Onwards and upwards ...

A very mild morning

Friday, 05 October 2018

"The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be."

Paul Valery.

Sunrise over the heath

It’s a very mild and still morning and it should continue like this all day. There is some rain forecast for tomorrow but how much I’m not sure. Whatever we get will be welcome. A good compliment of staff in including Louis Steward at second lot and we have been using the Southfield Round for our exercise this morning. All has gone well.

Working on the Peat Moss gallop

I see the owner of the Nottingham mix up horse is threatening to move a number of horses to France and greatly reduce the number he has in training here. In my mind he quite rightly states that the BHA sees the bookmakers and punters as their primary stake holders and the owners are along way down the list. I cannot but agree with him in this matter and see that even the bookmakers think that the horse should have been allowed to run. I hope the BHA investigates this matter quickly and that the truth will out and the penalties fit the crime.

Garrel Glen and Melo Pearl

It’s the big Arc meeting this weekend with two quality days racing at the newly rebuilt Longchamp course in Paris. These festivals come around very quickly now and before we blink it will be Champions Day at Ascot. The Arc looks a good race if not a classic one and I’m sure whatever beats Enable will be the winner. To my mind only Waldgeist of Andre Fabre’s looks capable. It will be fascinating to see what the public make of the new Longchamp on two such big days.

Velvet Vista and Belle Bayeux

The penalty structure for handicaps is going to be changed next year after a review and there will be a few other suggestions that will be implemented. The BHA chief operating officer states, “We need to better understand if there any elements of handicapping that particularly frustrates owners and in some cases results in them sometimes turning away from the sport”. They have now got a handicapping appeals panel with a long list of names with only two or three that you have heard of. To my mind a handicap is a handicap, a pound or two either way doesn’t make much difference. Owners grumble and quite rightly when their horses don’t get dropped quickly enough. They are put up nearly instantly but come down so slowly. The cost to the owner of each run is enormous as the travelling and daily expenses are set in stone. If all BHA members and employees had a horse in training themselves, or even a part there of, they would soon understand what I am going on about.

Pageant Master after exercise walking back to the yard