Horses are unpredictable at the best of times and not even the trainer knows for sure what’s going to happen.
You can’t look inside their heads and for that reason, sometimes they make a fool of you.
Last Sunday I ran Bullock Harbour in a beginners’ chase at Limerick. He finished sixth but I won the race with Clouded Thoughts, who was a 25/1 outsider. I could never have told readers to have a bet on Clouded Thoughts because on all known form Bullock Harbour was a better prospect.
Clouded Thoughts won his bumper in Clonmel, Bullock Harbour won bumpers in Punchestown and Listowel. Bullock Harbour has also won good hurdle races. They are both good jumpers and had similar experience over fences on a racetrack, which was basically none, as Clouded Thoughts fell at the second in his only beginners’ chase.
Punters see that and they think ‘what the hell is after happening there?’ It just seems to be that Clouded Thoughts, who would have enjoyed the quick ground anyway, is a different horse over fences.
People think we stop horses, or organise things, but sometimes the horses just amaze us. It happened again in Wexford the day before, although to a lesser extent. Posh Frock has been beating Green Chorus at home all the time but when it came to this contest, Green Chorus was second with Posh Frock almost 30 lengths further back.
No-one was more surprised than me but people get suspicious. You have to try to explain it to the owners too, but that’s racing. Nothing is predictable and that’s because of the horses, not because we’re playing silly games.
I was very pleased with Steps To Freedom finishing third, just over three lengths behind former Irish Derby winner Fame And Glory in the Vintage Crop at Navan. He will go for the Saval Beg next in Leopardstown.
One Fine Day ran a cracker, coming from virtually last to fourth in the 3-y-o maiden on the same card. The reason she was a bit behind was that she was a bit sharp going down to the start so Shane didn’t fire her out of the stalls and he was back a little further than he wanted to be. She was a bit green in the straight but once she got the hang of it she flew home. She’ll run in Listowel tomorrow week.
Today, Calissa makes her racecourse debut in a 2-Y-0 fillies’ maiden at the Curragh. She’s a nice filly and may not be completely wound up, but if she’s running a nice race I’d be delighted and she’s a good each-way prospect.
The Marble Hill has always been the plan for Liberating. The ground seems to be good for her. She did it very well the first day and we’re just hoping for more of the same. She’s beaten three of the fillies that are in the race already, so I’d be hoping for a repeat effort.
On Sunday, Princess Sinead takes her chance in the 1000 Guineas and she’s entitled to her place. You can draw a line through the last day, when nothing went right. I would be delighted if she could run into a place and think she has a chance of doing so.
It’s a pity that there are only five runners in the Tattersalls Gold Cup. It’s Bible Belt’s first run of the year and maybe she’ll need the race, but I’m hoping for a big run. We had been hoping to run her in the Mooresbridge to have her tuned up for this but the ground was soft that day so there was no point.
Newberry Hill is a half-brother to Newberry Hall. He’s a nice horse, he’s worked well and I’m looking for a nice run.
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