Thursday, 11 December 2014

Dear Mr Hobbs...

I am one of the horses in your yard – we know each other quite well, although you might be quite surprised that I’ve learnt how to write. While the newspapers call me Wishfull Thinking, my name is actually neighhphbraorrr (at least that’s a fair approximation - it’s easier to spell in Arabic than English). Did you know that I could write in Arabic too? 
The newspapers can be a bit mean – in the past they have used adjectives such as inconsistent and unreliable to describe my form, which implies that my heart isn’t always in the game. Nothing could be further from the truth – I appreciate that you already know this and you’ve kindly told them about my small wind problem (breathing, not digestion) and they now use terms such as “If he puts his best foot forward…” 
Anyway, there can be no doubt about my jumping. Okay, I did flatten that photographer at Cheltenham a while ago, but I’ve always been a tad vain and I just wanted to make sure that he had me in the frame – I was temporarily distracted; I won’t let it happen again. At Huntingdon last week I endeavoured to show the young whippersnappers how to leap with speed and accuracy. Although I say it myself, I don’t think there has been a better round of jumping since Desert Orchid won his first King George VI Chase. 
I’ll get to the point… You see I really want an opportunity to prove myself over 3 miles. Since the age of five I’ve been running over distances of 2 – 2½ miles. I bet you couldn’t run that far when you were 5 years old. Anyway, now that I’m nearly 12, I really think I should have another go over further – on a nice flat track, Kempton, preferably on Boxing Day, in the King George VI Chase.  
I know… I know – you’ve got Menorah and possibly Captain Chris to consider too. But Menorah told me he’d prefer to wait for faster ground and Chris has been enjoying his holidays – he’d be happy to wait a month longer. Honest. 
You might have a doubt in your mind about that day Unioniste passed me on the run-in at Aintree – when I had my one and only previous attempt over 3 miles. Forget it – I was a sitting target, I had streaked ahead in the straight and my wind just got the better of me again (breathing, not digestion – although those oats are quite gassy). 
You’ve got a lot to think about, especially with Cheltenham this weekend (where Jonathan has given Alan King’s Karezak as his selection on Saturday – doesn’t he know anything?); but please – let me have a spin in the King George. I might surprise a few people. I usually do. What’s so good about being predictable anyway? 
Wishfull Thinking*
* as imagined by Jonathan Garratt

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