Onwards and upwards ...

All British racing off until at least Wednesday

Friday, 08 February 2019

"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals."

Zig Ziglar.

Roof Garden leading the first batch of horses

It’s a blustery day but not cold, in fact the temperature is about eight degrees at present. We have had one or two bursts of rain as well which I think will continue for most of the day. It is forecast to be quite nice tomorrow and let’s hope the wind drops as well. All the riders are in once again and we have been out cantering on a variety of gallops racecourse side. All has gone well.

Velvet Vista

As you will be well aware now the BHA has called off racing until at least next Wednesday, which to me is much too big a knee jerk reaction to what is a normal situation year in year out. However, the animal welfare lobby is very strong in the offices in London and I think this has been the main decision maker. There are several yards in Newmarket who had runners at Wolverhampton where a runner from the infected yard had raced. These stables are now in lockdown and are only allowed out on the heath after 12 o’clock. It just means quite a bit of rearranging for the yards in question and every horse has had to have a swab, which all costs money to somebody. I was inundated yesterday at first light by TV companies - both ITV and BBC wanted interviews and explanations. I also spoke to Matt Chapman at Sky Racing in the afternoon, which was good fun as well. My fame has spread far and wide. I am told I was even on television in Canada last night. The only downside was they described me as a veteran trainer! This whole situation will, in my opinion, be very quickly sorted out.

Isaac Murphy

I hope they take my point though about cleaning the racecourse stables. This has been one of my pet projects for years as I just can’t see how they can possibly muck the boxes out, disinfect them properly and put new bedding in to the time scale they are working to. It is an impossibility as they don’t have the man power and certainly don’t use the right disinfectant. When there was two or three weeks in between meetings this operation could be done properly, but when you have an evening meeting followed by an afternoon meeting at the all-weather tracks, or even a two or three day meeting on the turf, it is impossible for the boxes to be cleaned out properly. It is something that definitely needs looking into and the course inspectors, the racecourse managers and the BHA vets should all be involved in formulating a proper plan. As I have said before, this will cost money which the racecourses are very aggrieved to spend. They would rather make a profit than look after their customers. Very short sighted.


The bookmakers, along with the Racing Post, have come up with a list of places you can lose you money today, even with no racing on in England. We have got the meeting in Dundalk in Northern Ireland, Jebel Ali in Dubai, Fairview in South Africa and Kranji in Singapore, but none of that money gambled on will be coming back into our industry. I am sure this shutdown will give them some other excuse not to play ball in future when negotiations about the levy continue. Good luck in finding the winners.