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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Cabin fever

It's a waiting game. An unhealthy mixture of boredom and anticipation. I've been pacing about so much the soles of my novelty horse slippers are flapping like two exhausted dogs and I will soon be down to my socks

It's always the same this time of year. It must be a confusion brought on by how long those January sales last and it's merging into Valentine's day. It sends a cold shiver down the spine. Joking aside, it is none of those things. It is simply that long wait for the new Flat season to begin.

You may have noticed in a recent post that I have already started musing about the first two-year-old race of the season - the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes. I am going to submit an article to Racing Ahead magazine about the most acclaimed winners from previous years.

It's a curiosity why a stakes race starts the beginning of the two-year-old season. There seems no logic to it when generally a stakes race is considered a stepping-stone for winning juveniles to face a stiffer challenge. I like that kind of madness as it keeps things interesting.

Considering the Brocklesby is worth over 13,000 pounds to the winner, it isn't surprising  trainers take it seriously. I jokingly sent an email to Racing for Change asking to have it upgraded it to Group race worth 30k just to see who turns up. The lengths trainers would go to have their colts and fillies fit and ready to run! With the weather we had over Christmas, I'm sure it would lead to the invention of equine snow shoes. It just proves how competitively each and every prized race is fought that the Brocklesby is a target of so many connections. Even at this early stage of the year, I can imagine Bill Turner having one or two youngsters in mind. Turner has won the race on a number of occasions and generally sends his best two-year-old to Doncaster. It is quite bizarre to think that on the first race of the first day of the season he has a fair measure of whether this is going to be a good or bad year. Richard Fahey will have a few shortlisted after winning last year with Chiswick Bey. Fahey had a brilliant two-year-old campaign and it was fitting Wootton Bassett achieved such accolades.

So who else can we imagine racing. It's a safe bet to suggest David Evans will have a couple, Mick Channon and Stan Moore. No doubt Tom Dascombe will be there too. After such a poor season last year he will be even more determined to promote his talents. What makes this race so exciting for me is that there is always a chance of a smaller stable getting lucky with an early type with touch of class. However, in recent years, you would have been advised to follow Bill Turner, Richard Fahey & Linda Stubbs.

See, you can tell cabin fever has set in.

Roll on the start of the new season.