‘Reincarnation’ is frowned upon by doubters but after watching Sir Gordon Richards (sorry Hollie Doyle!) drive Miquelon clear in the first at Lingfield, Tuesday, one was very much reminded of those wonderful times a hundred years ago when the 26-times champion jockey used to be the ultimate ‘favourite’ of punters with no-nonsense style victories.
Miquelon was immediately in the ‘cat-bird’ position, close up, then rousted by the ‘pocket rocket’ as they turned into the straight, and quickly asserted when Hollie gave him the office; the Archie Watson-trained Kingman gelding stormed away to win unchallenged by three and a half lengths, reminiscent of the way ‘Moppy’ constantly drove his mounts clear. No worries about a future handicap mark.
My mind goes back to an occasion when Gordon was told by an owner, he’d ‘won too far!’
An amused Richards, riding the hitherto extremely vexing maiden for the first time, apparently said, somewhat tongue in cheek, ‘but Sir you said just win, that’s all I ask!’
The will-to-win ethic of Ms Doyle is similar and her 136th winner of the year was warmly appreciated by favourite-backers; the 137th came in similar vein two hours later when Retrospect surged away under Hollie’s persuasion!
Really exciting to view; try ‘googling’ Pinza winning the Epsom Derby for Gordon in 1953 and just watch how both he and Hollie climb onto necks of thoroughbreds and use colossal strength from the shoulders; a quite extraordinary comparison.
Hollie works with weights in the gymnasium, along with husband-to-be Tom Marquand whereas Gordon, for all his 7st 10lbs and solid frame was built like a brick…coalhouse!
In the meantime current activity focuses on first day of Newmarket’s ‘Cambridgeshire’ meeting, Pontefract and Wolverhampton where multi-raced White Jasmine can put experience of seven races to good use in the five-runner Maiden Stakes over five furlongs of tapeta under Callum Shepherd who rode George Boughey’s charge for the first time at Chelmsford recently and elicited a ‘career-best’ effort.
Later Dungar Glory has Mumcat to beat in the Novice Stakes over seven furlongs in what promises to be an absolute cracker under floodlights.
I’m always loath to play on the first stage of a major meeting but Dawn Of Liberation rates a ‘special’ and just what is usually required for an HQ Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs of a ‘good to firm’ surface.
Selections, Newmarket, 1.00 Dawn Of Liberation; Wolverhampton, 6.00 White Jasmine (e.w); Dungar Glory (e.w).
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019