Let’s hear it for the girls
Most weeks, when writing this column, I look for a different angle to the previous weeks racing. Sometimes I can find something fresh. But when it comes to the King George and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes on Saturday I fear I will be repeating what others have already said.
As Simon Holt said as they passed the post “What A Race”.
It was Grundy v Bustino for our age. And a race for the ages. Enable and Crystal Ocean were locked together in the final two furlongs with the colt getting his head just in front at one stage before the wonder mare fought back to gain a crucial lead where it mattered.
The greats have courage as well as ability. She dug deep there. Would the result have been the same off level weights?
Both horses have run to form and third placed Waldgeist has run a career best. And they were seven lengths clear of the rest. That was a proper horse race. And if she wasn’t an all time great already then surely Enable is now.
And from one classy lady to another. Laurens won her sixth Group One race when taking the Prix Rothschild on Sunday.
She had the whole field in trouble at halfway. She held on gamely, possibly idling in front? The Breeders Cup is the long term plan with a possibility of a run over ten furlongs in the interim.
She is so popular and is the type of horse we would all love to have a part of. What I didn’t like was some of the keyboard warrior’s comments regarding Laurens victory. Saying she has won six (expletive) Group Ones is, in my opinion, just stupid. She has won eight of her races and been second on another three occasions, including in a Guineas and a Lockinge.
The three times she has been out of the first two were in the Yorkshire Oaks, The QEII, and the Queen Anne. She is a proper horse.
Deidre is the toast of Japan after the Mitsuru Hashida trained mare won the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood. Oisin Murphy used the cutaway to good effect and she stormed home up the rail once the gap came.
She has an entry in the Irish Champion Stakes and as long as the ground is good or better she has to have a chance.
There was only one three year old in the first four home and favourite Hermosa was tailed off. I hope she is ok.
Khadijah Mellah stole the headlines on Thursday when winning the Magnolia Cup less than three months after sitting on a racehorse for the first time.
There has been plenty of comments regarding her being the first jockey to wear a hijab and that she is a Muslim. This is good as it does show our sport can be inclusive.
We mustn’t forget her mount Haverland and the Charlie Fellowes stable who gave her a lot of help. And the Magnolia Cup is a race that raises thousands for womens charities.
Khadijah first got involved with horses thanks to the Ebony Horse Club, a charity based in Brixton in South London which enables youngsters, some who have had problems, to gain confidence and develop skills through their contact with our equine friends.
This week I saw a short film about a horse who visits hospitals and residential care homes. Riding For The Disabled is a long established charity and horses have also been used for people with mental health issues.
According to the Chinese Horsocope I was born in the year of the horse so I may be biased. But they really are magnificent creatures aren’t they?
I don’t often buy the Racing Post these days but I thought I would get one on Sunday and read about that epic King George. The bonus was that there was an article about Sea The Stars (who is the sire Of Crystal Ocean) and his exploits in 2009.
It was fascinating to read the comments of Mick Kinane and John Oxx with Kinane telling the trainer that his horse would never win by too far. Had he streaked clear by eight lengths in any of his races, like Frankel, he would possibly be thought of even more highly. But that was some season.
Another son of Sea The Stars, Stradivarius, did it again. The dual Ascot Gold Cup winner won his third Goodwood Cup and his eighth race in a row. He is the king of the stayers. The million pound bonus is on again for him with the Lonsdale Cup his next target.
Even better news is that his owner, Bjorn Nielsen, wants him to run again next season. How good will that be?
Pinatubo looked like a real star when hacking up in the Vintage Stakes. He had beaten Lope Y Fernadez by three lengths at Ascot. This time there were ten lengths between the two. And he wasn’t stopping so a mile next year should be within him. But 9/4 for the 2000 Guineas of 2020 is a ridiculous price.
Too Darn Hot is back. The form of the Sussex Stakes may be up for debate but I think he won the race a bit more comfortably than the official half length margin.