Thursday 29 August 2019

Ed Vaughan's Impressive debut Winner Ultra Violet Chasing Rainbows

Horse racing. Love it or hate it, there will always be a story to be told. Winners. You know, they are hard to come by. Impressive winners as rare as dragon's teeth. That's why a sparkling debut always captures the imagination of owner, trainer, pundit or race fan. 

That elusive horse which catches pigeons. 

I'm sure Ed Vaughan thought the bay filly sired by Glen Eagles out of the dam Riva Gauche was close to touching that pot of gold. This March foal captured the imagination of punters and got her share of column inches after an impressive victory on debut at Newmarket over 6f. 

The Racing Post comments lamented a bright future: ''Lost 4 lengths start, took keen hold in rear, ridden 2f out, strong run after, led final 200yds and soon strode clear, impressive...''

It was a truly impressive victory to have the field strung out, winning by eight lengths. The future looks brighter than the sun on a hot day, and any showers on the horizon would surely bring that rainbow even closer. 

Trainer Ed Vaughan quoted:  ULTRA VIOLET only does enough at home. I didn't think she'd travel as well as that. She's not the biggest filly and she's handled the track well, and she's a hearty lady, she eats well so I can't see why we wouldn't (look at the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes). She was so straightforward and has had a good experience. We'll see how she comes out the race - Ed Vaughan, trainer.

I can't help but wonder, reading those words now, if that he was surprised by her victory let alone the way she devoured the Newmarket hill. 

It's very unlikely Ultra Violet's owner Shiek Hamed Dalmook Al Maktoum is strapped for cash. She looked an inspired yearling purchase at just 55,000 guineas from Tattersalls October Yearling Sales (Book 2). Lot number 650. 

After that impressive debut, I'm sure connections could have sold Ultra Violet for £1M by dialling one telephone number. 

We all awaited her second start. Like a fable, the distance of her next victory could only be imagined. Following her entries, there was no lack of ambition. It was simply a matter of picking one of many options. 

An entry for the Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) wasn't to be (a non-runner due to unsuitable ground). James Tate didn't mind as Under The Stars took some black type in this 6f race at Ascot. I'm sure connections of Ultra Violet conversed they would have won if only the ground had been right. 

So we had to wait for July to end and August to begin. 

I wonder how many rainbows were seen over the gallops at Machell Place Stables, Newmarket, Suffolk. 

So, finally, Ultra Violet would make her second start at Newmarket on the 10th August, the Sweet Solera Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies). Stepping up an extra furlong would, surely, see an even more emphatic victory. 

Only seven horses in opposition. She was backed from 4-1 to start 11-4 favourite. Kieran Shoemark took the ride. What could go wrong? Ultra Violet pulled hard after breaking from the stalls and was eased to finish last beaten 34 lengths. 

I must admit, I felt sad in my heart. I sing the praises of all horses which manage to win and those who do so like Pegasus without wings, I cherish those moments. Perhaps there would be another day...

I was shocked to see her entered to run at Ripon over 5f. You could almost see the tear in the eye of those racegoers who knew the sign. This was a decision made in fear as much as judgment. Clearly, connections realised Ultra Violet wasn't going to run and win over seven furlongs. Why? Because she would be far too keen and very likely have no chance of winning. The hope today she would run well over five-furlong being, I guess, one of few options. 

I hate to say it, but I saw it a sign of defeat. 

The layers were keen to get stuck in on the exchanges. The market as volatile as a storm at sea. Those betting with their heart (she will win) and those betting with their head (she will lose). By the time of the start of the race 1:55 Ripon, the betting told the story. 

Even while the sun shone brightly over the Garden Racecourse, a dark cloud followed those who trusted she would touch the sky. The drift in the betting from 9-4 to 7-2 detailing that she was chasing the rainbow rather than standing tall in its splendour. 

Ultra Violet was beaten by a capable horse. Tom Dascombe's Hot Affair, led the field, pulled clear for a comfortable win some three-and-a-quarter lengths ahead of Rae Guest's Poet's Dance. 

Ultra Violet finished third, beaten over seven lengths. 

I couldn't help reflect on the performance with sadness. The losers of life may be thrilled by the demise of a debut victory which shouted strong and far. Today, a shadow of the horse we had seen. Perhaps time will show that debut was as beautiful as the day is long. 

I'm sure, if I remember correctly, at 6:15 Newmarket on the 28th June 2019, the weather report said sunshine with scattered showers. 

Someone told me that's the weather for rainbows to appear. 

Good luck to connections.

So impressive on debut. 

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