by Stable Lad
WELL what do you know! Camelot managed to get beaten last Saturday at Doncaster, in what was a kind of muddling type of race.
However, no real excuse was offered by trainer Aidan O’Brien for the defeat in the aftermath chat, other than saying that his “wonder horse” did not get the run of the race on the day, while also emphasising that such are the fortunes of racing.
A bit of a simplification you may say, but, since the young trainer has always been straightforward with the media, there just has to be much more than a grain of truth in his summing up of a St Leger that really had a few twists and turns in its overall story.
Personally, I did think that while the steady pace was well in favour of the hot favourite, he never seemed to settle into his normal racing rhythm, with jockey Joe O’Brien never quite able to get his mount into his usual smooth galloping stride.
The race distance of almost two miles, as I mentioned last week, was always going to be a major feature, and, so it proved, for, about two furlongs out, when Camelot was near the back of the field, and just beginning his run for glory, young Barzalona on Godolphin’s Encke kicked for home for all he was worth.
Joe O’Brien, sensing the real danger, also moved Camelot out into the clear, and set off in pursuit. Into the last furlong, the favourite was still six lengths behind, and try as he might, he just could not cut down the brave leader, who held on by under a length for victory.
Was Camelot left too far out of his ground?
Well, this question will be asked for years into the future, but, it must be said that in his previous wins he did indeed come from much further behind to win his races.
Blame is always an invidious thing, so I will go along with Aidan O’Brien’s summing up, and chalk the whole debacle at Doncaster down to the fortunes of racing.
Laytown goes from strength to strength
Do you remember the furore some years back when the first all-weather track opened in Southwell, and proved so successful that it was soon joined by Lingfield and Wolverhampton to capture the hearts of English racegoers?
Well, for their information, we have had racing on sand in this country for over 150 years, and it takes place on a course laid out on the strand at Laytown in Inse Bay, County Meath, when the tides permit.
This meeting has proven to be very popular nationwide, and entertains runners from all over the country.
It has been noted for its unique carnival atmosphere, and indeed does bring a great amount of business to the towns in its immediate hinterland.
It is one of the few places on God’s Earth where one can have a bet, a paddle in the seas, and a peaceful balm-out as well, even while racing is going on.
This year’s meet was held in early September, and, as per usual, was a very successful venture, with wonderful racing, and its normal bumper attendance.
This Saturday we are heading for Newbury for our weekly yankee, with the hope of striking a few winners at what looks like a good meeting.
In the first, which is a Maiden, Bright Strike might get the reward for some good runs, with Market Town likely to also run well.
The Arc Trial has a bit of class about it, and should go to Jet Away, with Reliable Man also having a chance on the book.
Cay Verde looke the one to be on in the Mill Reef Stakes, with Master of War right on his heels, while, in the World Trophy, Ballista could get its turn, but will have to cope with Humidor to do so.
Well, that’s our round-up group for this Saturday, so, keep well, enjoy your racing, and back a winner!
The Fab Four:
Newbury: 1:30 Bright Strike, 2:05 Jet Away, 2:35 Cay Verde, 3:45 Ballista.