Saturday, 18 February 2012

Shona Prophett on Racing

After a bit of a break away, I'm now back on track and raring to go but first, I'd like to include a little story here based on a topic that I find rather interesting - that of the glorious world of horseracing.

Tomorrow, Saturday 18th February at 3.20pm, Haydock will see the running of the Betfred Grand National Trial (Handicap Chase) Grade 3 (CLASS 1). It will be shown live on Channel Four but I suspect I won't make it home in time to see it, so I decided to write this blog post now, to give new readers an understanding into how my brain works, as far as horseracing goes, anyway. I don't study form, nor am I much of a hardened gambler. Heaven forbid anyone mistakes what I say for tips, for they never are - they are mere observations.

I'm intrigued by a horse in tomorrow's National Trial - REY NACARADO - who seems like the perfect candidate for my ramblings. Indeed, I have rambled endlessly about him already, so I'll extend my apologies to anyone reading this who is already bored with the topic. But I assure you, it is looking like a classic example of how I see the entire National Hunt racing game.

I'll refer to the horse as Rey, because the Nacarado part of his name makes me think of broken down old nags and that's certainly not what I think of this horse.

Rey is an Irish thoroughbred, foaled on 20th May 2005. I suspect he was bred to win and reared in a fitting way, as his preparation work with regards to hunting (no boos please, we all know it's banned, but horses still need to run and jump and National Hunt racing won't change its name for anyone I can think of at the moment.) Anyhow, this 2005 bay colt is now a 7 year-old gelding who had his first run as a 4 year-old at Limavady in a 3 mile Point to Point, which he won without too much of a problem.

Not being a true fan of following form, I'm more of a pedigree person, so let's take a look at that, first. Rey is by a stallion named Posidonas, out of a mare named Ice Pearl, who was sired by Flatbush. Posidonas's grand sire (male line) was the great Slip Anchor by Shirley Heights who, of course, was sired by the famous Mill Reef, so there's some Classic blood in there.

But what about Ice pearl? Well, the 'pearl' part of her name may give some of you some clues... she's also the dam of Florida Pearl.

Rey cost £30,000 when purchasd through the Cheltenham 'Stars of the Future' sale in November 2009. He has already won that back over the past 2 years, but he's still about a quarter of a million pounds short of his half-brother's career earnings.

This is now year three and training fees can easily cost £12,000 per year, so Rey needs to start clocking up prize money at a rate of at least £1,000 per month. All going to plan, I can't see this being too much of a problem. His races would appear to have been carefully chosen, showing, for me, that he may have a preference for left handed tracks.

After a lacklustre start, the horse found his distance and settled well into his career, gradually improving. I really do see a great career ahead and a future National potential here.

Rey finished second to Giles Cross in November and I suspect his run in the Haydock National Trial is a bit of a test, so they know exactly what they're up against in the future.

This is just the way I look at horses - assuming Rey keeps safe, he's my watch of the future and I wish him and his trainer every success. He's certainly worthy of Shona Prophett.

Shona Prophett

Edited in post-race:
Despite his being pulled up, I am not disappointed in the results of today's trial. On the contrary, I'm delighted to see Giles Cross take the race.

I'll be watching out for Rey if he gets the run on Friday 24th February, as he is entered in the 3.45 at Warwick. Perhaps trainer Charlie Longsdon wants to make a real fun-filled day of it?

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