When a new year kicks in most people will make resolutions to improve something, stop something or do something new completely, some will set themselves a minor challenge and some will make it a bit stiffer. If you want to see what man is capable of and you have not seen it already, 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible is well worth a watch. It is not just the nature of the challenge itself but the way that Nimsdai Purja goes about his epic challenge, I won't give too much away but it is an inspirational story.
Getting involved in racehorses is a challenge, nothing is for certain and for some it is not a challenge they want to take on. For many wealthy people they can buy a car that they know will go to 0-60 in a little over 3 seconds, if there is a fault it will usually be fixed on the same day and they can get the colour changed whenever they fancy. Money Kicks the richest teenager in Dubai is an example of this.
With the social media culture of today Gen X want everything instantly, technology means most things happen at the click of a button but when it comes to the racehorse, they still take time. For the sport to continue to flourish long into the future we have to hope that there are still plenty of the Gen X generation that want to take on big challenges because however wealthy one is, unless you buy a horse the week before, it is a huge challenge for any owner however wealthy they are just to get to a meeting like Royal Acot and even then something can go wrong.
In 2021 we managed to beat our first goal of fifteen winners and ultimately fell just shy of reaching the ultimate challenge of hitting thirty winners, ending 2021 on 28 winners in both codes which was very respectable given we had 21 individual horses run and we hit the holy grail of a 20% strike rate. This season we will chase some Black Type and hope to hit thirty winners, it won't be easy but we have a good team and some young horses coming through, so it is not impossible and thankfully the first runner of the year won, so we are on our way.
On a personal level I need to learn more, stop making the same mistakes I always do and try and upset Sophie a little less. The beauty of being in Newmarket is that you are always bumping into people wiser than you, whether that be with Chris on a daily basis or Sir Mark Prescott and his Assistant William Butler next door or bumping into countless people on the heath or something that is said from within our team at Albert House.
With horse racing there is always an almight fall around the corner but it is important to not wait for it to come and stay positive without becoming carried away and when the fall comes one has to try to not become overly negative. Whist it is almost impossible to stay level headed I have to try harder to do so and every time I read Kipling's IF, I always believe it is the best poem ever written because it sets one on the right path. If you are setting yourself a challenge for this year I hope you pull it off and that you are able to enjoy yourself doing it.