The John Magnier article is a must read ...

We have one runner today at Wolverhampton

Monday, 08 January 2018

"Experience is what you got by not having it when you need it."


It's a dark morning at first lot

It’s a cold, dry morning and we have had a reasonable frost overnight. Thankfully the wind is not too strong and as the light has come up, it has not got colder. I have been driven barmy by staff once again this morning with three non-runners. This puts us all out of synch and the riding out board, plus the yard organisation, all has to change at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately it is the same in every yard and until the culture and the work ethic of the young people coming into any business changes, it will always be like it. We have got an exciting industry where there is great team spirit, great reward and such a chance to improve and move up the ladder. The world is a young person’s oyster if they can ride and handle horses and it is a well-paid job nowadays, but the enthusiasm seems to be lacking which is all down, in my opinion, to how they are educated and brought up. Right I have got that off my chest. All the horses have had a good canter and look pictures.

Pageant Master

It was a long way to the 9.15 at Kempton on Saturday, especially after doing a day’s work and then driving round the M25. To compound that the A1 was shut on the way home, so another 20 minute diversion. Gee Sixty Six didn’t get the best of rides, as when wanting to challenge, he was hampered at every point. He lives to fight another day though and I won’t be long before I run him once again.

We have one runner today, tonight at Wolverhampton, in what they cheerfully describe as a twilight meeting. To every trainer and jockey, it is a nightmare meeting. It starts at 4.15 and ends at 7.45. This is so they can catch the betting shop punters on their way home from work. Astroblaze runs in the 7.15, the seven furlong handicap. Her best run was here over this distance and I am hoping she can run well tonight. It may be that she needs a little bit further, but her mother won over seven and she shows enough pace at home that I think she should be competitive tonight.

Off to the muck hill

I don’t often agree with everything Lee Mottershead comes up with in his column, but in today’s one he suggests that training fees should be paid through a third party after the Al Sheqab saga. I have always thought this should be done, on a similar basis as in Hong Kong. All training fees are paid through the Hong Kong Jockey Club and no owner can have a horse unless they are financially viable. It could be easily done through Weatherbys, or for that matter through another bank. This could be a good thing as it would give Weatherbys some competition. There seems to be charges for nearly everything nowadays and although the BHA and ROA say they are simplifying matters, it certainly doesn’t seem like it. We have thrown this idea around before at National Trainers Federation meetings, but it has always been knocked back, especially by the bigger trainers for some reason. However, this latest episode might have concentrated their minds and it could be back on the agenda. If it goes ahead it wants to be a proper enforceable rule not one that you can choose to do or not.