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Justice is done

Friday, 22 March 2019

"You can find inspirations from others but determination is solely your responsibility."


Garrel Glen

It's a dry morning once again with a slight breeze but it is feeling a bit colder than earlier in the week. There is no rain forecast and the ground is drying up fast. Everyone is in, including jockeys, and we have had a good morning so far cantering all the horses. I've kept them to the polytracks as the grass is firming up and the younger horses especially can get sore shins on faster ground.

Pageant Master

The appeal against Declan Lavery's ban in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham took place yesterday and justice was done when the penalty was quashed. Let us hope for once that the BHA is listening to what everybody is saying, and we can stop having headlines which don't do the sport any good. I see Philip Freedman, the chairman of Horsemen's Group, has finally raised his head and called for unity within the industry.We need strong leaders who understand this sport and I am sure things will be going on behind closed doors. Hopefully common sense will prevail.

Velvet Vista

There have been some good articles each day this week in the Racing Post on the world's greatest racecourses. We are down to number three today which is Ascot. It will be fascinating to see who are number two and number one as York, Goodwood, Longchamps, Meydan, and Churchill Downs have already gone. The only thing I find is that racecourses always look better in the sunshine.

Astrosecret and her Garswood filly foal

We have already had some cracking foals this year and have three mares overdue at present. We keep them monitored constantly day and night, and it is a very tiring process for all involved. You must do the job properly and you can't beat observation in this instance.

Gregorian ex Astrodiva colt foal


We are working two-year-olds today

Thursday, 21 March 2019

"Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favours."

François de La Rochefoucauld.

Working Across The Flat

It’s a ditto morning to yesterday, no wind, quite bright and spring like. Everybody is in bar one yard worker who has had his last chance now and we will be taking on somebody else in the near future. The horses have been going in all directions, cantering using a wide variety of gallops, and one or two have been over to Long Hill on the other side of town as well. I am just about to take third lot out consisting of six two-year-olds who are going to come Across the Flat in a bunch over four furlongs. It’s always good fun, educational for the horses and you start to get the two-year-olds into their pecking order.

All going well

There are more headlines on the front of the Racing Post this morning from the fallout of the BHA’s decision on welfare at the Festival. Another letter has come from three high profile trainers criticising how the handling of the sport is progressing. My question is where is the leader of the National Trainers Federation, or the Horseman’s Group? They should be forefront in all of this and standing up for all the racing professionals. It shouldn’t be up to the individual trainers to keep going on and on, it should be our leaders who have the strength and the courage to stand up and be counted. That is what they are getting big salaries for. We will have to wait to see what happens.

Work over, now a cooling walk back to the yard

There was plenty of chat at the Newmarket Trainers Federation meeting, as I told you, and one of the items was housing for stable staff. The Jockey Club have the land and are putting things in place to get the planning permission. It is a mixture of single bedsits, affordable two and three bedroom houses and a hostel type apartment that would start off the leavers from the racing schools, before they go out on their own. It’s a great idea but the costs are quite high and we are already having big problems with the local council who seem to think there should be affordable housing for any resident. Both councils are going to amalgamate soon and the Jockey Club's idea is to wait until that happens and hopefully the executives will look more kindly on this application. It is imperative that we get the accommodation for the staff and the Newmarket Open Days, which raise money for such projects, should be directed towards this housing scheme.


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