Sunday, 24 June 2012
: Let's face it is she (Black Caviar, our Nelly) has won by 5 lengths there would have been little to get excited about.
As it was the narrow margin of her win (a head, but it's a pretty head) and the manner of her win has provided a great story. Luke Nolan is receiving criticism from many quarters for dropping his hands, but when he's done that in the past (look at the videos) she has kept going for quite a bit further and yesterday she didn't. You can say that a jockey should never drop his hands and that in the past she had several lengths up her sleeve (literally now she has that smart pressure suit) but in the end she got the result. If you look at the time 1.14.1 that is pretty good on the soft going - last year's time on soft was 1.17.22, the faster times of the three years before that were on tracks rated good to firm. It also appears that all was not well with the wonder mare - she was swishing the tail in the parade ring and even gave a little kick at one stage, and after the race she looked as if she had run a 1600m race rather than a 1200m.
But in the final analysis she got her 22 out of 22, she met the Queen, her owners met the Queen and her's is the name that goes into the records. Also an indication of how tough the Ascot track is, her times in the Patinack were 1.08.72 on good and the previous year 1.07.96 on dead.
Let's just hope she's OK and returns home and has a nice holiday and then tells her connections if she wants to continue racing or start her next career.
The French horses were both superb - Moonlight Cloud who likes it a bit longer and Restiadargent, whom nobody had every heard of, flying home at odds of 40/1. And Aussie bred Commands gelding Soul, now with Godolphin, ran fourth.
Earlier Dunedin was very unlucky not to win the Hardwicke - remains to be seen if he will return to Melbourne or go for the Arc, but the favourite Sea Moon was a nice run. Red Cadeaux is on the Melbourne trail and this was a fine run although he clearly needs longer. Aiken ran fourth.
The Wokingham was a complete wipeout for us - Dandy Boy won at 33/1 followed in by Waffle 11/1, Haucheyethenoo 20/1 and Morache Music 20/1.
Another great story is Simenon, winner of the Ascot Stakes on Tuesday and winner of the Queen Alexandra on Saturday. He was sent to Willie Mullins to go hurdling, but seems to be happy back on the flat. Ryan Moore rode both races and the latter cemented his place as leading jockey for the week.
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