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Velvet Vista runs at 5.45 followed by Astrojewel in the 8.45 ...

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We have two runners tonight at Chelmsford

Thursday, 13 December 2018

"People who don’t cherish their elderly have forgotten whence they came and whither they go."

Ramsey Clark.

Carol_Concert_Programme
It was the Racing Welfare Charity Carol Concert last night

It’s much colder this morning and quite overcast. We have got a strong wind which is causing the chill factor and winter is just starting to get into gear now. First lot went onto the Cambridge Road polytrack which means you have to cross the Cambridge Road twice. At this time of the morning it is a highly tricky thing to do and even with flashing lights, illuminous jackets and a flashing torch it is a dangerous manoeuvre. I was nearly flattened by a car going into Newmarket. A few choice words, which I am sure he didn’t hear as he was going too quickly, were given out. The sooner the new traffic light system is installed the better. The work went well though on a very good surface. All the rest of the lots have been staying a bit closer to home.

Carol_Concert_Band
The band at the carol concert

Our runner last night didn’t sparkle, in fact he was a bit disappointing and will now be reassessed. We have two runners today, both tonight at Chelmsford. Our first runner is at 5.45 in the mile fillies’ novice stakes. It is another one of these races that you could be meeting anything as there are some lovely pedigrees and plenty of top owners. Our filly ran respectably first time out and will do so again tonight. She has pleased me since her last run and it will be interesting to see how she has improved tonight. Our other runner is Astrojewel who has had all sorts of niggling problems for nearly a year now. She runs in the mile and a quarter handicap at 8.45. This is just starting to be too late and why they didn’t start earlier is beyond me. These late races are ridiculous and all it does is alienate staff. It is a good job it is at Chelmsford and not Wolverhampton. Astrojewel will benefit from tonight’s outing from a long absence but she has the ability to get involved if things fall right for her.

Carol_Concert
Santa on his way into the ring

The big Cheltenham report is published in full today with the BHA making 17 recommendations on their findings. Most of them are pure common sense. The veterinary inspection is one of the most important. I am not sure the safety factor makes too much difference and as for the conditional jockey and amateur rider’s races, it would take a big bit of the character away from the meeting. As I said common sense is what is needed with people at the BHA, and at the sports forefront, to take it upon themselves to stand up and be counted and keep a good close eye on developments. A quiet word is often better than a fine and if that doesn’t work a big ban should be implemented. The whip problem needs to be urgently addressed as there was an article yesterday in the Times calling for a complete ban. The BHA have been very slow in sorting this out as they have known full well that the call for its demise would come and we have just let it happen rather than be proactive. The answer is simple, a maximum of four slaps in the back hand position and if broken the horse is demoted. Everybody would know the rules and it is simple. All jockeys can count and it would solve the problem in one, but I am sure the BHA will worry about the bookmakers who are only taking over £1 billion in profit a year out of our sport.

16_Babo
Babochoff having a pick of grass after exercise

It was the Racing Welfare carol concert last night held every year at Tattersalls. Once again a full house attended and was regally entertained by the town band and three very good choirs. There was also an assortment of readers and story tellers. This charity does a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes supporting everybody in racing and is an important charity to support. I must make a special mention to Colin, our electrician and husband to Carol our house keeper, who plays the tuba, which is nearly as big as him. It is quite hilarious as every year the conductor of the band misses out one or two verses of a carol and the audience are still singing when the band has stopped. It all goes off in great spirit though and is thoroughly enjoyed by one and all.

 

We have one runner tonight at Kempton

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

"Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye?"

Anon.

Hamilton_Hill
Cantering on Hamilton Hill

It’s a very similar morning to yesterday, dry, bright and cold. There is a slight wind starting to get up so it may get colder later on. We have had a normal morning with the horses and have been keeping close to home on Hamilton Hill where the surface on the polytrack is very good. All has gone well and the horses are showing plenty of life and wellbeing.

Belle
Belle Bayeux

We have one runner tonight at Kempton. We run Altered Method for the second time and the first time in a handicap. He is up a bit in trip from his last run and may get even further in time as he settles. This is a three-year-old taking on battle hardened horses, and it will be interesting to see how he competes. A very lightly raced horse he will improve as he gets more experienced but could run well tonight at a big price. Let’s certainly hope he does.

Rosie
Rosie Scot

I see the lights are going to be turned on at Southwell by the end of January. The first lot of floodlights are now up in the straight and they will be completing the course in the not too distant future. It was also interesting to read that the executive director was saying they only get around 500 customers at a routine meeting. It just goes to show how dependant they are on media rights and what money they must make when they only get that number of racegoers at most meetings.  I wish they would change the surface at Southwell as it would certainly attract more runners. They have slightly increased the prize money but not to Chelmsfords standards.

Between_trees
Beautiful

It was the Gimcrack dinner last night and Sir Hugh Robertson gave the address. He said he was sure the Levy Board would carry on as after the government setback the distribution of monies collected needed to continue. There seems to be a problem with the legislation and how it is presented in Parliament and you have to be cautious of what is going on behind the scenes. We will all have to have patience in this regard but I am very wary about the whole situation. The son of the owner of the Gimcrack winner Emaraaty Ana gave the usual speech on his father’s behalf. I gather the gist of this was that he wanted owners to have more recognition from the press rather than just the jockey and trainer. I thoroughly agree the owner is often overlooked, as without them you have nothing. He also thought the increase of prize money in handicaps to the detriment of group races was not forward thinking. I don’t think he was far off there as anybody who will now be entering in these big handicaps will be paying such large entry fees that only the top owners can afford to enter. It is all well and good the courses crowing about million pound handicaps but it is the owners' money they are racing for not the racecourses'.

 
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