TONIGHT the clocks go forward, and this is one of the signals that the seasons are changing. Being of a certain age, I can say that time is passing too quickly, and I am left pondering where the first quarter of this year has gone.
Those close to me know that I have a rule by which I try to live, once shared by a friend who was advising me during a difficult period. He told me to park the past, you cannot change it. Don’t worry about the future, as most of what you worry about never comes to pass; it is wasted energy. That leaves us with the present; embrace it.
We can look forward to the future, and racing and breeding is very much about that. Trying to predict it, guessing what might happen, identifying stallions that will be successful. It is the mystery of what we do, especially as breeders. Sometimes we get it right, and strike it lucky. More often, we watch as dreams turn into reality, but at least we live to fight another day.
Too often, especially when it comes to stallions, fashion and immediacy play a large part; too great a role in many cases. I have seen and heard much comment in recent days about not getting caught up in the ‘circus’ surrounding the progeny of stallions with their first runners. In most instances, far too much is expected, and we need to take more care when making quick judgements.
That said, it is inevitable that it will be a talking point when breeders get together, or speak with each other, and, yes, I have celebrated Magna Grecia getting off the mark with his first runner in France this week. Stallion owners delight when this happens, and there will be a more than usual focus on those sires who have their first runners today at the Curragh.
A look back at the history of our most successful stallions will show that they were not necessarily those whose runners were fastest out of the blocks.
There are many instances of sires who got off to a flying start with their first crop, and failed to develop that success further. Much better that a sire is there for the long haul rather than be a flash in the pan.
That said, I will celebrate with those stallion masters whose first juvenile runners this year start winning early. Let’s hope we have another year like 2022, when Sioux Nation and Havana Grey went head to head.