‘Boss Of The Heath’ California Chrome Doing Well In England

by | 05.31.2015 | 1:08pm
California Chrome, seen galloping at Newmarket in April (photo courtesy Racing UK)

California Chrome has settled in well at his temporary home in Newmarket, England. In an update posted on Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, rider Robbie Mills described the colt as the “Boss of the Heath” when he heads out to exercise on the rolling green ground.

“When we meet another string he will have a good shout,” Mills said. “When he hears the click of a camera he wants to look around. He knows what it is all about and he knows how to have his picture taken.”

Stabled at the barn of trainer Rae Guest, California Chrome has been doing a lot of galloping over the course, getting used to the ups and downs of the undulating ground.

When asked about his feelings on the colt's chances in his next start, the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, Guest was candid.

“Impossible. He's a good horse, there's no doubting that, and it's a very sporting challenge by his owners,” the trainer said. “But this is a new discipline for him. He's got to deal with a new track, a new style of racing, a right-handed bend, and an uphill finish.”

Read more at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary

  • 4Bellwether666

    Would like to know what having his pic taken has to do with the task @ hand???…

    • ceil rock

      Click on the link above – Thoroughbred Racing Commentary. The article goes into much greater detail than the little snippet here.

    • I really don’t think it matters a whole lot where he finishes – for me, this really is a case of “Its not whether you win or lose, its how you play the game” and I think the owners are to be applauded, and I think that if CC could talk he’d say he is having a blast.

      • Dee R. Eff

        I have no doubt Chrome is doing better than ever. Why should the owners be applauded for putting the horse in a position he cannot over come and cannot win. You think this is about the owners showcasing an American horse in a premiere event for sport. It is not and never was about that for them.
        Never in the history of horse racing until Chrome at this time has anyone ever said, it doesn’t matter if he wins or loses. It does matter, and if Martin wants to increase his stud value, he picked a poor way to go about it and should be looking for races he can win.

        • Black Helen

          Best reason of all.

          • Don

            Martin? sportsmanship? Right. It’s all about the money for him. Nothing else. If I remember correctly he even said that. Or something like it. I’ll be very surprised if we ever see CC race in the US again.

          • saintmars

            Well, according to Sherman et al we’ll see Chrome in the Arlington Million, The Jockey, and the Breeders. Always dependent on condition etc. William Buick, a very hot British jockey, seems to think CC has some kind of chance.

          • Dee R. Eff

            Martin was very clear to his reason for running at Royal Ascot. He is attempting to increase his stud value.

          • Ruffian31

            And I see no problem with that. Isn’t that why many horses run in the Met Mile? Most people see that race as a stallion maker. It’s no different there.

          • Dee R. Eff

            Never said there was anything wrong with it, just replying to someone who said it for the sportsmanship alone. You must read the post I reply to for context. I did also add that although he believes that I don’t believe it will result in that.

        • disqus_2IHndyTnnx

          Right. It’s interesting how the same folks who diss Tonalist’s second and third at the Spa are the same who coronate CC for seconds and a third.

          • Ruffian31

            I think it has something to do with Tonalist perferring to stay in NY and not try much else, especially since he can’t seem to win outside Belmont. At least you can’t say CC’s connections aren’t sportsmen by taking him around and trying different things and he has won at several tracks.

          • disqus_2IHndyTnnx

            Too bad he has not won a race on dirt in A YEAR.

          • Ruffian31

            So what? He’s still running and earning a check. Better than most horses can claim these days.

        • DRF, every year for 30+ years, Europe has supported America’s premier events at the Breeders Cup including the Breeders Cup Classic by sending their stars here to race. In races that were not turf events, that is the exact equivalent of what Chrome and his owners are doing. It was a sporting gesture of the highest order when the Euro’s did it, and its the same with Chrome’s connections. The people who truly love racing deserve the chance to see this horse, and the fact is a larger percentage of folks have a true passion for the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing in Europe than they do here in the US in 2015. If it gets more European fans to want to come to America to see our racing, and more become fans of our racing and our stars, than Perry Martin deserves a tip of the cap from you, but he’ll get a tip of the cap from me regardless.

          • Ruffian31

            If I’m not mistaken Ascot has developped their card in June with the hopes of attracting the world’s best runners, including Americans and it does draw many of our horses every year. I don’t get why people keep bashing CC’s connections for trying something others have and done well with. You can’t keep the horse in a barn forever. He was made to run and I say if you believe the horse is good enough then why not.

      • Bill O’Gorman

        A good point.

  • LongTimeEconomist

    Please note Rae Guest’s candid evaluation.

