Friday, October 13, 2023

Frankie, Lucinda, Caroline, Michael - and the longest impending retirement I've ever known

Many years ago, at a time when I had to work for a living, one of my workplace managers - I occupied a humble, lowly position within a vast organisational hierarchy - announced, with some degree of relish, his impending retirement, having recently celebrated his 50th birthday.

You may have encountered a similar type.

At subsequent fortnightly catch-up meetings he'd invariably reference at some point his previous 'announcement' with the result that, within the matter of a few short weeks, we'd all grown fed up to the back teeth hearing about 'the retirement'.

The individual concerned eventually took the plunge at the age of 59 and, to this day, it remains the longest impending retirement I've ever had the misfortune to bear witness to.

However it would appear Lanfranco Dettori seems intent on giving my colleague a bit of a run for his money.

Having spent this, his 'final' season, telling anyone and everyone that he's about to hang up his riding boots after Qipco Champions Day at Ascot, Frankie has suddenly changed his mind and is now off to ride full-time in the States.

"I could be there three months or three years, I don't know," he said.

Well, bless my old boots.

Over the summer months Michael Scudamore has moved his operation north of the border to join forces with Lucinda Russell (and partner Peter Scudamore) while his brother Tom has taken over the reins at the Herefordshire base he vacated which will be used as a pre-training / satellite yard. 

The Russell-trained Lebowski ran without the declared tongue-tie in the Professor Caroline Tisdall Supports Heroic Jumpers Seniors' Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow earlier this afternoon. Sent off the 2/1 favourite, the bay raced from the front but was headed three out and weakened to eventually finish fifth.

Professor Tisdall is on record saying she wants to win two races above all others - the Grand National and the Cesarewitch.

Wordsworth carries her colours in the latter race tomorrow but wasn't quite poetry in motion when winning the first division of a Bangor maiden hurdle on his first run for David Pipe 10 days ago - Act Of Authority won the second division in a faster time.

Pied Piper, rated 157 over hurdles yet 96 on the Flat, heads the betting for the Ces but I'm going to take a small each-way interest in an old friend / adversary, Zoffee

This one finished fourth off the same mark in last year's renewal and looks to have had a similar prep - at the time of writing he's 20/1 with Sky who are paying eight places.

To finish, I note that Lucinda popped up on Desert Island Discs last month and included Wandrin' Star (Lee Marvin) in her list of eight tracks. 

Hmmm... Put me in mind of the time when I thought Walk In The Park would win the 2019 Becher Chase but I backed Wandrin Star (David Bass) instead. 

I don't need to tell you what happened.


TW said...

A rare sortie on the flat for the blog, so best of luck with Zoffee.

Always a tricky race and perhaps jumpers will be to the fore this year on the soft ground but my system has highlighted potential value in Blazeon Five [BF].

Temporize looked a stay on the up when winning the Stayer’s handicap at ‘Glorious Goodwood’ and is joint favourite today. Temporize was beaten narrowly by BF in the Brown Jack handicap at Ascot in July, BF is 3lb better at the weights today, is proven on soft ground and has won over the trip on the AW. In that context 40/1 6 plcs 1/5 odds looked big.

Good luck over the 2023/24 Jumps season.


GeeDee said...

Good to hear from you, TW.

A rare sortie on the Flat, indeed, but an all too familiar outcome...

Good luck for the season ahead!

GeeDee said...

The going at Newmarket was described as soft.

Cesarewitch selection Zoffee - sent off a 50/1 chance - raced prominently most of the trip but faded in the final quarter mile, eventually finishing fifteenth, beaten just under eighteen lengths.

The spoils went to the ten-year-old The Shunter (14/1) trained by Emmet Mullins.

Pied Piper (13/2) came from a long way back to throw down a strong challenge on the run to the line but Gordon Elliott's charge was always being held by the winner. The last horse older than eight to come home in front was the Nicky Henderson trained Caracciola in 2008, sent off a 50/1 shot.

Tashkan (25/1) ran creditably carrying 10-02 to finish third while the Pipe yard's second string Bashful Boy claimed fourth at odds of 100/1.