TV View: It takes two to tango, but watch out for the hairy goats

Seán Kelly lost for words as Tour de France starts with a bang

Shane Crosse wins the Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes on Thundering Nights at the Curragh on Sunday. Photograph:   Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Shane Crosse wins the Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes on Thundering Nights at the Curragh on Sunday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

A change is as good as a rest, as they say, so it was nice to take a break from Euro 2020 and visit the Curragh instead, safe in the knowledge that the punditry would be less harsh than the soccer and much more forgiving of competitors having an off day. And then Ted Walsh talked about Santa Barbara’s performance in the Epsom Oaks, reckoning “she ran like a hairy goat”.

So, regardless of the sporting code, really, our pundits can be quite brutal, although anyone who has ever been chased by a hairy goat, especially one with its horns aimed at your derriere, like they were the lovechild of Usain Bolt and Tadhg Furlong, can’t imagine that Santa Barbara was all that tardy. Ted has obviously never endured the experience.

A speedy-ish Santa Barbara, as it proved, finished second in the Pretty Polly Stakes, Hurricane Lane going one spot better on Saturday in the big one, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, the discussion around his pedigree prompting Ruby Walsh to challenge Hugh Cahill.

Hugh was bigging up Galileo, surely the most unchaste horse in history, telling us that he is blood-related to nine of the 11 runners in the Derby, and is the grandfather of Hurricane Lane. Did Hugh mention Hurricane Lane’s mother or granny? Did he heck. It was then that Ruby stepped in.

“I think it’s about more than Galileo, it takes two to create anything,” he said. “Galileo has had some wonderful mares sent to him . . . it takes two to tango.”

That was Hugh told, until then him appearing to be under the impression that Galileo was solely responsible for all these horses’ success, like their mothers and grannies were just hairy goats.

It was with Kind, sadly now deceased, that Galileo produced Frankel, Hurricane Lane’s Da and his Ma Gale Force’s lover, and you’d have to guess that they would have been decidedly prouder grandparents on Saturday than the ones who had that sign waved at them in the opening stage of the Tour de France.

“Allez Opi Omi!” it read, ie “Go Grandpa Grandma!”, the person who was waving it at the television cameras responsible for sending half the peloton flying after Tony Martin crashed in to it, prompting a carnage-domino-effect.

Seán Kelly isn’t often lost for words, which is just as well seeing as he’s a co-commentator, but when he saw the replay of the incident he just let out a highly exasperated sigh through gritted teeth, possibly wishing that France would reintroduce the guillotine for the offender.

“You can see the lad was just trying to get on television, stupid, stupid thing,” said Seán’s Eurosport colleague Brian Smith. It was a woman holding the sign, proving that the female sporting spectator of the species can be just as feckin’ stupid as their male counterparts. Another good day for equality.

A decent day, too, for The Irish (and British) Lions up in Edinburgh where they saw off the challenge of Japan in their warm-up game for that South African tour that might never happen.

Jamie Heaslip, bless him, focussed 98.4 per cent of his Channel 4 co-commentating on our lads, like England, Wales and Scotland were just the supporting cast (which they are, really). He was particularly taken by Furlong doing a drivie thing with the ball. “The head’s noddin!’ He knows the spuds are on for dinner and he wants them! The Mom has the roast on, there’s nothing going to stop that man getting it!” You’d have been starving by the time Jamie was done.

And he was super forgiving when Conor Murray kicked the ball out on the full. “Maybe he thinks he’s already playing at altitude and it’s going to go a little bit further down the line, or something like that.”

At least he was being kind, instead of calling Conor a hairy goat, or something like that.

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