An Al Duncan musing

21st  November 2010 : The Mentalist, twins and murderous trainers

One of my favourite TV programmes is The Mentalist, principally a vehicle for housewife heartthrob Simon Baker, but quirky enough to have me glued to Channel 5 each Friday evening.
It’s well into the 3rd series, so must be popular 'stateside'.

A recent episode was based at the racetrack, following the murder of a jockey, (It was the trainer that did it, sorry Donald...). Anyway, the plot involved running a ‘ringer’ to cash in at odds of 100-1, and so clear the financial debt of the murderous trainer.

And now to the bit I just didn’t believe.

The ringer was not just a stable mate of the official horse, but his twin brother! Incredulous!!
I thought it was common practice to abort as soon as a scan showed the broodmare to be carrying twins. The theory being that even if they survived that neither would be strong enough to race.
Now, I know the Whillans family are Mentalist fans as well, so I raised the point with Donald.

“Not so”, said Donald. He was in a particularly talkative mood.

Huh, what does he know, anyway!!
So I trawled the internet, and came across this little snippet.

The grand dam of Spectacular Bid was a twin, out of the mare Danger Ahead.
Not only did both twins breed winners, but both won seven races each on the racetrack.
Go On Green & Stop on Red were the horses.

Go On Green went on to produce 4 winning runners from 5 foals
Stop On Red proved an even more successful broodmare, with 2 stakes winners and 2 stakes-placed runners from 8  foals. Three of those black-type runners were by Promised Land, including Spectacular, the dam of Spectacular Bid, who just failed to complete an American Triple Crown in 1979. (Ron Franklin, anyone?)

Maybe thoroughbred breeders should try to produce more twins not less........

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