Joey's Blog

Well, thankfully the Juvenile winners have kept on rolling in.  I have been harping on for quite some time about our two year olds. Let’s hope they train on to be nice three year olds; no reason they shouldn’t.  It also looks like the rain has eventually arrived and a prolonged cold and wet snap could prevail. We desperately need it.   

Captain Gambler won a really smart race. She has been lightly raced and looks like she will get a trip. Who knows how far she can go.  I think the Juvenile crop this year is strong, both the fillies and certainly the colts. This brings us on to the really smart Table Bay. He is a lovely horse for the future and one I was lucky enough to purchase for Markus and Ingrid Jooste, with much help from Derek Brugman. He is a horse that Derek and I fell in love with while mooching around in Melbourne: we just had to twist the big boss’ arm into buying him.  Thankfully I got the ok to buy him but it was already late at night when the message came through and I was fast asleep with my deadly blackout curtains very tightly drawn. Anyone who has ever been to Australia knows that sleep is extremely tough to come by for us trainers.  When one does get a chance to sleep, one grabs it. I usually sleep with the curtains open but for some reason, on this particular night, I shut them. I also did not set the alarm as I did not think I would sleep well. The beauty of the story is that when I finally woke up, I stretched, ambled around the room, wondering how long I still had before having to head off to the sales ground. I never even checked the time.  End result: I almost missed the sale as Table Bay was one of the early lots on the day. Thank heavens for the Lewis Hamilton-style taxi driver who got me to the sales ground in the nick of time. Seriously, if not for that taxi driver, I would have been up the proverbial creek without a paddle. He was seriously fast and good and I am sure broke a couple of laws getting me to the sales on time.  There is usually a good story behind each good horse so let’s hope this is one of them.  Time travel does weird things to one’s body and spending three to four days in Australia is not easy on the body clock. 

It is July week, along with sales and everything that goes with it. We are lucky to have two good runners, with two of the country’s top riders on board in Strydom and Marcus. Funnily enough, two more different styles of rider one could not get. We will just have to see what the racing gods decide to dish up for us. Hopefully a large lump of extremely good fortune. Enough has been said about the track so let’s hope the track does its talking for itself.  The July itself looks to be an open affair. Justin has a strong hand and I am sure his Natal Guineas winner is an extremely good horse. However, I am not sure he should be that sort of price.  It is an open race and I would not know where to start – probably a good thing with the way I have been forecasting as of late.  Like the rain in Natal – which does not appear to be coming – let’s hope the president also fails to pitch. Nothing would spoil my day more than a 20 draw and the rare sight of Jacob Zuma actually doing some work. 

Wimbledon week starts later this year. It is usually men’s final on Sunday so it will be nice to have that week after the July to be able to sit down and enjoy the tennis.  For me, it is one of the big sporting highlights of the year.  

Colonel Avo is doing a sterling job at the stables and we are missing our assistant trainer, Mr Brian Finch. I am not sure how we have managed to get along without him these last couple of months.  He did camp down in Redding, just outside of London, but rumour has it he has now moved on to Eton.  He is enjoying all the British sun and sport that the UK has to offer, along with a bit of Brexit. I called that one extremely poorly with my betting account and sadly the end result is another cheque going off in the wrong direction. The lovely Mrs Finch will certainly be shopping up a storm in London. Can the Finch credit card hold out, along with his retirement? Who knows?  

School holidays again so more punishment is dished out by the airlines.  Will it ever end? Either way, it sure looks to be a fun few weeks ahead. 

Well, heading off to catch a plane and will catch up next week. This is your Captain signing off on DAY 244, 27th June









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