Monday, September 22, 2014

Flat Pop

Poor ol' Pop Label waited ten months for his comeback, and then blew it in the starting gate. He looked superb in the paddock, and even better warming up - he even went into the stalls nicely and sat for a bit, then suddenly race-rust put him into hyper-tension mode, just as the starter opened the gate. This caused him to drop down hard on his front legs, almost stumbling, and he simply wasn't able to recover. In the end, he came home in a rather disappointing seventh, in the middle of the field, despite having started as firm favourite. Assuming he didn't hurt himself in the launch from the gate (always a worry), he'll definitely be back in the winner's circle soon, as you can see he's in a different class...

PS. Mikamoto-san's post-race report basically confirmed what we saw, except he made an interesting comment on Pop's condition. Basically, he was breathing heavily after not racing for so long, still being a touch heavy, and going with the high pace. As such, Mikamoto-san saved his legs rather than push things, knowing there's still plenty of time left to get him right and fight another day. He's got a great team behind him, and with that extra bit of knowledge, my confidence is running high.

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