    • AngelaFromAbilene

      You know many won’t and those that do will be labeled “haters.”

    • Tinky

      Well, if it’s truly candid, it doesn’t reflect especially well on Guest. I say that because he left out the most important factors of all – relative ability, and suitability of conditions (i.e. going and distance).

      In other words, the factors that Guest ticked off are, albeit in reverse, overcome regularly be European runners competing in the U.S. They typically face sharper turns and harder ground than they would find at home, yet are able to win in spite of that. So, why should very similar hurdles be insurmountable for CC? Only two reasons, really. The first is that as good as he is, he is not likely to be as good as some of his opposition at Royal Ascot. Secondly, he will be racing at a distance beyond his best (which is around nine furlongs), and possibly on other than fast ground.

      • LongTimeEconomist

        Perhaps it’s British politeness and understatement, Tink.

        • Could be. They’re addicted to the latter.

      • Rachel

        Well, Tinky, no offense, but learning to run here, it’s not like the turns are 90′ and the grass cement based, lol, and you certainly don’t need to learn to run on a level track.
        PR hasn’t used an updated photo of him, but he looks incredible, he is so muscled up…beautiful animal.
        I think Rae G. Means “impossible” in such a short time, especially since CC was in such bad shape when he got to him after Dubai.

        • Tinky

          Rachel, no offense, but you apparently have no idea how much harder the turf is in the U.S. than in Europe, or how much tighter the turns are (on some courses) than most overseas.

          The point is that athletic horses, and especially those of high-class, are usually able to overcome obstacles such as the ones mentioned by Guest.

        • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

          I think Rae G. Means “impossible” in such a short time, especially since CC was in such bad shape when he got to him after Dubai.

          Or perhaps he meant exactly what he said.

        • JerseyGirl

          You say “such bad shape”, how so?

      • Gaye Goodwin

        Based on the Santa Anita Derby? Over a year ago? He was a half a length off of Bayern’s sub-2 minute classic. He ran very well in Dubai. His Preakness was in a nice 1:54…Why is nine panels his “best distance”? I agree with your other points, that the competition will be better than what he has seen here.

        • Tinky

          10f. on the turf in the U.K. – even if relatively firm – will be far more testing of his stamina than fast dirt tracks.

          He would be much better suited to nine furlongs, or even a touch less.

    • Chuck Seddio

      finally a dose of reality,i have a feeling he wont run,they will make some kind of an excuse and bring him home where he belongs,frankie is supposed to ride him either tom or th,if he doesnt take the mount what else is there to say

  • race

    Will CC win?–odds are against–but I’m betting he will make a good account of himself–he’s no Pork-Chop–his heart showed through with his Belmont try, and was not embarrassed one bit, did not quit, just got beat. He’s obvioulsy going against the Best of the Best, as awkward as the owners are sometimes, they are taking a shot looking at the breeding dividends, me on the other hand just want to see a Derby winner make a good account of himself across the pond–good luck CC

  • McGov

    Great article. Love how Guest takes the pressure off himself with one word……impossible.
    It just might be near impossible but to say that in an interview….lol. This is horse racing. Not impossible.
    I guess if he pulls it off then Guest pulled off the “impossible”. Wonder what his stud fee would be then?
    No real downside to this journey. I hope he comes out of it well and gets every opportunity to run his race.

    • Jocke Muth

      CC’s stud fee? With his pedigree, around £ 4000 – 5000.

  • Kellye Pikul

    I read this article yesterday via Sherman Racing’s Twitter feed. Alan will surely evaluate the situation and talk to all involved about this “impossible” task.
    If the experts over there see California Chrome as the second coming of Rick’s Natural Star, I hope DAP reconsiders.
    But…is it impossible? How fast have they asked him to run? He is used to wearing blinkers for works. Maybe he’s not in full flight just yet. I don’t know what to think but I hope he has a good experience. He will try. He’s an honest and very talented horse.

  • Bo

    Well if we had listened to all the naysayers about California Chrome in the beginning he would have not won a race. But we all know what we saw in 2014 and 2015! I think California Chrome has more good surprises for us in the future and evaluating his conditioning at this point, I think he is in the best condition of his life. I don’t know what CC will do in this race and no one else does either. They can guess like the rest of us, but I do know he will give it everything he has and that is all you can ask. If he has a good showing I think all of his fans, owners and team will be happy and if he does not we will still be happy, because he has done something that very few American horses have ever done and I figure very few ever will. Our hope at this point is that he remains Safe , Sound and Happy and returns home to his trainer and Team and all of his many Fans!! God Bless California Chrome and his connections and Teams here in the U.S. and in England!! We Charge to the Fight not from it!!

    • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

      I don’t know what CC will do in this race and no one else does either. They can guess like the rest of us…

      Really? An assessment made by the man training the horse is basically just guessing “like the rest of us”?

      • Allan

        Newmarket trainers know a lot but they can be mistaken, i remember back in july 2007, a newmarket trainer sent a firster out at yarmouth (a second tier track). Colt goes off at 20-1
        Wins for fun, oh the name Ravens Pass and the trainer John Gosden. Gosden never knew what it hit him, he was as dumbstruck as everyone else in his yard. :-)


      • Bo

        You got it !! It may be an educated guess, but that is all it is!! No one knows what CC will do except God! We will know after the race! Sounds like you are Lost in the Fog!!

    • Dee R. Eff

      Always love the perpetuated mythology. Who were the naysayers that said he would never win a race. He was favored in many of his races. He was more heavily favored over the field in the Derby than any horse in 15 years. He was odds on chalk in the Preakness and Belmont. Seems most thought he would win rather than never win a race.
      Actually, making an educated guess regarding the outcome of a race is what wagering is all about, and many times do have a good idea of what to expect. And the expected outcome of this experiment, or what many call a good sporting gesture, is not a good one. I have no doubt he is in the best physical condition of his life and If he didn’t have this training he would have no chance, and now he a chance, although very remote.
      More mythology is that people thing Martin is doing this for that sporting gesture, not even remotely true. He is doing is as a desperate attempt to up his stud value. It won’t work.
      And the new modern phenomenon in horse racing is saying it doesn’t matter if he wins or loses. It does matter, it always mattered and believe me it matters now. But, all of a sudden when it comes to Chrome it’s just about competing and winning doesn’t matter. Believe me it does matter.

      • Bo

        That ole Boy is your opinion!! You are Free to believe what ever you wish if anyone would listen to you! As for me don’t waste your time or mine!!

        • Dee R. Eff

          3-5 is proof of very few naysayers.

  • No money for you

    If my trainer said that about my horse, I would call him and tell him to ship the horse back home immediately.
    I would also round can his bill until he sued me.

    • Jocke Muth

      Difference is in England a trainer can keep the horse until the bill is paid in full.

      • really?

        they can do it here as well. I guess I would just bounce the check. When he called to find out what happened, I would tell him it was impossible the check bounced…

    • Fairy Gold

      I could see a trainer telling owners that in private but never to a reporter.

  • Ida Lee

    Double Ouch !!! I don’t appreciate our Chrome being dissed like this…. so shut up !!!

  • artistinwax

    Does CC usually run with Lasix?

    • Jocke Muth


      • artistinwax

        Can he run without it? Is he a bleeder?

        • Jocke Muth

          He ran without it in Dubai, I doubt the owners would have considered running in England if CC was dependent on Laxis.

          • artistinwax

            Does Lasix actually improve performance? When I see races from Australia or Europe, their horses’ body language is different without Lasix. It is more joyous, more happy. But trainers and owners know so much more than I do that I’m never going to come to any conclusions of my own. Still, listening and watching the horses is a great learning experience.

  • Darren Gray

    Get the feeling Rae knows it’s a circus with this ownership group? With Rae and his evaluation, can’t see Dettori taking the mount unless he sees something he likes in the upcoming work at Ascot.

  • Judith Van Doren

    The races are run to determine how well a horse performs. Not sure I agree with Mr. guest on California Chrome having impossible chance. A lot of reports coming out that he is doing very well, and in this report the rider is very pleased how quickly he has learned to move over the rough course and its dips, etc. Other USA horses have done well, after racing in stakes races in USA, so I am doing a hope and wait and see approach, to CC’s chances; I think he will do well. Racing luck, CC.

  • Mousse

    Guest’s candid comments say what experienced horsemen and fans have thought right from the beginning of this venture. The time worn adage of “Never asking a horse to do something he has never done before” certainly seem to be at play here. It’s his second start in England (if there is one) that will provide the answers.

    • Tinky

      Ridiculous. Horses succeed every single day at racecourses around the world trying new surfaces, new distances, etc.

  • jmom54

    He seems to be pretty smart.
    Best of luck to him.

  • Michael Castellano

    Depends on what race they run in him and in particular the distance. He did OK in Dubai, but if they run him on that heavy grass, the distance might compromise him badly. I’d scale back his best distances on European grass. Anything over a mile may be too much.

  • JerseyGirl

    He’s such a star

  • gammyp6

    Impossible?……Charlie, Allen, Woody, King et al would not be pleased with that kind of rhetoric….there is no place for that word in horseracing….

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