After a Grand National triumph it's all elementary once again
It would be remiss of me, as well as a missed opportunity for self-aggrandisement, not to mention that Sherlock Holmes (A’s Angles last Thursday) informed readers that One For Arthur would win the Grand National. If you thought you knew better than Holmes, I pity you.
Dr Watson would certainly have followed the great detective’s advice. Sadly, I did not. Taking a rigorously professional approach, I considered this year’s National to be too difficult, the price/value relationship unattractive, the coefficient of determination unappealing and, having taken everything into account, concentrated on the opening novice hurdle at Chepstow, instead. It worked for me.
So well done Holmes, Derek Fox, Lucinda Russell, Jaime Duff, the Two Golf Widows and anyone else I should have mentioned but haven’t.
But that was the past. We must look forward to a future which features the first of Windsor’s long celebrated Monday meetings.
Stepping gingerly towards the field of 11 juvenile debutants (2.00), full of unknowns and uncertainties, I draw your attention to Angel Of The South and, in particular, to the filly’s owners, Heather and Michael Yarrow, and trainer Dean Ivory.
Those lucky enough to have a memory will remember Ken Ivory, Dean’s father, who preceded him at the same training yard at Radlett in Hertfordshire. Dean, who took over from his father in 2002, has developed a training operation that has gradually brought him more attention and respect.
Horses such as Sirius Prospect, Tropics, Caspian Prince, Librisa Breeze and Lancelot Du Lac have been prolific and lucrative winners and Ivory has proved adept at improving horses and placing them effectively.
So far, he has been most successful with older sprinters. In the last five years, 105 of Ivory’s 140 winners have been at distances from five to seven furlongs but two-year-olds have not figured prominently. Only 11 of the 140 winners have been juveniles while 93 have been four-year-olds or older.
History suggests today may not be Angel Of The South’s day but her breeding would not be an obstacle and, at £170,000, she may well be the most expensive purchase Ivory has ever trained.
The Yarrows have been solid supporters of the yard in recent years and perhaps they are now aiming higher. They can afford to. Michael Yarrow, 69, is the sole owner of Diomed Developments Ltd, a successful and valuable healthcare company that made a post-tax profit of £8.7 million in 2015-16 with net assets of £46m.
The company specialises in dermatological products, so perhaps they can offer advice on ringworm and other skin ailments affecting horses. Even if they can’t, if you’ve got acne, it might be worth asking Angel Of The South’s owners for help.
Later (5.00), Soaring Spirits, who has won five small races for owner Doreen Carter since Joining Ivory as a three-year-old, flies a hopeful flag. Both horses are ridden by Robert Winston, for whom Ivory has supplied far more winners – 61 in the last five years – than any other trainer.
So there you have it.