Size sitting pretty in seventh heaven
with Alan Aitken
If connections of Silent Witness thought that they had been 'back doored' last year by Pepper's Pride, the 17th straight win by America's wonder mare Zenyatta last weekend at least sets her up to be a more worthy owner of the record modern winning sequence.
Zenyatta's Hollywood Park win took her past Citation and Cigar, but equal with Silent Witness' 17-race unbeaten streak.
Technically, that feat has already been eclipsed by Pepper's Pride, who retired late last year unbeaten in 19 starts - and a stunning achievement anywhere, anytime, in any class. But her record was established without going outside the state of New Mexico, where she ran only in races restricted to horses bred in New Mexico - not exactly blueblood central - and most often against only her own gender.
Even Archie da Silva would be comfortable that Zenyatta deserves to be recognised as the serious record holder if she wins again - 11 of her wins have been in Group Ones, including that memorable Breeders' Cup. Her feat is all the more remarkable given her style of coming from last as luck often plays such a role in the careers of those types of horses. Or not, in this case.
Closer to home, we are back (somewhat quicker than might normally be expected) to the point of seeing a horse win seven races for a season. Getting six wins was something of a rarity at one stage - from 1980 to 1990 no horse managed it - but John Size has definitely made it one of his party pieces.
Entrapment is the sixth horse trained by him in almost nine seasons to win six in a term and no one else has come even close to that. Ivan Allan managed it twice, so too Tony Cruz - twice with Silent Witness. George Moore won six in a season with one horse 2 1/2 times - one of his winners was with another trainer for part of the season.
There is certainly a luck factor involved in getting a horse to win that often in a season, not to mention the sheer ability of the horse, but the fact that it is an area where Size stands out is no surprise.
The hallmark of his training, in Australia and here, has been an ability to keep horses consistent and producing good form over lengthy periods, when the natural pattern is for them to hit form, hold it briefly then decline. When he gets horses as naturally talented as Brave Kid and Entrapment, there is no telling where the streak ends.
If, as expected, Entrapment does take the Juvenile Sprint Trophy next start to make it seven, then Size has a new problem to torment him. How do you win eight in one season?