Tag Archive for: Saffie Osborne

Saffie Osborne sidelined for rest of the year

Saffie Osborne will be out of action for the rest of the year as she bids to fully recover from a knee injury suffered in a fall earlier this month.

Osborne has enjoyed a memorable campaign, riding 70 winners in 2023, including Metier’s Chester Cup win in May and victory aboard the Ed Walker-trained Random Harvest in the Group Three Valiant Stakes at Ascot in July.

She was also crowned the top rider in the Racing League for the second year in succession.

The 21-year-old tore ligaments in her knee at the beginning of October and while she continued to ride afterwards, most recently travelling to France for a Listed race on Monday, she has now decided to give herself an extended break to ensure she is back at full fitness for early next year.

“It’s obviously hugely frustrating to miss any time in the saddle but my knee has been causing me some pain,” said Osborne.

“I am hoping to be back riding in January. I’m hugely grateful to all the owners and trainers who have supported me this year and I can’t wait to be back riding in 2024.”

Fry breaking new ground with French fancy Metier

Harry Fry will saddle his first runner in a Group One when Metier heads to ParisLongchamp for the Prix Royal-Oak on Sunday.

A Grade One winner over hurdles, the seven-year-old has proven equally proficient when crossing over to compete on the level in recent seasons, winning last year’s November Handicap at Doncaster and pouncing late to claim the Chester Cup this term.

Metier will now face his toughest challenge to date as he not only steps up in class, but bids to get his handler off the mark in France.

Metier (left) on his way to winning the Chester Cup
Metier (left) on his way to winning the Chester Cup (David Davies/PA)

Fry said: “We looked at our options for this time of year and we decided to aim at the Prix Royal-Oak. You would like to think with how the weather has been that conditions would suit.

“Obviously, he is going to have to step up again, but he won the Chester Cup the hard way, from a wide draw and coming from way back, when given a great ride by Saffie Osborne, so hopefully there is more to come from him and it will be interesting to see how he gets on in Group One company.

“We have had a handful of runners in France over jumps and things, but yet to bring home a winner, so it would be a great way to break that duck.”

Metier has not been seen since galloping to big-race success on the Roodee in May, with fast ground ruling him out of a possible start at Royal Ascot.

The necessity for a break kept Metier in his stable during the height of summer when the unseasonably wet weather would have made conditions ideal for the soft ground-favouring gelding.

However, Fry is hoping patience will be rewarded as his charge returns from over five months off the track.

“We haven’t seen him out since the Chester Cup success, but we did train him for Royal Ascot on the off chance the ground came in his favour,” the Grosvenor Sport ambassador continued. “Obviously, that was always going to be an outside chance.

“He needed to have a little break having been on the go all last winter, so we gave him a break and then almost immediately the rain started to arrive, which is typical.

Jockey Saffie Osborne will be reunited with Metier in France
Jockey Saffie Osborne will be reunited with Metier in France (David Davies/PA)

“We know him well enough now and what conditions suit and that is why we have waited and bided our time. Hopefully conditions have come right for him and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Metier is set to be reunited with Saffie Osborne for his cross-Channel adventure, where the duo will search for a third victory together.

Fry added: “I think Saffie would be pretty upset if she is not onboard and he is very much Saffie’s ride unless she tells me she is going to be elsewhere!

“I think she has been ticking off the days until she is reunited with him. She gave him a brilliant ride to win at Chester and also won the November Handicap on him and they have formed a great partnership.”

Saffie Osborne retains Racing League top jockey title

Saffie Osborne was once again crowned queen of the Racing League, successfully defending the leading rider award she won 12 months ago.

The 21-year-old stole the show on the final night of action in 2022, registering a phenomenal Newcastle treble as her father Jamie’s West & The Wales region snatched the top spot and Osborne stormed to the top of the jockeys’ standings.

However, things have been much more straightforward this time around and the ante-post favourite’s charge to the title began in the very first race of the competition as she lit up the opening night at Yarmouth with a fabulous three-timer.

She was on the mark in the final race of the competition aboard Valsad at Southwell, with her total of 342 points seeing her finish 121 points clear of her nearest pursuer Dylan Browne McMonagle to once again bag the £20,000 prize.

“It’s been a good Racing League for me this year, I’ve been lucky to get some good rides,” said the jockey.

