Its been very much a week of highs and lows in the sport of horseracing, Ryan Mania and Sue Smith teaming up to win the National which (particularly North of the border), saw the start of Ryan Mania “mania” with all the TV and media appearances and coverage. In between the high of winning the World’s most famous race, and the media frenzy in his home town of Galashiels, he suffered the low of being hospitalised following a fall at Hexham on Sunday. Thankfully, he was soon up and about to please his newly founded fan club, and hopefully he won’t be away for too long from the schooling grounds and racecourses.
Another low this week was the death of former Newmarket trainer Mick Quinlan, a man desecribed as a wonderful horseman and a man who was said to “know the time of day” and land a few gambles. According to his brother Noel, Mick suffered from depression and it is so very sad that he took his own life though quoting his brother’s comment’s from the Racing Post, “he’s at peace now”.
This week the Racing Post have been publicising Brough Scott’s new book about the training legend that is Sir Henry Cecil, and it was sad to read a statement by Henry himself regarding the book. It seems that Brough Scott has gone against Sir Henry’s wishes and written about certain parts of his life that he wanted to leave in the past to some degree his statement which was on his website reads as follows:
Statement regarding ‘Henry Cecil, Trainer of Genius’ by Brough Scott
Almost daily I am sent pictures of Frankel, the Frankel book, racecards or even copies of On The Level (a book from the past about me) – all of which I am more than happy to sign. However, I am unable to say the same regarding Brough Scott’s book about me, which is due to be published shortly, and I feel it is important to explain why as I have already started receiving requests to sign it.
Over the years I have been asked by countless people, including Brough Scott, if they could write my biography. As there have been some unhappy and difficult phases in my life, for the sake of my family, especially my children, I have always said no. However, when Brough Scott visited me the year before last and told me that the Racing Post wanted him to write a tribute book about my training career in the same style as the Tony McCoy book (that he edited) I agreed, albeit with reservations.
I made it very clear to Brough Scott that it was not to include certain areas of my life. I do not like to look back and prefer to look to the future. With horses to train and my ongoing treatment, I explained to Brough Scott that I did not have the time to go through the history of my training career. To assist him with the necessary research Brough Scott was therefore given a huge amount of access to my family, friends and staff – both old and current.
At no point did Brough Scott explain to me that the concept of the book had changed to include some unhappy and difficult phases in my life that I had told him to leave and that I would have to trust him to tell the story as best he could.
If Brough Scott had come to me to explain this change I would have undoubtedly withdrawn my cooperation and I am sure my family and friends would have followed suit. Brough Scott would also not have continued to enjoy the unparalleled access he had to Warren Place and Frankel.
Although I see some editing has been done I feel there is still a large amount of needless focus on my private life. On the whole I also found the book rather boring and lacking in humour – something which I hope I am not!
It is such a shame as Brough Scott has obviously put a lot of time and effort into the book and there are interesting parts. Nonetheless, I cannot express my disappointment strongly enough.
I hope people will understand why I find it all so upsetting and hurtful for my family – and realise the reasons why I cannot endorse the book and do not want to sign it. I am very anxious to avoid people the disappointment and cost of sending me copies to be signed as this is not something which I am comfortable about doing. I do not wish to discuss this book any further. I want to put this stressful experience behind me and concentrate on being healthy and training my horses.
Sir Henry Cecil
I feel it is very sad that someone of Brough Scott’s standing cannot respect Sir Henry’s wishes bearing in mind just how ill he has been, and this will only add to the stress that he will no doubt have been under for the past few year’s.
After he won the Juddmonte with Frankel, John Weymes young daughter Imogen wrote a letter to Sir Henry congratulating him and the yard – can you imagine the delight and surprise on the young girl’s face when Sir Henry replied?
It is a really sad state of affairs when such a great trainer and also such a great man can be taken advantage of in this way, particularly by someone who has also commanded respect within the sport.
Talking of delight on Imogen Weymes face, she had plenty of that last Saturday night when Almaty Express won for the eighteenth time at Wolverhampton. Imogen went to the races with her mum Kirsty and as none of the owners could attend, the honours at the post race presentation fell to Imogen (albeit none of that champagne that you guys know goes down ever so well in the winning owners’ room!), who collected the memento and stood alone in all the photo’s! Robert Tart gave him a great ride to get across from that wide draw and the old boy was a willing partner for him, running on all the way to the line to extend his own record of course wins at Dunstall Park. This was well and truly a high for me personally and the rest of the lads involved in Tag Racing Club.
Turf racing is starting to pick up now, and next week we see the start of the Guineas trials at the Craven meeting at Newmarket. My team of riders got off the mark on the turf this week with Michael Metcalfe riding a winner at Catterick for Sean Curran. The day after, Jemma Marshall followed up her recent winner in Jersey with a win on the Chris Down trained Ordensritter at Kempton where she gave him a lovely ride to hold off George Baker in a driving finish.
Some may say the turf season has been going for a few weeks now, but it is still very slow and it’s only after the Craven meeting that it starts to pick up. This weekend we have a solitary turf meeting up at Doncaster, with the other meeting at Kempton. Only one horse stands out to me at the mo and that is the David Barron trained TRES CORONAS in the 4.05 race at Doncaster. This gelding by Key Of Luck has won on his second start of the season in 2009, 2010 and 2012, and is weighted to beat the likely favourite Beaumont’s Party as he is 8lb better off and certain to have come on for that run if history repeats itself. He is also running off an 8lb lower mark than his last winning one, and with the stable appearing to be in form, he could be a good each way bet at a likely double figure price.
I will be finishing declaration’s in the morning and then hot footing it down to Northampton for the latest battle in York City’s relegation war, wish us luck!!
All the best for the weekend.