Friday 14th August, 2020
There shouldn’t be a hosepipe ban in the area for some time by the look of the rainfall over the last 24 hours. It is tropical conditions and the horses do not seem to mind – some are certainly relieved that it has cooled down a bit.
Many of the string are continuing to build up their work and if the rain continues, there will be plenty of opportunities to run them this autumn.
The Racing Post today contains an exctrac from a new book on Frankel by Simon Cooper. Interestingly it discusses the wonder horse’s peculiar run in the St James Palace at Royal Ascot.
It was only time Frankel looked like being defeated with Zoffany so nearly getting to him as the line approached. The book discusses whether he had a virus, was a bit under par or simply had an off day. It also relates that Sir Henry had done two pieces of faster work with him the previous week, the only time he had done so, so maybe he was flat.
I relay this story as I will not forget the fact that when Frankel so nearly failed to hang on in that race, I happened to be close to the area where the horses come in off the course. Following his remarkable Guineas victory, I like many was surprised at his performance that day so I was keen to see him coming back in off the course.
Remarkably his nostrils were not even moving. Even very fit horses nostrils would flare slightly after exercise. Frankel’s had moved more in the paddock then they had after the race.
Tom Queally had said he thought the horse had idled, which if I had not seen the horse after the race, was a statement I’d find hard to believe.
I was fortunate enough to be present to see Frankel win on many occasions and each time I would notice how hard he was blowing after his victories as he walked off the course. Every time was the same, his nostrils hardly moved, they looked more relaxed coming off the course than in the pre-parade.
We will never know why he was such an incredible racehorse but quite possibly, his ability to oxygenate better than many others was a reason.
Very sad to hear of the passing of Coral Pritchard-Gordon. I was fortunate enough to meet her on many occasions and she was always a very helpful and industrious lady who did so much for charity. I know she will be sorely missed by many and may she rest in peace.