“Dad has done a phenomenal job of organising everyone and keeping everyone enthused and on top of that keeping everyone in the team happy.

“Obviously you have a lot of trainers who want to run their horses and getting to the last night and still having everyone relatively happy about the whole thing is a hard task, but he’s done a brilliant job of it.

“Of course I’m also grateful for all the owners who put their horses in and they are obviously not in their own colours.”

Osborne has been at the top of the charts since the very first race and it has been very much one-way traffic in the standings ever since and the momentum gained on that first week at Yarmouth is something she has fed off throughout the contest.

“I’ve been lucky that it came round at the right time. I made a good start at Yarmouth and have had a good run since then,” Osborne added.

“I think the two years before I had an awful first evening, so it was great to get a treble on the first evening and the ball has kept rolling really.

“It’s been brilliant and gets a lot of coverage and it’s been great for me to ride for other trainers.”

Wales & The West still lead the way in Racing League

Racing League regulars were again to the fore at Newcastle, as defending champions Wales & The West maintained their lead in this year’s competition – despite Ireland fighting back with an important double on the night.

Jamie Osborne and his daughter Saffie have dominated the multi-team event so far and returning to the scene of last year’s phenomenal final-night treble they joined up with another Racing League veteran as Rod Millman’s Billy Mill obliged for the second year in the row.

The five-year-old was sent off at 28-1 when scoring over course and distance last season, but was much shorter at 15-2 this time as he continued his Gosforth Park love affair in the William Hill-sponsored seven-furlong handicap.

“We didn’t have any rated in the 80s last year so he’s in a slightly lower grade of race than he won last year so was a very obvious pick and his last run was great,” Osborne – whose squad sit on the 568-pont mark – told Sky Sports Racing.

“Rod and James Millman have been absolute stars for my team and the competition. Everything they have put up for me has run well. They’ve obviously had the nursery winners and now they’ve had this winner. The competition has been great for their yard and also great for our Wales & The West team.”

Ireland have fared much better in the Racing League this season and they moved up to second in the table on 496 points thanks to a fine evening at Gosforth Park.

Kevin Blake’s team successfully played their joker in the six-furlong sprint as Johnny Levins’ Nordic Passage (8-1) earned deserved compensation having been narrowly denied at Chepstow earlier in the competition.

They then claimed the night’s most valuable contest when David O’Meara’s Alligator Alley (9-2) built on some consistent form in the hands of rising star Dylan Browne McMonagle, who also notched a double in the north east.

“It didn’t really go the way it was supposed to go as normally he is an extreme hold up horse,” said Blake.

“He obviously jumped off really well there and sat very handy and Dylan ended up further forward than he probably imagined he would be.

“He had so much confidence to wait, and wait and wait a little bit more.

“The horse is really well and ran huge last week. He’s a class horse and I know the horse well as Joseph O’Brien used to train him. He has loads of ability just not the easiest.

“David has done a fantastic job with him and I’m delighted he’s had a winner. I upset him earlier in the week for not running one he was keen to run so I’m delighted he has come here and won a big one.

“I was really hopeful that tonight would go well and look I’m greedy and it could always go better, but we’ll take how it went.”

Sir Mark Prescott’s Glenister (10-1) got the East region’s evening off to a brilliant start when taking the mile-and-a-half opener, while Simon Pearce’s Storm Catcher (9-2 joint-favourite) may have teed up a tilt at the Cambridgeshire when scoring over 10 furlongs and providing Frankie Dettori’s team with a second victory of night four.

London & The South saddled just the one runner in the one-mile handicap, but Daniel and Claire Kubler’s Helm Rock (5-1) delivered a decisive blow to earn a vital 25 points, while Yorkshire also secured maximum points when Buttercross Flyer registered a 14-1 shock in the night’s sole two-year-old event.

It was a first Racing League runner for Craig Lidster and he was thrilled to provide his home region with a vital victory in their battle with Scotland for the wooden spoon.

He said: “She’s a lovely big filly with a massive stride on her. Last time we ran her at Newmarket and the ground was far too quick for her. We know she wants a galloping track and will probably get a mile.

“Jimmy (Sullivan, jockey) has given her a brilliant ride so credit to the horse and credit to Jimmy. He used that big stride and that’s her big advantage – you might see her back here over hurdles next year!”

