USA: Lightning Limato almost leaves Bentley on the turf
Limato, Henry Candy and Harry Bentley take in their surroundings
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker Postcard from California: lightning Limato almost leaves Bentley on the turf
By Tom Kerr at Santa Anita 7:00AM 4 NOV 2016
HENRY CANDY touched down in America on Wednesday night and was at Santa Anita early Thursday morning to see his Mile contender Limato, Britain's top hope at the meeting, shoot out the stalls like a scalded cat.
US racing differs to British in its use of a loud bell that fires alongside the gate opening mechanism and Candy thought it wise to give Limato a chance to get used to the noise. It seems it will do his chances no harm.
"Harry [Bentley, rider] said he jumped so fast this morning with the bell he almost fell off the back," said Candy. "Harry said it's the quickest he's ever jumped.
"Limato's got a huge amount of speed and he's incredibly intelligent. If he just listens to Harry I think he will be okay. I don't think he'll get too lit up, he's had a good look at everything this morning and he's a professional."
As well-behaved as Limato is on the track, off it he can prove a handful.
"He's a nightmare off the track," said Candy. "He doesn't like having his legs touched and doesn't like anything around his girth area. He's ticklish I'd say.
"At Chantilly [where he won the Prix de la Foret] I was doing interviews and I suddenly felt something running down my hand. He'd kicked me at some stage and I wasn't aware of it, it must have been when we were trying to get Harry on – the horse is like lightning front end and back end. He puts his athleticism to good use."
Limato is set to be Candy's first American runner in a career that stretches over 40 years and the Lambourn-based trainer seemed to be relishing the Stateside experience, even donning a baseball cap.
"It would be great fun to train here, seeing all the action in the morning, but I don't think they'd have me at my age," he joked.
"I might jettison the baseball cap afterwards. They'd lock me up if they saw me in one of these in Lambourn!"
Chromies arrive at Santa Anita
There was no doubting who the star of the show was on Thursday morning at Santa Anita as fans of California Chrome – known as Chromies – whooped and hollered as their hero passed clockers' corner after his gallop.
Almost as big a star though is Chrome's work rider Dihigi Gladney, who never fails to produce a beaming grin and a couple of wisecracks as he passes the champ's screaming fans.
And as he pulled in from a 1m5f gallop Gladney admitted there was more chance than science behind Chrome's work schedule.
"I never really know exactly how far he'll gallop each morning, because sometimes I have a hard time pulling him up," Gladney said. "He's really feeling strong in the mornings."
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