So I've been a bit sidetracked since last I wrote... Young Leon was thrust unwillingly into the bright lights of a delivery ward last Wednesday, and most things (actually, everything) have (has) taken a back seat since then. More on that in a moment. I've also got a word on the weekend racing; Fantasy Racing; Stat of the Day; and, the geegeez.co.uk National Hunt syndicate.
Firstly, the racing. From Thursday through to Saturday, Newmarket staged its three day Cambridgeshire meeting on the Rowley Mile, and some high class action ensued.
Thursday was a quiet enough affair, and that stalwart of HQ, John Gosden, enjoyed a tasty 252/1 treble, courtesy of Listed wins from Gallipot and Caucus, and a handicap success for Hezmah. Gosden is always a man to keep on side at Newmarket and especially so at the tail end of the year. Johnny G's treble on the opening day wasn't the last time he'd frequent the winners' enclosure before the weekend was out.
Star of the Thursday show though was probably Richard Hannon's Havana Gold, a highly promising son of Teofilo, now unbeaten in four completed starts (he was winning when his saddle slipped and he unseated rider in a Listed race over in France).
The winner came from last to first to prevail with authority from a group of horses which, in truth, were a) no match for him, and b) not quite top class.
Havana Gold will have plenty of options, including the Tattersalls Millions race this Saturday; and the Group 1 pair, the Dewhurst and the Racing Post Trophy. Given that he wants a mile really, the very fast seven of the sales race or either of the Group 1's look achievable goals, and perhaps the main danger is over-racing, as I suspect connections will want to take in the former and one of the latter two.
Wherever Havana Gold goes next, he looks a colt of immense promise.
Friday's card was dominated by the Fillies' Mile, a Group 1 juvenile contest over... a mile, strangely enough. Certify, for Godolphin and Mahmood al Zarooni, scooted up in the manner of an exciting young lass.
Certify was in front at the two furlong pole, further in front at the furlong pole, and routed them by four and a half lengths by the line. It's fair to say that, herself aside, it was a weakish contest in terms of strength in depth, but that shouldn't decry from a decisive and impressive winner.
Now four from four, and clearly progressive, it is to be presumed she'll be aimed at the 1000 Guineas next Spring, for which she's a general 8/1 chance. If you're into ante-post betting on such events, it's hard to crab that sort of course and distance form and the price looks fair, without - obviously - being generous.
Gosden was on the money again in a decent looking maiden, with the previously unraced Seek Again. In a race which could work out well, he was comfortably on top by the line.
Saturday was Cambridgeshire day, and also featured some strong Group class action, spearheaded by the Group 1 pair, the Cheveley Park Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes.
Siyouma is a filly I backed when she was last at Newmarket for the Falmouth Stakes on the July course. I backed her place only that day and got a shocking tote return as I'd forgotten that the French bet into our pools on some of the big races (and were, understandably, all over 'their' gal).
I backed her place only this time too, with Betfair so at a known price. Frustrating in part to note that she won here, but not at all surprising given the record of the - generally fresher - French fillies who contest it. (They've won the last four, albeit that Sahpresa won the previous three all on her own!)
In the Cheveley Park, Rosdhu Queen was another filly taking her score card to four out of four, and she did it well, leading from the front and staying on gamely. There's talk of a 1000 Guineas tilt for this young lady too, but despite a pedigree which offers hope, her performances thus far have been over five and six furlongs, and another top class quarter mile might just be beyond her. I'd not be interested in offers around the 25/1 mark, at least not until I've seen a seven furlong performance.
The title race of the meeting, the 33 runner (!!) Cambridgeshire, went the way of Marcus Tregoning's Bronze Angel. I had a very small interest and was far more delighted for Tregoning than me, as he's a good trainer who has had a tough few seasons, perhaps best illustrated by releasing Makfi in the belief that he was no good. (Makfi of course went on to win the 2000 Guineas and the Prix Jacques Le Marois).
There was one race at the Newmarket meeting which qualified for the QIPCO Fantasy Racing competition. That was Friday's Joel Stakes, won by gallant old timer, Penitent.
With just Champions Day itself, and the hatful of points available there, the Geegeez Super League is lying in second place, a mere 21 points behind leaders, OLBG.
In a race to the wire almost as exciting as the Ryder Cup (clearly, I jest: that was monumental!!!), we still have every chance of claiming the kudos and the spoils, whatever they are!
Gary Camplin leads our league, from Dan Tory, and both of them have impressive enough hauls to be register in the top fifty (out of 20,000 or so) in the overall competition.
Stat of the Day continues in excellent fettle. Whilst I'm having a spell on the sidelines, Chris continues to do the business. He followed up a 20/1 advised winner the week before last, with a 12/1 winner last week, and SotD ended up over 25 points in front for September.
That's a whopping 126 units profit since inception last November, from just one bet a day. And it's free.
You can check out Stat of the Day, either by bookmarking this page - http://www.geegeez.co.uk/category/horse-racing-blog/daily-stat-of-the-day/ - or by following me on twitter at @mattbisogno. (Each day's SotD post is highlighted on my timeline, so you know when it's been posted).
Finally on the racing front, the second geegeez.co.uk horse syndicate filled up quickly, and we are now quite close to securing a horse. We have one in mind, and have agreed a price. Vetting will take place this Wednesday and, all being well, the horse will be in the care of Anthony Honeyball by the early hours of Thursday morning.
I can't really say any more at this stage except that he's won nine races in a 21 race career, and is on favourable marks over both hurdles and fences, and also on the flat, which means he'll have a lot of options.
Fingers crossed that all goes well on Wednesday.
Our existing horse, Khajaaly, continues to go well after his first run in six months, and we'll be looking for another race for him in the next fortnight or so as he steps up his Autumn/Winter campaign. He's a little high in the handicap just now, but should be up to winning before the all weather campaign is over.
And last but not least - in fact, saving the best for last - I'd like to introduce someone very special to you. On Wednesday of last week, Mrs Matt endured the tortures and traumas of child birth to deliver us a beautiful baby boy, Leonardo (or Leon, for short).
He was 7lb 11oz on arrival and has a put a little weight on since then. He's quite tall as well, which is surprising considering his dad's limited vertical achievements!
Most importantly, after a tricky first couple of days when he was in a special care unit, he's now home - as is mum - and both are doing fantastic.
Leon is absolutely adorable, and I can't believe how lucky I am. At a few days shy of 41, I didn't think this was going to happen, and I'm thrilled to join the massed ranks of the parents brigade. What a lucky union we are.
Here's a pic or two, and a video, if such things float your boat. They are certainly floating mine!