Athlete

Bat out of Hell!

June 19

The fastest race horse I ever owned was also the slowest at speed work. He would loaf around and get his arse kicked every morning that we did speed training. I’d catch his eye and he’d just look back at me and say 'f 'em, I do what I feel like!'

I still remember, when I bought him, the 'know-it-all' owners said 'you won't tame him, you are wasting your money.'
'We will see', I said to them!


Eight wins later they were dismayed.  But I never did tame him, I just let him bowl along slowly, and just gave him twice the volume of work - but all at his speed, not mine. However on race day, as we put the saddle and race number on him, well, there he was with that look...'This is it, time to get serious'! 

I told the jockeys who used to ride him, let him do it his way, and put that f'in whip away. If I see you whip him, I will whip you! They’d fire back with 'but he is the laziest b'stard out there', however I was quick to point out to them, that doesn't work with him, just let him do what he wants. 

Well what he wanted was to race! Trying to control him didn't work, as he needed to do his thing. 

 

I still remember a magic moment, at 25-1 odds and backed him with the last $300 I had.
Pulled a last minute jockey change with instructions ‘just hang on and don't fall off, let him do whatever he f'in wants.’
He rounded the home turn in second last place, 500 to go.
10 off the lead and one would think no chance.
The jockey, scared, speared him towards the middle of the track for a clear run.

And then the song - Bat out of Hell!
He just wound it up and went right over the lot of them. 
Hit the front before the 150 to go, then just shut it down, looking across at the other horses and jockeys with contempt. 
He could see he had 'em cold.  
He strode back to the paddock, looked at me as if to say 'f'in killed em coach, who is next!'