Forgotten Rules is a huge advertisement for the training genius that is Dermot Weld, one of the world’s greatest trainers for the last 40 years. The single word which most sums up Weld’s handling of this Nayef gelding is ‘patience’.
The bare facts are that Forgotten Rules got to the end of his four-year-old season still unbeaten. But that does not tell the whole story.
As a two-year-old, the homebred son of the 2002 Irish 1000 Guineas fourth, Utterly Heaven, showed plenty of ability on the gallops but was very immature. So his trainer decided not to race him. During 2013, he developed sore shins, so Weld again left him on the sidelines.
When he did finally make his debut, in late April 2014, it was not even under Flat racing rules, but at Ireland’s premier jumps racing meeting, the Punchestown Festival, in a ‘bumper’ (or Flat race for prospective jumps horses).
He won by 13 lengths and, three months later, went to Weld’s favourite Irish flat meeting, the Galway Festival, and was equally impressive, scoring by an easy eight lengths.
Again given plenty of time to recover and wait for his favoured soft ground, Forgotten Rules finished the year with a decisive victory in the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot.
Weld’s charge returned to Ascot for the Gold Cup as a five-year-old and, on quick going, ran well to finish third behind Trip To Paris. He ended the year under something of a cloud, though, having run below his best in his next three outings. He shaped well on his belated return in 2016 and Champions Day beckons again.