Drop the Dead Donkey
In a galaxy not so far far away…
A man walks into Tattersals Horse Sales and approaches a salesman.
“I’m looking for a thoroughbred, optimum age, 2-4 years and a proven record over quality track and distance.”
“Arent we all Sir” says the smiling Salesman. “Well we have lots of thoroughbreds on offer this weekend, what sort of level are you talking here?”
The man pauses, thinks and says “Well I will be mostly running it in local handicaps but I dream of winning a Group race here and there and to be honest, I aspire to win a Group 1!”
“Wow” says the salesman suddenly thinking of his commission. “May I enquire, what sort of budget are you talking?”
“100 thousand guineas perhaps, could maybe even stretch to 200?”
“I beg your pardon? stammers the salesman. “You expect a quality thoroughbred which can perform to optimum levels and meet any professional pressured demands against highly priced and developed peers for pin money?”
“Well, could I maybe borrow one then?” utters the man.
“Sir, Im sorry but your wasting my time, and may I say your own in this current pursuit. You either have to invest a large amount to acquire true quality or you need to lower your performance expectations and work within realistic frameworks”
“But Im good with yearlings!, and I’ve won a few local point to points too, I can win the big races, Im sure I can!” says the man.
“Yearlings are fine up against other yearlings sir or down in the lower grades but you have to remember their range is always limited” said the Salesman. “A good yearling can give you thrills over one season over certain distances but if you dare try running it against truly proven hardened quality over and over again in the really big races then it will simply crash and burn. Yearlings are a long term project, you need time, technique, facilities and of course patience and understanding, always knowing where and when you should be running them!” said the salesman.
“Really?..I just run mine everywhere, what’s the problem” asked the man?
“Im sure that it can feel great parading them in the big ring but if you put too much demand on them too soon you will only set them back both physically and mentally . They need gradual exposure for progression. They need guided with encouragement not exposed to constant ridicule. Its slow and steady not sink or swim. ” suggested the salesman
“Yeah yeah okay!” sighed the man. who then pleaded “What about some old thoroughbreds that have been there, done that. Are there any of them going for sale?”.
“There’s always a few old crocks kicking about to be picked up. They have the pedigree sure and the ribbons and might well seem decent value but you have to remember the very high maintenance costs, the concentration lapses and then they have already plateaued so you then have the constant decline and ultimately you will be writing off any investment. ” suggested the saleman.
“But I thought an Oldie or two could help with schooling my yearlings” said the man.
“Of course they can assist here and there but that sort of thing is usually best just left to your trainers in truth. You do have a team of good experienced high level trainers I assume?” asked the salesman.
“Well” sighed the man.
“Tell you what” said the salesman scanning a nearby brochure, “There is a selling plate race race tomorrow up at Perth, perhaps you could pick up a few cheap deals there..no real class but hey, you never know eh..you might just get lucky!”
“Yeah, maybe I might” said the man, who turned up his collar to the approaching cold wind and slowly turned to head towards the exit.