Do you yell at a computer? Watching horses who oftentimes run at places where I can’t attend, I find myself standing in front of a computer, watching, imploring, cajoling and wrestling with the urge to yell. Live, you can’t help it, you jump out of your chair, scream, yell, throw your program, slap your friends on the back. It’s like, somehow, you think the horse might hear you, or at least the Racing Gods who might be able to do something. But alone in your living room, it seems so strange to yell at a computer screen. The horse can’t hear you. The Gods, doubtful.
Today I yelled.
Riverdee Stable’s Valdez turned for home in a novice hurdle at Doncaster with a chance. He had worked his way into contention, between favorite Minella Forfitness and Cheltenham Bumper winner Cheltenian. Big white face, high white knee, churning, grinding. Jockey Choc Thornton pumping. In a 2-mile hurdle race over winter British ground, nothing comes easy. Especially today with Valdez, who stayed like a stain, never really retreating but never really gaining as the hurdles came and went in the straight. He stayed to finish a good third as the other two, who we conceded weight to, fought out a game finish. Minella Forfitness nailed Cheltenian, making his first start since the 2011 Cheltenham Bumper, in the final stride. I got a sore throat. Imagine if I had something to do with the first two?
Now, that the yelling’s over, it’s back to the waiting. Weeks and weeks of waiting. If you like horse racing, you like action and there’s never enough action. The obvious question is Cheltenham, the greatest jump racing festival in the world. Four days, March 12-15. I’ve booked my tickets for my annual jaunt to my favorite place in the world. Valdez will probably skip it this year, just don’t see the point of trying to go toe-to-toe with the likes of My Tent Or Yours and others in the Supreme and don’t see any other viable options. We’ll aim at the EBF Final at Sandown on the Saturday before the Festival. Of course, everybody wants to have a runner at Cheltenham, but it’s high-risk for a young horse, especially, when you think you’re running for fourth money. He’ll probably go chasing in the fall and aim at Cheltenham 2014.
So, tell me do you yell at your computer?
Watch race on Racing Post.