Racing: One Cool Cat uses up another life

To the Nunthorpe Stakes winner here yesterday, Bahamian Pirate, the spoils belonged. Everything else went to a beaten horse, the enigmatic Irish colt One Cool Cat. The attention, the analysis, and, once again, the excuses were provoked by a horse reputedly as fast as anything which has flashed up the gallops at Ballydoyle.

To the Nunthorpe Stakes winner here yesterday, Bahamian Pirate, the spoils belonged. Everything else went to a beaten horse, the enigmatic Irish colt One Cool Cat. The attention, the analysis, and, once again, the excuses were provoked by a horse reputedly as fast as anything which has flashed up the gallops at Ballydoyle.

One Cool Cat's enduring problem is that he seems to run faster in trainer Aidan O'Brien's mind and across the tongues of those in his local at McCarthys in Fethard than he ever manages on the racecourse.

There was an undoubted surge from the colt yesterday, one which took him from last to third, but when the tents were cleared last night and the Ebor caravans pulled out, the bald truth was that One Cool Cat had finished behind Bahamian Pirate, a nine-year-old winning a first Group One race on his 68th run. There was, it seems, just enough to ensure we can turn another page in the One Cool Cat fable. "He was finishing fast. Another half furlong today and he was there," O'Brien said. "He couldn't have done any more without winning."

There were dark clouds over the Knavesmire yesterday and metaphorically also over Ballydoyle, which has not managed to send out a single Group One winner in Britain this season. O'Brien and the Ballydoyle moneymaster, John Magnier, brooded over the decision about whether to let One Cool Cat take his chance on the chewed ground until the last possible moment.

The horse himself was treated like something you might clean with a feather duster. Pat Keating, the yard's travelling head lad, patted the precious hero gently. O'Brien took a turn on the brush.

Eventually, though, One Cool Cat would have to get his pretty little feet dirty. He was dropped in stone last by Jamie Spencer as Airwave, the only filly in the race, took a rare turn up front. Avonbridge had a shot on the lead, but then Bahamian Pirate's noseband appeared down the far side as The Tatling made his move on the near. They would be separated by a neck, but the focus was on the beast that passed four others in the last 100 yards to finish a length further back.

One Cool Cat, his head slightly to one side, had little nibbles taken out of his momentum as he had to thread his way through rivals. He was heaving on return, almost as much as his trainer. "I don't think the trip itself beat him today," O'Brien said. "It was more the shock of coming back to five furlongs in that bad ground."

O'Brien was hyperventilating, relieved that One Cool Cat had at least showed something. He blames himself for running the horse over a mile twice at the beginning of the season, a distance now recognised as beyond his compass.

"The worry I have is about the trainer making a dog's mess of it," O'Brien said. "I made such a mess of him early and when you mess up with a horse you feel bad. When you see him every day you know you're seeing a different horse. His pace is so much above every other horse's."

O'Brien is not the only Ballydoyle figure under pressure. Jamie Spencer, the young stable jockey, is perhaps the most scrutinised rider in these islands at the moment. As the yard's bluebloods continue to flounder at the top level excuses are sought and Spencer knows that when things go wrong you can hardly fire the horses.

"He ran a good race," the Irishman said. "I couldn't be happier with the horse because in another 100 yards he would have won. When we got in behind there it was like Vietnam for the horse with all the kickback roughed up by three days of racing. He was shellshocked by that. But once he got past halfway he really put it on those last three furlongs. You can imagine what he's like in the mornings.

"I thought I wouldn't get anything like Hawk Wing to ride again, but he's faster. I might never get to ride something like him again." Spencer might be right if he is not careful.

RICHARD EDMONDSON

Nap: Literatim

(Sandown 3.05)

NB: Scurra

(Ayr 2.55)

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: MS Dynamics AX Developer (SSRS/ SSAS) - global business

£425 per day: Ashdown Group: A small business with an established global offer...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Growing Law firm

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable law firm based in central London ...

Ashdown Group: Part time Network Support Analyst / Windows Systems Administrat

£30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas