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Friday, September 29, 2006

The Unforgiven

- Here's another reference, from writer Jim Kean of, to Deep Impact's jockey Yutaka Take having screwed up in the 1994 Arc.

Slagging off jockeys from other countries is a national pastime in Britain and the last thing the critics need is for someone to sharpen their knives for them. As Take did when riding a stinker on White Muzzle in the 1994 Arc, a display that led to the colt's trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam throwing a wobbly and publicly informing the jockey he would never ride for the stable again.

Back in the days when I used to own the odd bit of a few horses however, I always used to think that if a jockey made a cock-up the best thing to do was put him up the next time. He would do his damndest to make sure he didn't make the same mistake again.
For one thing, if I ever had a jockey who made a cock-up, I'd be sure to wash my hands after shaking his after the race. Secondly, c'mon man, it's been 12 years; I can't believe they still hold this against him like that. Check this out; it's a list, from the British site, of the 10 Rides to Forget. And guess who's number one?
1. Yutaka Take, 1994 Arc de Triomphe

The Japanese champion jockey took the ride aboard White Muzzle in the Arc de Triomphe on a wave of publicity as the first rider from his nation to take part in Europe’s premier middle distance race. Sadly for him though it was not a pleasant experience. White Muzzle had finished a close second in 1993 and was expected to make the frame again, but in the race itself, Take settled his mount towards the rear and made little effort to improve his placing until well inside the final quarter mile. When allowed to run the horse flashed home but could only finish sixth – much to the disdain of his trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam. He promptly sacked Take in a public dressing down in the Longchamp unsaddling enclosure.
Wow, they don't seem very forgiving, do they? Good thing for Willie Shoemaker that he didn't ride over there; he never would have been forgiven for misjudging the finish line in the 1957 Derby. Though even Stewart Elliot couldn't escape the scorn - he makes it to #6 for his ride on Smarty Jones in the Belmont.

So, this is where I embed the video of the 1994 Arc so we can see for ourselves just how badly the guy screwed up. But it's not there; what the hell good is this You Tube?

Well, while I'm over there, I might as well post something. I was looking for a video from Big Country's second album Steeltown, which I recently decided is actually better than The Crossing. But I couldn't find one - what good is this You Tube? - so we'll have to settle for their 1983 classic In A Big Country.