ICE LORD’s GOOD THIRD AT THE UK RACING RESTART
At the UK racing restart, ICE LORD takes 3rd for Hintlesham Racing. Below is a little video of him walking around beforehand in “behind closed doors” circumstances.
When the jockeys come into the parade ring, they stand in predetermined boxes, a distance away from the trainer who is in his or her box. Both wear masks of a variety that has been issued and takes some effort to inhale through. There are One Way systems everywhere and those who are there behave accordingly.
Yesterday evening at the end of a ten race raceday, ICE LORD gave us all a very good shout and showed himself to be in his typical first time out form. There had been a couple of significant bursts of rain but not so as to “get into” the ground. So it was fairly fast ground, causing one of the three non-runners in our race to pull out. Probably two of them. The other non-runner had run the day before and presumably would get a fine – unless they are being lenient with 3 days prior declarations instead of 2.
So….did the reduced field inconvenience ICE LORD? Probably insofar as they did not go quick from the start, if not to the extent of all looking at each other. However, this is a question of degree and we have no complaints. (This Division II was slightly slower than Division l and neither was within a second of the standard time).
With the risk of bounding in front enhanced in a smaller field, James moved him out of the stalls so as to be sure of a lead, then at moments in the race had his eye on getting the rail as they came up the far side of the track. ICE LORD runs arrow straight on easy ground even if his head sometimes points in an odd direction before he lets himself down, but Chris had reminded James that on this quicker ground which doesn’t suit as well but doesn’t stop him, he might lug right a bit. Hence the rail. Arrow straight. Good boy.
In no time ICE LORD was in touch. Arguably he had to wait a couple of strides for his rail gap – but when he went for it, the neighbours here got a fright. James thought he would go and pick up the leaders which he did but not quite all of them, tiring a little on the hill which is forgivable, but battling to hold 3rd under strong challenges. James said that he handled the ground i.e. let himself down for his effort therefore no excuses, although obviously pounds better softer.
That winner Highland Dress was the one who had run twice this season, winning last time. He is very lightly raced – not at all at 2, 3 times at 3, and now 3 times at 4 – and clearly very good. The Racing TV people went way over the top about his quality, but he won well and they are probably right that he is an improver and may contest some big prizes. He raced at 3 for Godolphin in Ireland (and didn’t race at 2 for them) then was sold by them at Goffs for €23,000, moving to his present trainer for a syndicate. Looks a good buy if he stays sound, and he travelled really well.
So that was very good for a Hintlesham Racing start. Let’s hope that the race was the harbinger of a good season with our very worthy fellow.