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This country needs its own minister of racing ...

The snow has nearly all gone now

Tuesday, 06 March 2018

"Justifying a fault doubles it."

French Proverb

02_Vision__4.53
First lot on the Cambridge Road Polytrack

It’s a still, damp morning, but not cold. Nearly all the snow has now disappeared, although there are still the remnants of a few drifts as I drive back up the hill to Dullingham.  We have had a good morning workwise with Joey Haynes in and have been galloping on the Cambridge Road polytrack, which, although a bit on the deep side, had been well harrowed and had very little use. All has gone well and everybody is happy.

03_Ness__True
Ness of Brodgar and True Calling

I see Chelmsford City is asking the BHA for turf fixtures in 2019. Well to my mind, and to anybody with any sense, it is completely crackers that they are even contemplating putting a turf course in at this venue. The bends will be much too sharp and the racing will be akin to greyhounds rather than horses if it is allowed to go ahead. I suspect the management think that they will get a better class of horse if they get turf racing, but I can assure them that will not be the case. Chelmsford is a great track, very popular with Newmarket trainers, and with everybody else for that matter, as the prize money is very good and they look after the staff as well as anybody, with very good best turned out prizes as well as a good canteen. The perfect scenario for this track is that they upgrade the surface, so that everybody wants to run there, keep the prize money at the highest level possible, invest in a new grandstand and casino, which they already have planning permission for, and then everything would fall into place with a higher standard of racing. This half-cocked idea of a turf track ought to be knocked on the head and the BHA inspectors should tell them so.

10_Jewel
Astrojewel on Hamilton Hill 

The Cheltenham build up continues apace and it will be fascinating to see what the official starting ground is for the first day. With all the rain and snow we have had it must be on the soft side and if the clerk of the course gets to put good in the going description, I don’t know what stick he is using. Obviously the ground will play a big part in who runs and who doesn’t, as so many horses will not act on that very soft and sticky condition, but there is only one Cheltenham and the whole jumps season is geared to these four days in March. Owners and trainers look forward to it and the racing will be of the highest class. Richard Marriott and I will be having our annual tipping competition and I am sure we will be full of winners, as well as plenty of hot air. This meeting always throws up plenty of stories and I am sure this year will be no exception.