Wales & The West still blazing a trail in Racing League

Saffie Osborne was once again on the Racing League scoresheet at Windsor, as Wales & The West continue to top the charts in the team competition.

Jamie Osborne’s team headed into the night with a 77-point advantage and remain the ones to beat at the halfway stage of the six-week event following a double on week three that left them on 471 points.

Rhys Clutterbuck steered Clive Cox’s Just Bring It (9-1) to victory in the William Hill sponsored one-mile handicap, before last year’s Racing League top jockey made her customary Thursday night trip to the the winner’s enclosure when Tony Carroll’s 9-4 favourite Gallant Lion ran out a gutsy winner of the penultimate race of the evening.

“He’s got loads of ability and I was was really happy with him early on, I got some nice cover from Jack Mitchell and he settled nicely,” Osborne told Sky Sports Racing.

“When Jack went to make the running, he was left without cover and he just latched on a little bit and there was no point arguing with him, he’s obviously got a lot of ability and a high cruising speed and once I let him stride on he did everything within himself. I was able to get a nice breather into him and he saw it out well.

“He’s obviously got tons of ability and he is still lightly raced and learning and you’d like to think there is more to come.”

The most valuable event on the card went the way of Richard Fahey for the second week in a row as Spirit Dancer scooped the £51,540 first prize in the hands of Oisin Orr.

The 9-2 winner was representing the North and was the second half of a double on the night for Fahey and Orr who also enjoyed success with Show Me Show Me (10-1) in the five-furlong handicap.

“We love £100,000 races,” said team manager Mick Quinn.

“We won the £100,000 pot last week at Chepstow and we’ve won it again this week.

“The owners wanted to come here, Richard wanted to come here and it’s paid off.”

Earlier on, Zoulu Chief (28-1) showed who was boss to land a decisive win in the nursery handicap which kicked off proceedings, providing Scotland with a welcome victory in their quest to climb off the bottom of the table.

London and The South (in second on 378 points) were on the scoresheet on home turf when Tom Ward’s 9-2 joint-favourite Capote’s Dream led home a one-two for the region in the six-furlong handicap, with an all-Irish finish to the three-year-olds only one-mile event as Richard Spencer’s Pjanoo (22-1) held off 100-30 favourite Hat Toss.

It was third-placed Ireland’s second win of the competition and team manager Kevin Blake was delighted to see winning Irish jockey Danny Sheehy make his trip to Windsor worthwhile.

He said: “I’m particularly happy for Danny. He hit the crossbar at Chepstow last week, so for him to now get a winner, I’m particularly happy.

“He’s a very good rider and so strong for a light fella and a natural lightweight, so it’s been fantastic to get him over here and put him in the spotlight and who knows what could come from it.”

Osborne to retain Scampi ride in Ebor assignment

Saffie Osborne is set to continue her association with Scampi when he bids for Sky Bet Ebor glory at York on Saturday week.

The 21-year-old was in the saddle aboard Andrew Balding’s charge when he registered his second victory of the season on the Shergar Cup card at Ascot last Saturday, and connections are delighted to have retained her services when Scampi heads to the Knavesmire for the prestigious handicap.

Owned by the RaceShare syndicate, the five-year-old is as short as 14-1 for the £500,000 contest, having secured his spot in the race by winning the Jorvik Handicap at the track earlier in the season, and plenty of his supporters will be making the trip to cheer him on in his quest for further glory.

Hayley Turner, Saffie Osborne and Hollie Doyle at the Shergar Cup
Hayley Turner, Saffie Osborne and Hollie Doyle at the Shergar Cup (Steven Paston/PA)

“We’re all on an absolute high at the moment,” said Lucy Delaney, managing director of RaceShare.

“We have confirmed that Saffie Osborne keeps the ride in the Ebor, which we are really thrilled about because she gave him an absolute cracking ride at Ascot on Saturday.

“York have been fantastic in supporting us and we hope to have a really big group of owners there cheering him on and he’s obviously reached new heights really.

“Scampi’s name and his style of running just really connects with people and he has a bit of a following now. I think not just his RaceShare owners, but the wider racing public have latched onto him because he has become a really consistent Saturday horse.

“We’re just hoping everything goes well in the Ebor and he is able to put up one of his always consistent runs.”

