Onwards and upwards ...

You need patience in this game

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

"Gardeners learn by trowel and error."

Gardening Saying.

Cantering on Hamilton Hill

It’s a mixed day with very high clouds, plenty of sunshine and just the occasional quick shower. There is very little breeze so the temperature is holding up quite well. That looks like the forecast for the next couple of days and then they say it is going to get warmer again, which is not what we want. We are  having a good morning in the yard with the horses all cantering quite close to home, but moving well and very settled. I just want some rain for the turf tracks so they are on the good side rather than on the fast side. If you jar horses up now at this time of year you are always playing catch up, so patience is the word.

Walking back after exercise

It is the Derby on Saturday which will now be playing second best to the finals of the Champions League where Spurs and Liverpool clash. That will get all the headlines and the publicity rather than our sport. If the clowns that moved it from a Wednesday are still around they should be hanging their heads in shame as the Wednesday date would always guarantee great publicity but on a Saturday you are always competing with everybody else. You have heard me go on about this before, but in this instance I am completely right.

The other thing about the Derby is that the supplementary entries are so expensive to make. I think it was £85,000 this year which is astronomical and out of most people’s pocket. The whole Derby entry system needs looking into and all trials should have a ‘win and you’re in’ policy, even if you have to pay the normal entry fees, which would be considerably less than to supplement. We want the best horses running in the Derby and sometimes they’re not. Epsom is a very unusual course and some horses don’t act on it, you also have the ground to take into consideration, but usually the best horse of the year wins the Derby and is what everybody in racing aspires to. I just hope Epsom and the Jockey Club Racecourses have got the personnel in place who can sort this entry system out.

Back to the yard

It was interesting to see amateur rider Jamie Alexander ride to victory at Kelso on Sunday. He is 54 years of age and it bought back memories of Mike Jenkins, Jenko to everybody who knew him, who was riding into his 50’s and had a great ride to win ratio. We had many happy days and some of my best racing memories are of Jenko’s victories - Newbury and Ayr were two that stand out. He was usually a complete passenger and the horse did the work, but as long as he rode to instructions they always ran well. It just goes to show you can do anything if you put your mind to it and work at it. You don’t get anything if you don’t commit 100% and I just wish the youth of today would take note.