Before yesterday’s race P Cosgrove had ridden Borderless Scot in his last ten outings wining three times, but there was no P Cosgrove aboard in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (group 1)
5f, Class 1, £136248 penalty.
The horse was ridden by Royston Ffrench in seventeen of nineteen outings in 2005/6 and I’m fairly sure the joint investigation between New Scotland Yard and MI5 didn’t turn up anything of note following the trainer’s subsequent deviation.
The following came from Sue Montgomery on The Independent website:
Callan, who bounced back from a crashing fall on the track 24 hours earlier, was riding the gelding for the first time, replacing Pat Cosgrave. "It’s no reflection on Pat," added Bastiman, "and he’ll be cursing me today. But sometimes a new pair of hands on the reins can freshen up an old, worldly-wise horse."
“When these sprinters get older, there are only three things you can try – blinkers, visor or a change of hands,” Bastiman said. “It’s no reflection on Pat and he’ll be feeling sick today, but sometimes it just helps.”
How much clearer could the trainer have been? Mr Bastiman told all and sundry why he had replaced Cosgrove with Callan. You have to say, with hindsight obviously, it was an inspired decision. A decision made by a man who clearly knows his horse like the back of his hand and all credit to him.
Its not the only change of jockey which may have helped a big race winner at York this week. Monitor Closely had Fortune on instead of Munro this week. It may have helped there also. But who knows?