Scampi and Saffie Osborne after victory at Ascot
Scampi and Saffie Osborne after victory at Ascot (Steven Paston/PA)

A bold showing in the Ebor could help fulfil ambitious plans from the owners to race in Australia later in the season, with Scampi holding nominations for both the Caulfield Cup on October 21 and the Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

The Ebor also serves as an automatic qualifier for the ‘race that stops the nation’ on November 7, so there is plenty on the line when the Kingsclere inmate heads north on August 26.

“He went up 6lb for his win and obviously it is still a dream, but if he did run well in the Ebor and goes up a bit more, Australia is a possibility,” continued Delaney.

“Andrew entered him in the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup with the feeling being he was going so well at home and if he did come out and win the Ebor and he wasn’t entered in those races, we might regret it.

“He confirmed how he is flying at the moment with his win at Ascot on Saturday and we’re trying not to get too excited, but his community of owners are all counting down the days to the Ebor.

“We are massively keen on Australia. He would need a further jump in the ratings, so he would need to do well in the Ebor or even a race soon after to get into the Australian races. But if he does continue on his upward curve, we would be really keen to take on the Australians.”

Although Scampi’s legion of syndicate members may still be holding fire on booking their tickets to Australia, he has easily become the standard-bearer for the fledgling RaceShare operation since being purchased for 85,000 guineas last October.

He has secured over £100,000 in prize-money for his owners and his importance is not lost on Delaney, who via RaceShare attempts to enhance the ownership experience through interactive means, such as live shows on racedays, broadcasting not only the Raceshare horses in action but also showing behind the scenes footage from the track with key participants.

She said: “We only launched in November last year with the five horses and we’ve grown from there and in fairness they have all done all right.

“There is still probably a lot to come from Treasure Time and Red Mirage will find his form, and I think Jolly Nellerie is going to be a typical Venetia Williams long-term project.

“But Scampi really couldn’t have done much more for us than he has, he’s an absolute hero. There’s over 1,000 people involved with Scampi and all our horses are divided into 4,000 shares.

“You can buy from one to 250 shares and the aim is, while we want to make the raceday experience on course brilliant, we want to do a really good job of creating a really good experience off course as well, because the majority of owners are never going to actually get to the course most of the time.

“We’ve built up a lovely community of owners in a really short space of time and the form of Scampi is just the icing on the cake.”

Wales & The West unstoppable on dramatic evening at Chepstow

Wales & The West and Saffie Osborne lead the way in the William Hill Racing League, after a dramatic evening that saw fire engines called to Chepstow on night two of the competition.

London & The South took maximum points in the first race as Eve Johnson Houghton’s Cabinet Of Clowns (15-2) was steered by Charlie Bishop to a half-length success.

But the action then came to an abrupt halt when an electrical fault caused a fire in a kitchen at the track, with some water also coming through the ceiling in the weighing-room area resulting in the complex having to be evacuated.

A number of fire engines arrived at the scene and the track was eventually deemed safe, creating a near 40-minute delay to the contest scheduled for 6.00pm.

Fire engines arriving at the course due to a fire
Fire engines arriving at the course due to a fire (David Davies/PA)

“There’s been an electrical fault upstairs in the weighing-room complex and it’s turned off all the power in the weighing room,” clerk of the course Libby O’Flaherty told Sky Sports Racing during the delay.

“We’re waiting for the fire engine to get here so we can deem it safe to carry on.

“It’s (the water) just by the door when you go in (to the weighing room), the water came through and that’s all been cleaned up.

“We’re just waiting for the fire brigade to tell us everything is fine.”

The delayed race was won by Rod Millman’s Chinese Knot, the 7-4 favourite being steered to victory by last year’s leading rider as Osborne bagged the first leg of a double.

Dylan Browne McMonagle and Saffie Osborne both enjoyed winners
Dylan Browne McMonagle and Saffie Osborne both enjoyed winners (David Davies/PA)

The same jockey then crossed line first in the next, with Executive Decision (5-2 favourite) prevailing after a photo finish to get even more points on the board for the Wales & The West outfit.

Scotland were triumphant in the fourth contest on the card when Totnes (4-1) struck for Paul Mulrennan and Andrew Balding, with Ireland enjoying their first success of the series when Star Harbour (12-1) was a winner for Adrian McGuinness and Dylan Browne McMonagle.

