Thursday, 09 March 2017
"Promises and pie-crusts and made to be broken."
Astroblaze and Koin upsides for the first time
It’s a bright start and much warmer with the temperature set to rise as the day goes on. It is nearly a proper spring day. It has been a manic morning already, with Angie and I being up at 2.20 when a mare looked like foaling, but didn’t. I was then in feeding just after four and was back to take a mare to be covered at Juddmonte at 7.15. I had already seen first lot out, and I got back at the end of second lot. The mare that we thought was foaling has had to have a visit to the hospital as she was in a lot of pain, but they tell us there is nothing to see and everything is in the right place, so David will be able to go and pick her up soon. All the horses have been doing good cantering work. We lost a rider yesterday when one of the young ones left and gained another this morning that seems very good. We still need one or two good riders, but we aren’t too bad. It just frustrates me that the young of today don’t seem to have any get up and go, or any determination. I think it is drilled into them about health and safety and an easy life is what they prefer, but the truth is, you get nowhere without hard work and it will eventually dawn on them, but often much too late.
Astrojewel going out to exercise
There was very little for our industry in the budget yesterday, with business rates not having any help, and the self-employed being hit with higher National Insurance contributions. However, the new funding system to replace the levy took a step forward when the government published the draft legislation that will eventually replace our old levy system. The experts expect it to bring in an extra £30–40 million per year, which if used right, should help us greatly. It has got to pass the European Commission and I would hope there would be no delay with that.
Nailing on a shoe
The Cheltenham build up continues apace with the Racing Post and dailies full of plans that the trainers and owners have for their horses. As we all know a lot of fancied runners have dropped out and we will be without stars both equine and human, but Cheltenham is Cheltenham and everybody wants to have winners at the Festival. The excitement will mount even more in the next week. Once again I will be having my tipping competition with Richard Marriott, who did beat me last year. His pin obviously worked better than mine. It is such a nervous time for trainers this last week as you are trying to prime your horse to be spot on for the day. All travel plans have to be meticulously decided, especially coming from Ireland when the seas can be rough at this time of year. They will tend to arrive in plenty of time to give everybody a chance to acclimatise. Every race is a championship and there will be some very happy owners, trainers and jockeys, plus punters. If you can last the four days you are doing well, especially if you are an attendee.