process.

I mean you could literally throw a good sized blanket over the entire ten runners as they crossed the line, with just five and a half lengths separating the winner, Power, and the tenth, Trumpet Major.

I’m old enough to recall Mick Channon playing soccer and remember the trademark swinging of his arm after scoring a goal.

Channon is a great character and it was terrific to see him win the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh on Sunday with Samitar.

He gave some great interviews afterwards and years of experience, in both sports, has left him totally comfortable in front of a camera.

Channon has the gift of the gab and it flows out of him in a natural and relaxed manner.

In one of his chats, on ATR, he said that Samitar had “pissed up.” When the chat was over, however, Matt Chapman, back at base, felt the need to apologise to viewers if they were offended. Seriously, wouldn’t this political correctness drive you daft?

I’d say if there were nuns watching they didn’t give it a thought, especially if having their few bob on Samitar.

Anyone who doesn’t believe the jockey is just as important as the horse should have a look at the maiden hurdle won by Lean Times and Davy Russell at Ballinrobe on Monday night.

Lean Times got to the line a length and a quarter to the good, after the pilot had ridden the opposition to sleep.

At Punchestown on Wednesday night, Andrew McNamara guided He’s Our Man to a smooth success in a handicap hurdle.

Dave Duggan was working at the track for ATR and no sooner had they gone by the line than he offered the following: “Ever since he (McNamara) got engaged, he’s been riding winners all over the place.” Good man Dave.

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