Our runners continue to disappoint somewhat, and whilst it may be 30 degrees outside, we are feeling a little chilly here as we get closer to making an appearance on the Racing Post cold trainers list. There can’t be many other professions where your performance can be analysed by all and sundry at the click of a button, and it can make training a lonely enough place when things aren’t going well. That said, you soon have to develop a thick skin in this game to cope with the inevitable knock-backs, and the lows always make the highs even sweeter.
One very sad piece of news we received this weekend was that our old friend Gavroche had been put to sleep at the age of 12, after succumbing to navicular disease. After we retired him from racing, he had spent several happy years at Elms Farm in Essex, where they have a number of our horses after they finish racing. Gavroche won 3 decent handicaps for us (2 at Epsom, 1 at Goodwood) and at his peak was rated 100, but the race I remember most is when he was just touched off in a big handicap on our local track on Derby day 2006. That day was another classic example of the highs and lows, as there was a brief moment in the final furlong when I thought he was going to win the race, before being chinned close to the line. He was such a kind natured and good looking horse that he was even chosen to be the face of an advert for the Racing Post. I still remember him standing patiently as a saint for several hours as he had to pose for various different shots – there are few horses that would have behaved so well. He will be missed, but not forgotten in our yard, and I’d really like to thank the team at Elms Farm for looking after him so well after he left us, and making that tough decision at the end, which was clearly in his best interests. For those of you that don’t know, you can follow the exploits of many of our ex-racers by visiting our Facebook page ‘Jim Boyle’s ex Racehorses’.
In our quest for a winner, I am taking the long trip to Ffos Las today with Idle Curiosity. It is a big risk going so far when the horses are not in the best of form, as the disappointment can be even greater, but it is potentially a good race for her. She will have to put a disappointing run at Lingfield last week behind her (when drawn out in the car park), but she is quite an in-and-out filly who is capable of doing so, so we will take our chance.