I’m a little late with this one, overtaken by other events, I’m afraid but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to make a comment on what was the best ride of a steeplechaser that I have seen in years.
Forget plaudits like Ride of the Week, and give the Ride of the Decade laurels to Paul Carberry (left), for his effort aboard Monbeg Dude, in the rescheduled Welsh Grand National. If you have not yet witnessed it you really should because it’s a complete masterclass. This is a horse prone to errors, you do not rush him into a race. He needs nursing, and in Carberry he had the best in the business on his back for that job.
I had this horse bottom rated, of the entire field (what do I know!), and like most of the rest of the punting population, thought Teaforthree was a good thing to give McCoy, Curtis and Wales the prize.
They jumped off, a 17 strong field and Carberry just took a pull early, settling Monbeg Dude plum last. McCoy, by contrast, sat third from flag fall, knowing his had stamina and an ability to jump. They missed out two of the first four fences (never a bad thing for a dodgy jumper), and jumping the first in the home straight on the first circuit, Monbeg Dude jumped the fence, leaving his hind legs in it….first error. At this point Carberry improved his position but, it was not by design. Two were simply going slower and fell past him.
Another three then cried enough and again, Carberry only found horses behind him because they were legless. Coming out of the back straight, with five left to jump, if you were watching from the comfort of your living room, you were absolutely convinced McCoy had this race in the bag, as three went six lengths clear, including the mightily backed favourite and Monbeg Dude was not in picture, more than 20 lengths off that trio. Off the bend and approaching four out, you could now see, from the head on-ish shot, that Carberry was now improving but, he was still fully 20 lengths off the lead. He made a slight error at this fence and landed flat footed but his jockey got him back on an even keel quickly enough.
McCoy now drove Teaforthree into the lead but if he had looked behind him, jumping two from home, he would have seen his fellow Irishman cruising up on his outside, looking for all the world like his was going to try and nick McCoys wallet.
In absolutely no hurry between the last two fences he ranged up to join Teaforthree going over the last and made a mess of that jump, too but somehow Carberry got his mount away from the last fence quickest and took a length off McCoy. Never knowing when he is beaten, he drove Teaforthree back up the inside of Monbeg Dude but Carberry held him off by half a length.
It was a simply stunning ride, pure genius and if we ever get to produce a Post Racing Ride of the Season prize then he’ll get one irrespective of the year we do that.
Take a bow Mr Carberry.