Monday 5 October 2020

Imagine - Just Frank, Trained by Les Eyre (5th October)

Perhaps it comes from being a working-class hero. 

John Lennon would have been cheering on Saturday. 

Les Eyre's Just Frank didn't just win the £150,000 Tattersalls' October Auction Stakes at Newmarket - he trounced the opposition. 

I don't know if it is a British thing - but don't you just love to see the underdog prevail? 

I'd love to think Les Eyre's uttered these words: ''Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules!'' [John Lennon, Working Class Hero]

What a brilliant day for connections. 

Les Eyre, jockey Lewis Edmunds and owners Billy & Steven Parker. 

It's a story that will live long in the hearts and minds of all those who herald the triumph of the smaller trainer over the great and good. 

Putting sleepy Catwick, North Yorkshire on the map. 

Just Frank, a bay son of Epaulette, out of a unraced mare, was purchased by Quirke Bloodstock for Les Eyre racing on the 17th October 2019 at Tattersalls October Yearling Sale [Lot: 1571] at the knock-down price of 27,000 Guineas. 

Clearly connections always fancied they had a talented two-year-old on their hands because this March foal turned into a strapping colt with size and strength. 

However, things didn't quite go to plan on debut when he was a well-backed 6/1 shot at Pontefract over 5f. 

The Racing Post Comments said: Slowly into stride, towards rear, not clear run over 2f out, weakend 1f out.'' 

Although a disappointing start to proceedings I'm sure connection never lost faith.

It's often a strange happening with debutantes that the worse they look the better they are.

Frank was Just getting started. 

Second start at Redcar, eleven days later, saw a better performance when stepping up to 7f for the first time. Perhaps connections had lost a little bit of their motivation as he started at odds of 40/1, seemingly unfancied, when competing against six horses including hot favourite Saint Lawrence [Roger Varian] who started at 1/2f and raced home for a comfortable victory.

However, there was something about Just Frank which must have put a smile on the face of the Parker's. 

He showed tremendous pace and was only collared in the closing furlong by a horse that went on to perform creditably at Group class, taking the Denford Stakes [Listed Race] at Newbury. 

I can only imagine what John Lennon would have been singing or saying. 

Without question - there was more to come. 

This horse was something all small trainers need and live for - galloping with hopes and dreams. 

On the 28th July, Just Franks was gelded. 

After an 85-day break he was ready to shine, and so he did. 

On the 14th September, connections headed to Thirsk with high hopes of a win. 

At 1:00 the race started in earnest. Just Frank was a little weak in the betting but strong in hope and glory and those who had the wisdom to take a piece of the 16/5 available would soon be cheering in triumph. He took a keen hold. Pulling himself to the front after a furlong. To the cheers of punters up and down the country, he shot clear of the field and was eased in the closing stakes to win ''readily'' by almost four lengths. 

For those who saw Just Frank compete at Newmarket on the 3rd October 2020, it was a truly thrilling spectacle. It was the kind of win that all who hope and dream would love to live.

Backed from 25/1 - 12/1, there was plenty of confidence from connections and punters alike.

Racing Post Comments said: ''Raced centre, made all, soon clear in group, pushed along and went clear overall from over 1f out, ridden and kept on strongly final 110yds, unchallenged, 1st of 7 in group.'' 

The 6f may have been on soft ground but the stable had firm beliefs.

Just Frank won unchallenged. 

Four-and-a-half-beautiful lengths. 

It was a joy to behold. 

QUOTES: JUST FRANK has always shown a lot at home. We didn't think dropping back to six furlongs would be a problem as it's a stiff enough track although we weren't so sure about the ground. We had confidence in him as he'd made every yard last time and he wasn't looking for company or anything like that. Since day one when I've ridden him I always felt he was a good horse. I think he's a Royal Ascot horse in the making for next year as I think the track and everything there will suit him, so something like the Jersey or the Britannia would be for him. He felt like he'd get a mile the way he went today. I don't know whether he'll run again or not this season - Lewis Edmunds, jockey. 

All of those days owners, trainers, jockeys, punters wait for that moment to shout in triumph.

Les Eyre - you're day has come. 

What a glorious day for all of those working class heroes who wait too ******* long for their day. 

If John Lennon sat down and sung a song after Saturday's race I know for a fact what it would have been.