The racing industry seems to have more issues than Vogue at present and the one that may well be top of the list is the continuous discussion surrounding the fixture list.
The 2023 calendar was recently released with limited actual change to the number of fixtures, but one of the differences that will be implemented next year is the announcement that there will now only be a maximum of five fixtures across the UK on any given Saturday - including flat and jumps.
This small tweak will widely be considered a terrific decision on the basis that there have been clear examples of over saturation on certain Saturdays throughout the summer where multiple flat meetings have been staged along with a minimum of one jumps card to add to the minute-by-minute mayhem where the sport gets spread far, far too thinly.
Logistics, media coverage, staffing issues across the board and race clashes all mean that too much racing on any given day is no good for anyone. However, there are some individuals who benefit from saturated Saturdays: lesser-known jockeys. And last weekend was a prime example of that.
Flat racing took place at Haydock, Ascot, Kempton, Thirsk and Wolverhampton as well as a Jump meeting at Stratford. With the Group 1 Betfair Sprint Cup taking centre stage at Haydock it meant that four of the top five jockeys in the Championship were on duty in the north west and, naturally, this frees up rides elsewhere.
Lesser-known jockeys sieze their chance
Kempton saw the competitive London Mile Series Final Handicap go the way of Christian Howarth on the Saeed bin Suroor-trained First View. That was just his sixth ride for the Godolphin trainer and his second winners in the famous colours, but it was much the most valuable race he has won for them.
Similar comments could apply for Adam Farragher at Ascot where he delivered La Yakel to perfection in the Lavazza Stakes for his boss William Haggas.
Both those claiming jockeys are at similar points in their career, having ridden a similar amount of winners, and here they both had a chance to showcase their talents aboard favourites, for big yards, in valuable handicaps, that featured on primetime terrestrial TV - a golden opportunity both of them took.
High profile owner enjoys sweet victory
Amid the madness that was last Saturday, the Wolverhampton results in the evening may have been somewhat glossed over. However, one interesting story from the fixture came in the seven-furlong novice won by Mars Magic.
Trained by the Charltons, the gelding was winning on debut having taken a while to come to hand with a few minor setbacks meaning it had taken him until the September of his three-year-old career to make the track, following some sustained spell of work, rest and play.
By Magician, a stallion who could not be deemed a raging success at this stage, he is a first runner in the colours of American owner Linda Mars, who already has a significant and varied equestrian interest in the US that includes Racing and Eventing.
From the 'Mars Inc' family (yes, that of chocolate bar fame), a quick Google search of the family wealth will enlighten you that they have an estimated private fortune of around $120 billion, which raises the question of how Mrs Mars's first UK runner was a mere Magician gelding who cost just 7,500 euros as a foal.
The confectionary billionaire is clearly as good at judging horseflesh as she is at managing business affairs. She fell in love with Mars Magic at Culworth Grounds Farm when the gelding was just a yearling and had originally been purchased as a pinhook project. An instant fondness led to a private sale and, fast forward almost two years, he wins on debut for the American millionaire and businesswoman.
With ownership interest in a couple of other horses, including over jumps, Linda Mars is a much-welcomed new addition to the ownership ranks here in the UK, and Mars Magic looks a gelding who could yet prove to be above-average now he's made his long-awaited racecourse debut.