The Inside Rail

Contributions from TIHR co-founder, editor and writer Sean Clancy.

Royal Ascot Day 1

A few years back, Joe asked me about my schedule and I said, "Well, I have Royal Ascot next week." He said, "You're going...?" I said, "No, but I'm watching."

I'm watching again. 

Poetic Flare just galloped in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes. Bred, owned and trained by Jim Bolger, the 3-year-old colt just advertised the toughness of the Irish-bred. In mid flight, the announcer bellowed, "He's been busy. He's very talented. He's very tough." Amen, brother. 

Poetic Flare won a listed stakes on good ground at Leopardstown April 11, traveled to Newmarket to win the 2000 Guineas on firm ground May 1, ventured to France to be beaten 2 lengths on heavy ground in the French 2,000 Guineas May 16, hopped back to Ireland to miss by a nose to stablemate Mac Swiney in the Irish 2,000 Guineas May 22. 

Three Guineas in 21 days. 

The 3-year-old son of Dawn Approach just made his fifth start this year. Fifth start since April. Third start in a month, third country in a month, third type of ground in a month. What a star. 

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Comrades in Arms

It’s the perfect storm. The adrenaline rush. The fast lane. The highs and lows. The risk. The urgency. The vibrancy. The gamble. The concussions. 

I found myself and still do sometimes saying, “Oh, I’ll be all right because I have that horse running Saturday. If he wins, it’ll make everything OK.” 

I’m sure you can insert your horse’s name in that spot. 

That type of thinking leads to more instability. I used to like myself when I was winning, hate myself when I was losing. More instability. Gradually, I came out the other side, but it’s always there, lingering. 

The most important thing is to talk about it, talk about depression, talk about what’s bothering you. I’ve had several intense and informative conversations with steeplechase jockey Tom Garner, who lost two of his friends, jockeys James Banks and Liam Treadwell, to suicide last year. Tom and I chatted for my weekly segment on HRRN. We talked about everything from winning races to losing friends. 

Listen to In the Room with Tom Garner. 

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Morning Musings

Overcast. Brisk. Rain-sodden ground. We needed the rain, we got it. Good for the garden. Off the turf for Make A Stand at Pimlico yesterday, off the turf at Delaware today, off the turf around the Mid-Atlantic, it’s the Upperville Horse Show, of course, it rained this week. A timeless tradition. 

Royal Ascot looming next week. Entries bing, bing, binging on my Racing Post Horse Tracker. Some I remember entering, others surprise me. Just pieces to the puzzle. 

The spring jump season concludes at the Iroquois in two weeks. Sounds like full fields and full capacity at the Nashville sanctuary. 

Saratoga looming. Large. Thirty-three days. Can that be possible?

Miles is a sixth-grade graduate. Can that be possible?

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In the Room with Steve Cauthen

In the Room with Steve Cauthen.

Three Eclipse Awards in one season. The Triple Crown. Three-time British Champion jockey. The Hall of Fame. Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. 

Last week, I had the honor to talk to Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen for In the Room on HRRN. 

“That’s probably the most pressure I’ve ever felt in my life…”

“Talking to people who are going to love you whether you win or lose…”

“I knew Affirmed had a lot of heart…”

“It’s more when you get to that stage, it’s more your desire to do something than pressure of worrying that you’re not going to do it…”

“I was just pacing my horse…”

Listen to the full conversation with Steve Cauthen.

To sponsor In the Room, email Sean This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Mike Penna This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Twenty percent of all sponsorship will be donated to the PDJF. 

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