Special Days shows nice and relaxed is the way to go with easy victory
Gerald Mosse finally celebrated his first win for reigning champion trainer John Size yesterday on Special Days and perhaps everyone found out something about the consistent five-year-old in the process.
Though Special Days has often been a problem getting out of the starting gates, he has generally raced prominently and often a little too keen for his own good, but when the gelding was slowly away yesterday in the Fairy King Prawn Handicap, 1,800m, Mosse just let him relax back in the field and a new version of Special Days was seen about as he strolled in by almost three lengths.
'John told me this horse could be slow at the jump and he certainly was that but because of this, we might have found the way to ride him that suits him better,' said Mosse.
'Today he travelled very nicely during the race and when I looked up at the 800m, I thought I could recover some of the ground very easily by letting him go forward around the field. As it turned out, I could have stayed where I was and waited and still won the race. I am really happy to have won a race for John at last, I've waited a long time for this.'
Mosse has had just 20 previous rides for Size for four minor placings, one of those rides coincidentally on Special Days in his debut run at Happy Valley in September, 2007, when he was unplaced.
The Australian trainer said that the slow starts had become the norm for Special Days, but he did seem to appreciate not being bustled afterwards.
'The run he got wasn't in the plan before the race and the bad getaways just look like something that we have to live with, but he did settle better back in the field and the result is there for everyone to see,' he said.
Size landed a double for the card when Tuscan Spirit (Christophe Soumillon) improved on his two minor placings up the straight to lead throughout in the final race.
'What you see is what you get with him,' said the trainer, after the winning pair trimmed John Moore's championship lead back to 12.
'Tuscan Spirit's got speed to put himself in his races, he's got good character and tries hard and they are good qualities any time in a racehorse. And he's done well to win early - only his third start here coming in as a raced horse and that isn't always easy to do. A pretty smart horse in Blaze King beat him up the straight last time so I expected he would run well and he's lived up to that. He handled the step up to 1,200m well and won fairly comfortably at the end so there might be another one in him.'
The gelding had been a notable late scratching as odds-on favourite after a barrier incident on January 4 when he struck his head on the gates, but there were no problems at the start yesterday as he was first out and first home.