Spring is here and in the blink of an eye Cheltenham, the Lincoln and the Dubai World Cup are all already over and the first Classic of the season is just over four weeks away.
I was fortunate enough to be working at Meydan on Saturday night and saw some impressive performances from Mubtaahij in the UAE Derby and Solow in the Dubai Turf, with riding honours going to Richard Kingscote on Dubai Gold Cup hero Brown Panther.
The most interesting moment of the evening for me, personally, came after the Godolphin Mile when I grabbed Jeremy Noseda for an interview moments after Sloane Avenue returned to be unsaddled following his excellent second from a tough draw in stall 15.
In a nutshell, Noseda questioned the statistical probability of the winner, Sheikh Hamdan’s Tamarkuz, being awarded the slot in stall one or two in each of his last four races.
The Newmarket trainer’s reaction to Sloane Avenue’s narrow defeat caused something of a stir at the racecourse and inevitably on social network with some in praise of his willingness to challenge the Dubaian authorities and others shocked at his temerity.
Ever since I have been doing this job of post-race interviews in either a winning or losing cause, a number of armchair critics have ridiculed any broadcaster who has dared to utter the question ‘How does it feel?’
In the immediate aftermath of an event, when speaking to any of the main protagonists, surely the most pertinent aspect of the interview is to ascertain what did he or she make of the event that we all just witnessed.
I am sometimes disappointed when people come up to me and say why did you ask so and so ‘How did it feel? How the hell do you think they felt you idiot?’ Surely we aren’t all arrogant enough to know exactly what that person is feeling only because you are presuming they would feel exactly the same as you would had you been in the same position.
The reason why, editorially, it makes sense to do post-race interviews is essentially to obtain an honest reaction to what we have just seen occur from someone at the heart of the action. It is true though that the majority of the time the response is anodyne and instantly forgettable.
However occasionally there is a gem. Think what you will of what Jeremy Noseda said on Saturday night, but his reaction was memorable and genuinely revealed what he felt.
Turn the clock back to Ruby Walsh’s reaction to Vautour’s win in the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and his speechless response to what he thought of the six-year-old’s performance spoke volumes for the regard in which he holds this potential superstar.
Despite what the smart arses might think, for both Noseda and Walsh, it was very much about how they felt.
Anyway enough about what has already happened, time to look ahead and at the end of this week I will be flying off to America for the US Masters at Augusta which means I will miss the Grand National but I am pleased to see my colleague Nick Luck confirmed at the helm for the three-day broadcast on Channel 4.
On the subject of golf, I am very excited about the inaugural Biddestone Golf Day on Wednesday, 29 April at Burhill Golf Club. I’m sure many of you have been in touch with Matt Budden and indicated whether you wish to play. The event is being held in aid of the Injured Jockey’s Fund and we will be making a donation to the charity. The event is also open to non-Biddestone Partners, so please visit the www.biddestoneracing.com website for further information.
I can’t promise great weather or great golf, but I will promise you a tremendous course and fine hospitality from the team at Biddestone and at Burhill, so hope to see you there.
Rishi is a sports broadcaster who has covered some of the greatest events across many sports including the last three Olympic Games in Athens, Beijing and London for the BBC. He has also presented or reported on golf, snooker, cricket, eventing plus many more and in the last few years I have covered the Ryder Cup, US Masters, The Open, The Cricket World Cup, Snooker World Championship and Eventing at Badminton and Burleigh.
Biddestone Racehorse Syndicates
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