In both of those races Wales & The West had placed runners and when Tim Easterby’s Manila Scouse took the penultimate race as the 8-11 favourite for David Allan and Yorkshire, the third- and fourth-placed horses gained even more points for the leaders.

The final event went the way of the North, with the 9-2 favourite Ramazan winning for Richard Fahey and Oisin Orr in a race worth £100,000.

The evening left Wales & The West with a significant advantage in front on 319 points, whereas Ireland sit in second with 242 and London & The South third on 231.

Executive Decision and Saffie Osborne (pink cap) on their way to victory
Executive Decision and Saffie Osborne (pink cap) on their way to victory (David Davies/PA)

Osborne is the leading riding so far as she sits at the top of the jockey leader board on 161 points.

Jamie Osborne, trainer of Executive Decision and father of Saffie, said: “We’ve got a good spread of horses, we don’t have the biggest trainers in the world but I think in a way that’s a help.

“Some of the bigger trainers have other fish to fry, this kind of prize-money is very important to our owners.

“We’re well positioned, but we’re not yet a third of the way through the competition so we’re not home and hosed yet. But I’d say it will take a good one to beat Saff!”

Osborne savours Valiant victory aboard Random Harvest

Random Harvest dug deep to see off all comers and provide jockey Saffie Osborne with a first Pattern race success on home soil in the Longines Valiant Stakes at Ascot.

Ed Walker’s mare was a previous course winner and also finished second at the Berkshire track twice, most recently going close in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at the Royal meeting last month.

She disappointed in the Falmouth at Newmarket a fortnight ago, but showed her true colours back at Ascot under a well-judged front-running ride from her young jockey.

Osborne, fresh from riding a treble on the opening night of this year’s Racing League at Yarmouth on Thursday, set the fractions throughout and steadily raised the tempo.

In Random Harvest she had a willing partner and when challenged in the straight she refused to bend, pulling out all the stops to claim the Group Three prize by a neck from Roman Mist.

Thornbrook and Ameynah were close up behind them in third and fourth respectively.

Osborne, who steered Random Harvest to a Group Three win in Italy last year, said: “She’s such a game filly and deserved this so much.

“It means so much because it’s been a long time coming – she’s been so unlucky – and I’m so grateful to Ed and (owner) Lady Bamford for keeping me on a filly like this at this point of my career.”

Trainer Ed Walker was delighted with the performance of Random Harvest
Trainer Ed Walker was delighted with the performance of Random Harvest (Mike Egerton/PA)

Walker said: “She is a legend, this filly. She really deserved that. She is just so consistent and loves it here.

“It never really happened for her in the Falmouth, she was just wheel-spinning Saffie said. She never really got her own way and she was out there on the wing. It was just a non-event, just never happened.

“I’m bang up for trying again at the highest level – she’s so tough and game. She definitely can get some Group One form, something like a Sun Chariot. Something like that would be ideal for her.

“Whether we look at North America or not, I’m not sure. I think a mile is her trip, but maybe if we went to America it would be nine or 10 (furlongs), a Breeders’ Cup, possibly.”

Of Osborne, he added: “Saffie is a big part of this horse and this horse is a big part of Saffie’s career. This is her first domestic Group winner and she won’t forget this horse in a hurry, that’s for sure. Saffie is an incredible horsewoman.”

Opening night treble sees Saffie Osborne dominate Racing League once more

Saffie Osborne’s love affair with the Racing League looks set to continue as she began this season’s competition with a fantastic opening night treble.

The 21-year-old was one of the stars of last year’s six-week event, scooping top honours thanks to an inspired three-timer at Newcastle on the final night of action and she picked up where she left off as the 2023 edition kicked off at Yarmouth.

Osborne’s efforts ensured that defending champions Wales and The West – managed by her father Jamie Osborne – ended the night in top spot holding a narrow 11-point advantage over Frankie Dettori’s team, The East.

Chinese Knot ridden by Saffie Osborne (left) wins Racing League opener at Yarmouth
Chinese Knot ridden by Saffie Osborne (left) wins Racing League opener at Yarmouth (Tim Goode/PA)

Osborne’s evening started with a bang as although slightly reluctant to enter the stalls, Rod Millman’s Chinese Knot (11-2) showed plenty of guts to hold off Michael Dods’ Midnight Lir at the business end of the opening nursery.

