Posts Tagged ‘Ironopolis’

Horseracing at Newcastle, Tuesday 21st September 2022

October 5, 2022

It had been a few weeks since Ironopolis had run at Ripon and we were keen to put that disappointment behind us. He is bred to get well over a mile and and with the races getting longer as the season progresses, he was entered into a ten furlong race at Newcastle on the all-weather surface.

Jen, Isla and I drove up north through the Tyne Tunnel. Isla is getting a bit old now to believe that she has to hold her breath when we drive through a tunnel, although I suspect her mam still did it at that age. Soph was telling me recently that she still gets a bit anxious when the hazard warning lights go on in a car, a consequence of me telling her as a small child that they were the warning that the ejector seats were about to activate.

The meeting was very quiet. It seemed that just about everyone there had an owner’s badge on. Maybe it’s all funded by the bookies or the racing channels rather than relying on gate money. Whilst we could have watched from the owner’s balcony, we took seats in the grandstand which was pretty much deserted.

Ironopolis ran well. He didn’t really get involved until the last couple of furlongs but then picked off all but two highly rated horses for third place. The jockey was open in his assessment, reckoning that he was difficult to steer and might win one race a year. It’s likely that he won’t run again this season but hopefully he will continue to develop and we’ll see him progress as a three year old.

Horseracing at Ripon, Saturday 13th August 2022

August 25, 2022

Ironopolis had the second run of his career in a one mile restricted novice race at Ripon. Isla was away on holiday and so it was just Jen and I that went along to see how he got on. We were able to leave the car in the shade under a tree in the Owners Car Park and got in just in time for the first race.

There was a good turnout with the Club Enclosure sold out and plenty of people taking advantage of being able to take their own beer into the Course Enclosure. A brass band was knocking out the tunes in the bandstand. It made me wish that it was a drinking day.

We watched the first race from the Club Stand. When it was time for Ironopolis to run we could have gone into a a small section reserved for Owners and Trainers, but we had a good enough view from the seats immediately behind that section. There was a dedicated bar for us too, where we caught up with some of the other syndicate members, before heading out to the parade ring for a chat with the trainer and jockey.

The pre-race chat between the syndicate mainly dealt with the horse being backed into 6-4. He drifted to 9-4, but still went off as 2-1 favourite in a nine horse field. There was a consensus that the price was too short, although I could see why he would attract support after a strong finish on his first run and an assessment in the race card that he was likely to improve.

The word from the trainer was that he still doesn’t do much when working at the stables. He didn’t do a lot in this race either and was never in contention, jogging home in sixth place. The jockey reckoned that he didn’t like running around a bend. Others thought that he likely needs softer ground and a less undulating track. Perhaps he needs to be told that lower grade horses usually get their balls chopped off.

We watched the third race from the grandstand, for a different perspective. As we were looking after the dog we called it a day after that one and headed home. Hopefully Ironopolis will be back on a track that suits him before long.

Horseracing at Redcar, Sunday 17th July 2022

July 24, 2022

Back, I think, in 2019 I joined a horseracing syndicate put together via a football message board. It was interesting to get involved with but when I took the job in Moscow it proved less enjoyable to follow from afar and so I gave it up. A couple of years later, there was an option to rejoin. Jen and I were back in the UK by then and so ended up with a twentieth share in a two-year-old that, after a tight vote, was named Ironopolis.

He’s a horse whose grandad won the Derby and is likely to do best at distances around the mile mark. Isla and I have been to see him ride on the gallops a couple of times earlier in the year at his stables at the top of Sutton Bank. Oddly, he declined the carrots that Isla had brought. Maybe we’ll try apples next time.

With him not being bred for the shorter sprints there was little opportunity for him to run early in the flat season. Besides all that, he’s a bit of a late developer and so it was mid-July before he finally made it to a track.

Jen and I got Owner’s passes and Soph and Isla came along as well to see how he got on. On entering the grandstand at Redcar, Soph and Isla were given free entry by a bloke who had some spare passes. Result.

We watched the first race of the day from the steps at the front of the grandstand and then I made my way over to the Owners and Trainers stand to catch up with the other syndicate members. Some I knew from the stable visits or from the message board, others I was meeting for the first time. The word from the stable was not to expect too much and that this opening outing was primarily intended to get the horse used to the experience of racing. Nevertheless, it was hard not to see it as an opportunity to gauge how he compared to the other horses in his 7f maiden.

He started slowly out of the stalls and was trailing in the opening stages but picked up as the race went on. Once he got into his stride he began overhauling other horses to finish in fourth position and in the prize money. I think he won around four hundred quid for the syndicate kitty which isn’t far off a week’s worth of training fees.

We got a debrief from the jockey and assistant trainer in the parade ring afterwards. The gist of it being that it took the horse a while to realise what he was supposed to be doing and it wasn’t until he went past the horse in second last position that he started racing.

A fast-finishing fourth place was seen by everyone as a very pleasing outcome for a first race. Hopefully he’ll be back on the track again before too long to gain some more experience.