Queen Elizabeth The Great
Posted on 12th September 2022 at 15:20
I started writing this blog on Thursday morning and gradually through the day I was overtaken by events of an awful nature as first it became clear that Queen Elizabeth The Great was seriously ill and then in the evening we received the devastating news that our fantastic Monarch had died.
All of us will have been watching the BBC and the other news channels and they are far greater sources of telling just how successful and amazing her reign over us actually was and myself and my family have always been and still are massive fans of everything that she has done for not only us, but the country and, indeed, the world.
So I’m just going to write a few paragraphs of my own about just how magnificent she has been for our great sport. Her Majesty inherited an interest in racing from her father George VI, whose best horse Sun Chariot secured the fillies’ Triple Crown in 1942.
When she was married to her great love Prince Philip in 1947, one of her wedding presents was a foal called Astrakhan and two years’ later those famous colours of scarlet, purple hooped sleeves and black cap were registered that have become so famous to us all over the years.
And so her love of the sport was born and less than a decade later Her Majesty notched her first Classic winners courtesy of the Lester Piggott-ridden Oaks heroine of Carrozza in 1957 and a year later Pall Mall struck in the 2,000 Guineas.
I could write pages about her subsequent achievements in racing, but I’ll leave it there by saying if you haven’t watched the video doing the rounds on twitter and other social media sources of The Queen watching a winner at Royal Ascot with her racing manager John Warren you should as it shows her passion and huge enthusiasm for the sport and we must all be truly grateful for her contribution over the years. RIP Ma’am.
Moving away from our great loss, training thoroughbred racehorses is obviously a profession with its share of highs and lows, but it can be torturous when one suffers from an affliction known as ‘seconditis’ which unfortunately I have been since my last ramblings.
Since August 22nd four of my runners have finished runner-up, preventing the DJ Jeffreys Racing Club, Mark Smith, whose Al Muffrih was beaten by a fag paper at Sedgefield, and Ballards Racing twice from joining me in the place where all of us most want to be.
However, the one bright spot came when Ten Ten Twenty kept on strongly under Tom Bellamy for the Cheltenham Amigos to scoop a maiden hurdle at Worcester on the last day of the month by 14 lengths.
This wouldn’t be the biggest horse in the world, but he has a huge heart and his victory was testament to the skill and professionalism of my staff at home who between his previous outing at Uttoxeter and Worcester had worked tirelessly at his jumping and those efforts were exhibited oh so brilliantly at the latter racecourse.
He was beaten a few days’ later at Stratford and while I believe that that race came a bit too soon for him, he was so well after the Worcester victory that we had to give it a go and I still think he’ll be a horse that will give the ‘Friends of Prestbury Park’ a hell of a lot of fun over the winter months.
Fortunately I am a glass half full kind of guy and despite knocking on the door driving me absolutely mad, it’s when your horses aren’t even on the premises as they were when my yard was enduring a sickness back around March time that you really do have to worry.
When they’re there or thereabouts you know that things will probably change and you’ll bang in a few winners and I’m not in the least surprised that they’ve been running well and going so close as my string look a million dollars and appear to be thriving.
One of those horses that has filled the runner-up’s position twice is Harry d’Alene who is one of three horses owned by Ballards Racing. Hopefully a few people reading this blog are doing so because they are considering joining Team DJ and Ballards could be the perfect vehicle for a medium-sized investor to get involved.
Ballards Racing is limited to 10 shares with three still available at a very-reasonable amount to buy into three horses with the other two being Arctic Lodge and Le Balcon from point-to-points. Harry finished second on his debut at Fontwell and filled the same position at Uttoxeter this week going down by just a length and a quarter.
It’s then a monthly fee with the only extras being BHA fees and vets’ fees divided by the 10 solid citizens. Harry has obviously already exhibited some ability on a racecourse, while Balcon and Arctic didn’t show a lot on their respective only starts in this country, but they both ran when my yard was sick and I’ll be extremely disappointed if this talented trio don’t all emulate the two horses in the DJ Jeffreys Racing Club who have both won.
I also still have some lovely horses available for purchase and anyone who might be interested is welcome to visit the yard at anytime or likewise give me a wee ‘bell’.
Cheltenham’s October Meeting goes to post on the 21st so the ‘proper’ Jumps season is nearly upon us. I’ll obviously be trying to get all my horses into the winner’s enclosure somewhere, but Mark Smith, Brake Horse Power Syndicate’s Lively Citizen was obviously my flagbearer last season and it’ll be brilliant to see him exhibiting his talents again.
I’ll be talking plans with the owners very soon, but, once again, he’s a very exciting customer who clearly loves the undulations of Prestbury Park, but also put in a savage effort when finding only the Irish hotpot too good in Sandown’s Imperial Cup. Exciting times.
And lastly news reaches me of a ghastly prank played upon a then prominent Flat trainer a few years’ ago by his jockeys at Royal Ascot. The unwitting handler had left his binoculars in the weighing room and while he was away these cheeky chappies put black boot polish on the rims of the glasses.
When he returned he picked up the binoculars and duly watched a race with them on the owners’ and trainers’ balcony. The handler was then an unusual sight walking around the Royal extravaganza with two heavy black rings around his eyes and when he later walked into the weighing room again, his two riders burst into fits of laughter and the rest of the jockeys also came out of the inner sanctum and were filled with mirth and merriment.
This particular trainer was not really used to people laughing at him and couldn’t believe that it was actually anything to do with him and was unable to quite work out what was going on!
Neither jockey was reprimanded for excessive use of the boot polish, but I hope Kielan Woods and Tom Bellamy don’t get any ideas at Cheltenham this season!
Queen Elizabeth The Great
Ten Ten Twenty
DJ with Lively Citizen
Share this post: