Rain? You can put your shirt on it
Mike Deasy on a bad week for Adam Kirby, Epsom’s lack of protection from the weather and a great day for a racing first-timer
It’s not ben a great week for Adam Kirby. Twice he’s been stuck in traffic and missed a ride which included Epsom on Oaks Day where Oisin Murphy was the deputy on Hortzadar who finished second and picked up £12k in prize money.
But it was the loss of the ride on John Leeper in the Derby which was the blow to the solar plexus.
Kirby was due to ride the Cristina Patino owned colt, trained by Ed Dunlop. The late afternoon news that Kirby had lost the ride to Frankie Dettori, after Dettori’s intended mount High Definition was one of the five Aiden O’Brien horses taken out of the race, came too late for a feature in The Times where Rob Wright reported the owner’s enthusiasm that Kirby would be on board.
That feature subsequently disappeared from The Times online edition and an updated item quoted Dunlop:
“Mrs Patino instructed me after the news about Ballydoyle only running one.”
It would seem the enthusiasm, and loyalty, towards Kirby quickly went out of the window.
What should you plan for on a summer’s day?
Answer, rain. You can put your shirt on it.
Sadly, at Epsom, the preparation for the first day of the Derby Festival seemed not to have taken into account the possibility of rain. The rain fell all afternoon, interrupted only by drizzle.
What that meant for racegoers, even if there were only 4,000 of them, was inadequate shelter from the incessant rain and having to queue in the wet to gain access to the dry of the Princess Royal Stand.
Due to Covid protocols, there was limited capacity, and those who’d achieved early access remained indoors for much of the afternoon.
Outside, there was little by way of protection from the elements.
“We can’t control the weather” said a lady in the racecourse office. No, but you can plan for the possibility of a wet summer’s afternoon. Unfortunately, you didn’t.
Will Abbey get the racing habit?
One person not put off by the miserable weather was Abbey Caveney. Wearing a blue dress, white hat and accessories, which were the deciding factor for the judge, Abbey won the Ladies Day Style Award.
Her haul of prizes was a year’s supply of dresses from Chi Chi London and a year’s supply of shirts from Charles Trywhitt. One hopes that Abbie can get through as many dresses and shirts as possible in a 12-month period.
Further prizes were an exclusive Jessica Rae headpiece, a personal styling consultation, a jeroboam of Moet, a floral bouquet from Lavender Green and a Velvetiser hot chocolate system from Hotel Chocolat. It’s not clear if the hot chocolate system also comes with a year’s supply but, if I were Abbey, I’d be pushing for it.
It was the first time Abbey, who is a fan of fashions from the 40s and 50s, had been to the races. Now she wanted to back a winner and was last seen down with the bookies.
Hopefully she was successful, but at least she’d already been to the winner’s enclosure.