The John Magnier article is a must read ...

A new rider has joined the team

Thursday, 05 April 2018

"Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace."


Cantering up Hamilton Hill

Indian Red

It’s a bright, dry morning and I am sure the temperature will rise considerably as the day goes on, but at present it is still a two coat morning. If there was some wind it would be even colder. Everybody is in and in fact we have gained another rider, which makes it even better and if we can have a consistent run at it now, I can see us having a very good spring. Two good canters close to home has been the exercise once again with everything moving well and really getting into the routine. Having the extra rider means I can give some of the more backward two-year-olds a longer exercise, which will do them the power of good.


I don’t know why we have to have headlines on the front of the Racing Post about the crackdown on trainers who have non-runners with their self-certificate rates above a certain threshold. To me it is a bit like being a naughty school boy and a quiet word would work much better than a public flogging. It was the BHA who wanted 48 hour declarations, the reason given was that the papers would have the cards earlier and the overseas punters would have more time to bet on our racing. All it has done has caused problems for trainers, especially on the turf, where the clerks of the courses blatantly lie about the ground and it changes so quickly. I would think the majority of non-runners are withdrawn on ground reasons, but with 48 hours, horses can get temperatures, knocks and not eat up overnight very frequently. If it were still the 24 hours system there would be a lot fewer non-runners. All the trainers on the list that is published in the paper are flat trainers with the 48 hour rule. No jump trainers, who still have the 24 hour rule, appear on the list so it proves the point conclusively. However, my gripe is why does the Racing Post headline this event caused by the BHA?

Roof Garden

I have no idea what is going on at Musselburgh but the fight against the council continues and this well run, and popular track, would quickly go into decline if the council were allowed to take it over. I suppose they could build on it, which must be in their minds, but it would be a sad loss to the north, and especially Scotland, if it were sold. I am not privy to the ins and outs and politics of the region, but there seems to me to be a lot of stubbornness and ignorance of how the industry works between all parties. Let’s hope somebody can be found with some common sense and calmness to get the show back on the road.

Second lot walking back to the yard

It’s the first breeze-up sale of the season today with the Tattersalls Ascot one kicking off later this morning. It will be interesting to see what the demand is like as the numbers are up at all the breeze-up sales this spring and the horses will have to go somewhere. To my mind the price of horses have escalated out of all proportion over the last 10 or 15 years since agents have been involved, and a bit like the premier league, where the cost of players have dramatically gone up, the same has happened with the horses. There are a lot of false prices and again common sense must start to come into play if we are to encourage, what I call a normal owner, to either expand his string, or be a first timer. It is a lot better to enter the sport at a reasonable figure, i.e. between £5,000 and £30,000 than be asked to stump up £50,000 to £100,000 for something that will be running for £2K.