|Maritimer jogs into the fog...|
Martimer was expected to be amongst the favourites for the Queen's Plate, but has raced only once as a three-year-old, since being sold privately in January to Chechen President, Ramzan Kadyrov.
On Friday afternoon, legendary Woodbine trainer Roger Attfield was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Earlier this week, I wrote a preview of the event for the Woodbine website which featured stories of Attfield's success from trainers Ian Black, David Bell and Mike Keogh.
|Ian Black, David Willmot, Roger Attfield and Bill Werner|
In July of 1987, Keogh travelled to an unbearably hot Atlantic City with Carotene for the Matchmaker Stakes.
"It was night racing and it had to be 100 degrees," recalled Keogh. "But, Carotene was great. A consummate professional."
Keogh, upon arriving at Atlantic City discovered that barn had only one fan available. Always one to put the horse first, Keogh found a workable solution.
"It was so hot, I slept in the stall with her and we shared the fan," laughed Keogh. "I had a tack room right next to her stall. But, I had only one fan and that was for her...I’ve never been so hot."
Fortunately, it was a worthwhile adventure for Keogh as Carotene, under jockey Don Seymour, won by three-quarters of a length over Spruce Fir.
|Attfield signing autographs...|
A very young steeple chase rider in England was waiting for his first ride. So, the old trainer said to the boy, "I'll give you your first ride, but you have to ride to instructions."
"Yes sir, I certainly will sir," said the boy.
So, the trainer gave the young boy the opportunity and gave him a leg up in the paddock.
“Listen, every jump you come to the jump, you say 'one, two, three HUP!'” instructed the trainer.
And the boy said, “Yes sir!”
But, the boy, amongst all the professional riders, thought to himself, 'I feel a little foolish saying one, two three HUP!'
So he didn't say anything and the horse hit the first fence and landed on his knees on the other side.
Scrambling around on the floor, he finally gathers himself together and stands up. He's a mile behind the other horses. But, the boy starts riding him, 'One, two, three HUP! One, two, three HUP! One, two, three HUP!'
He’s running right through the pack of horses and gets to the wire third.
He rides back, pleased with himself and the trainer says, “Son, you don't ride to instructions. You didn't say, 'One, two, three HUP' at that first fence.”
"Oh yes sir, I did sir," said the boy. "The thing is, I think that horse is deaf."
But the trainer knew better. "Son,” he said. “He's not deaf - -he's blind!!"
Congratulations Roger Attfield!! Keep the winners coming!