“We’ve started the way we finished last year,” Jamie Osborne told Sky Sports Racing.

“I’ve got a great team of trainers and unlike some, mine are right behind this and behind their leader.”

Wales and The West quickly extended their advantage at the top of the table when winning race two with Ed Walker’s Dark Trooper (12-1), before The East’s player-manager Dettori was narrowly denied a winner with his first ride of the night aboard Shahbaz as the one-mile handicap went to Dean Ivory’s Achillea (9-2).

However, The East did not have to wait long to get on the scoreboard on home soil as George Margarson’s Farhh To Shy (100-30 joint-favourite) proved superior in the hands of Callum Shepherd in race four and the East were also on the scoresheet when Dettori closed the show in style with a fantastic front-running ride aboard Cumulonimbus (11-2), leading home a one-two for his region in the concluding £100,000 handicap.

Dettori said: “It’s great to win the big race of the day, it’s good for the team and good for (trainer) Charlie Fellowes. We were first and second so that’s good.

“It’s the third year of this so I hope it takes off.”

Despite Dettori’s heroics, the night belonged to Osborne who registered her second winner of the night aboard Michael Bell’s Stone Circle (17-2) in the five-furlong sprint, before bringing up the three-timer aboard Milton Harris’ Alnilam.

She needed every yard of the one-mile-six-furlong trip to hunt down fellow Wales and The West runner Haliphon, but Osborne had a willing partner in the 9-4 favourite who stuck his head down bravely for a half-length win.

She said: “He’s a lovely horse and hopefully he will have a nice future.

“He’s still quite big and ran around a little late on, but he has a willing attitude and did everything right eventually.”

Metier powers home to grab Chester Cup glory

Metier finished with a flourish to claim top honours in a thrilling renewal of the tote Chester Cup.

A Grade One winner over hurdles a couple of years ago, Harry Fry’s charge successfully reverted to the Flat to lift last season’s November Handicap at Doncaster under Saffie Osborne, who was again on board.

Results under both codes since have been mixed, but having returned to form with a second place in the Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh last month, Metier was among the market principals for Chester’s £150,000 showpiece at 5-1 and produced the goods in a grandstand finish.

The seven-year-old was well back in the field for much of the two-and-a-quarter-mile journey, but began to make inroads on the leaders before the home turn and powered up the straight.

Zoffee got the better of a duel with 11-4 favourite Call My Bluff to grab the lead, but was unable to resist the late surge of Metier, who passed the post a neck to the good under his jubilant rider.

Osborne said: “It didn’t really go right through the race, I was too far back and he was all guts.

“I was saying what a tough horse he is, but he’s also extremely talented and still fairly unexposed at this trip on the Flat. You’d like to think there’s more left in the tank.

“He’s just got a lot of ability and for a big horse he’s very well balanced to go round a track like this. I was having to make up ground on a part of a track that I didn’t really want to have to, but he was making it feel very easy and I didn’t want to check his momentum.”

Harry Fry was thrilled with the victory of Metier in the Chester Cup
Harry Fry was thrilled with the victory of Metier in the Chester Cup (John Walton/PA)

Fry, paying his first ever visit to Chester, said: “We’ve had some good runs and near misses in big races, but this means such a lot – it keeps our head above the parapet.

“We knew the draw (stall 14) wasn’t ideal, but Saffie sat as far forward as she could. She’s given him an absolutely wonderful ride.

“Watching him go past here on the final circuit he was 12th, but all he’s done in the straight is keep rolling and rolling.

“He’s shown all his best form on slower ground, but getting the right horses at the right time is really what it boils down to.

“It’s my first time here at Chester and walking round the course I thought ‘what an amazing place’.”

Metier and Saffie Osborne after winning at Chester
Metier and Saffie Osborne after winning at Chester (Neil Morrice/PA)

Ben Curtis, rider of the narrowly beaten runner-up Zoffee, was proud of his performance in defeat.

He said: “That was a hell of a training performance by Hugo (Palmer), to have him near spot-on after seven months off.

“The race went well for us, it was a good battle to the line but possibly the winner might have been more race-fit. Take nothing away from our horse though, he’s run a blinder.”