A Royal Ascot winner goes to the States ...

If only it would rain

Friday, 13 July 2018

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

Will Rogers.


Garrison Law above and below


It's another overcast morning and very pleasant to work in. With everybody in once again we have been galloping horses on the Cambridge Road polytrack for the first three lots. All has gone well and in fact I cannot wait for it to rain so that I can get some out on the track.


Garrel Glen in front of Melo Pearl and Farne Odyssey

I see the champion jockey Silvester de Sousa has lost his appeal against a seven day ban for failing to obtain the best possible position in a race at Chelmsford. This is bad luck for him at this stage of the season and his big advantage will be cut dramatically by the time he gets back into the saddle. My point is, and we were talking about it this week, that here the jockey misses out for committing a minor misdemeanour, but when the whip rule is broken the penalties always seem to be different. With the welfare lobby becoming more vocal, the whip rules certainly need an adjustment as quickly as possible.


Cantering up Hamilton Hill

The Tote monopoly ended yesterday and the new era is due to start. How it will look is anybody's guess at present, as we had the majority of racecourses all up and ready with the Britbet scheme, only for it to be put on hold when the original Betfred Tote acquired new partners. We shall all have to wait and see what happens next. With Ascot and Chester going it alone, I just hope that it will be sorted out quickly.

Phil on Friday


When Frank Brown walked out one wet day (remember what those were like?) to ride in a maiden chase for a lady owner he received some very unusual orders indeed.

His mount had been useful over hurdles and Frank reckoned he only had to stand up to win his first steeplechase. Not surprisingly the horse opened at 7-4 favourite and this did not please the owner at all. She had evidently expected something more like 7-1 for her money.

Her orders were straight and to the point.  Frank wrote afterwards: “She stamped her foot and said with great emphasis, ‘Mr. Brown, you are not to win’.”

What could he say in reply? He decided a grunt would suffice. But what could he say after the horse had won easily? Well, the rain was coming down like stair rods and this was to prove to be his saviour. He confided to the irate owner: “Sorry Mrs. H, the reins were so wet and slippery I couldn’t hold him.” Then he immediately fled to the weighing room.

Some time later the same owner was up before the stewards to explain the questionable running of another of her horses. She got away with it but only after brandishing her umbrella at the officials ‘in a menacing way’, it was reported at the time, and proclaiming: “Why don’t you warn off Harry Brown and Tom Coulthwaite (a leading jockey and top trainer) instead of wasting your time on an innocent woman like me?”