What A Wally!

Joey Ramsden's weekly ramble

65214c8c4ef6c1057295f4c9b734d71fd1fc5fe67b674abf4c1791b1b3cbfa0eOne of the most difficult parts of this job, and I say this with all due respect, is dealing with the man on top of the horse. Despite their best intentions, they do not always give you the most accurate feedback – and I am talking about some of the best jockeys in the business, writes Joey Ramsden.

What a couple of weeks it has been with an inordinately large amount of travelling around the South African countryside.  I really don’t know how those successful businessmen and industrious jockeys do it: just travelling locally is tiring enough and yet some of the more senior businessmen fly around the globe on a regular basis.

It really does take it out of one and is not the most favourite part of my job. But I have to keep an eye on both strings; here in Cape Town and up in Natal. Both teams are doing an excellent job working together and are certainly getting the results.

Real Wally

A trainer can look like an absolute wally when giving feedback to owners and a prognosis on how they might run in their next race according to what the jockey told you when they stepped off the horse last time. We had a good example this weekend with three of the country’s top jockeys each getting off a certain horse of mine and all saying that he needed a whole lot further.

Going on their comments, we tried this but it turns out he is a five furlong horse. It does not help that South African pedigrees do not give you much guidance. But when the guys on top – with the best intentions – are sending you in the opposite direction as well, it really does make for some tough decision making.

Thankfully I am not too bad at working this out but it does take a little bit of time. It certainly keeps one on ones toes but can leave one frustrated at times.

Feature Flurry

We have had a couple of decent feature winners recently.

Tar Heel wins the Somerset - hopefully he goes on to bigger and better

Tar Heel wins the Somerset – hopefully he goes on to bigger and better

We managed to pick up the Somerset Plate with a horse bought at the CTS Ready to Run Sale, Tar Heel. Let’s hope he goes on to bigger and better things and gets a bit further than the 1200m. If he does, he could be quite useful. We picked up a few problems with our other runners in that race and just need to work out a few things.

I always love going to the Eastern Cape, where I am royally looked after, not just by Peter and Val Fenix but by everyone there. Having spent my formative years there – probably learning most of what I know now – I love going back there to try and pick up some of the bigger races.

The East Cape Derby has always been close to my heart so it was good to have St Tropez get his head in front under a fine waiting ride by Anton Marcus. I thought it was a particularly good effort as he has not been further than the mile itself in any of his previous races. He also had to travel the long way round from Durban and was a Maiden and a colt three and a half months ago.

It was a great team effort  all round and thank you to all involved. He looks to be a nice horse in the making and we will give him some time off now. I wish Wilgerbosdrift and Mary Slack all the best in breeding such a fine horse.

No Luck

We did not have much luck down here in Cape Town over the weekend but did not really have such a strong hand, with only the four runners. We had 2 seconds and a fourth and it was a shame we could not have got one of them across the line in front. The program really did not suit us and is something we shall all have to look at in the near future.

King Of Pain - seemed to enjoy it

King Of Pain – seemed to enjoy it and a change of tactics might do the trick

Sunday was one of those funny old days. King of Pain was travelling really well but then faded out of it a little bit. It was good to see him running with his ears pricked and racing like he was enjoying it and wanted to be there.  I think a change of tactics might be in hand but we will have to discuss that with all concerned.

Gallica Rose finally gained (at her second attempt) black type, winning the East Coast Cup in fine style under a good ride from Bernard.

A rotten draw and being kept three and sometimes four wide looked to have put paid to her chances but Bernard managed to get her head in front and she stayed on well. She should have got some black type before but unfortunately was the end result of one of the strangest stipendiary steward inquiries I have ever been to in my life where they made the strangest decision to take the race away from her and place her second.

But as I said before, in the boardroom I have won some I did not think I would win and I have lost some I should have won.  I really felt for Gallica Rose when they took that race away from her as it was her first run back in a long time, she carried a big weight and came from off the pace to win it only to suffer at the hands of officials and lose it in the boardroom.  It is a funny old game.

The Big Boot

Eden+Hazard+Chelsea+v+West+Ham+United+web-FEATURE_compressedIt looks to have been my team, West Ham’s, last game with their manager, Big Sam Allardyce.  I don’t see him getting another contract for next year. He has probably over achieved with what he has to work with at West Ham this season, following some fairly ordinary football in previous seasons, despite getting the results. The Hammers have mostly played lovely football this year and got the results early on, only to let the lead slip and end up losing or drawing their games.

I fear for Big Sam and this could be the end of the road for him. However, four teams that do need a serious kick up the backside are Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.  Man United just looked clueless. What they are going to do with their hundred million pounds worth of signings for next season I do not know. Thankfully Falcao was on loan so he will go. Man City, despite Torre’s goals, look like they will need to spend big. Liverpool looked clueless, with or without Gerard.

I know I am probably going to anger many Liverpool supporters but it was sad to see Steven Gerrard and John Terry play their final premiership games.

In my opinion, Terry was the better player and the one I would always rather have had in my side, rather than Gerrard. I know I might be a little biased, with Gerrard hammering home a few goals against us in a cup final a few years ago, but Terry has been the more consistent, thoughtful and goal-scoring player over the years and a bigger asset to the team. He is a quiet man so maybe he has not been quite the ambassador that Gerard has been for his club. Stevie G has a whiter than white image but those on the inside know that he has plenty of bones rattling in his closet.

He has an extremely good lawyer and has been lucky to escape and have some high court junctions go his way.  I wish them both well.

Read the full story on www.joeyramsden.com

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