Roof Garden runs in the 5.45 followed by Dixon in the 8.45 ....

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We have two runners tonight at Kempton

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

"The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition."

Carl Sagan.

Walking beside the fences

Gee Sixty Six and Indian Red at the schooling grounds

It’s a mild morning, in fact amazingly mild. There is a slight breeze and it’s dry. It looks like staying this way all day. We have had a hectic morning with a couple of horses schooling at the Links, a few two-year-olds going through the stalls, another loose one and runners going off to the races. Everybody was in though, which was good and the flag has been flying.

Indian Red

We have two runners today, both at Kempton this evening. Roof Garden runs in the first, the mile nursery. He has had three runs so far, showing a bit of promise every time. This looks one of those races where a lot of horses have had the obligatory three runs and anything could happen tonight. I am hoping he can run well though.

Our other runner is Dixon in the 8.45. I have put him back up in trip and he is another that, although not running that well last time on the turf, could bounce back over this longer distance.

Gee Sixty Six

I love Alistair Downs Tuesday column and especially his word watch snippet. This week his word is stakeholder which is used so much by the BHA, who seem to be obsessed by them. What is a stakeholder, what point is there to them and what do they do? There are so many words that people use nowadays that don’t make any sense whatsoever. The political elite use so much jargon they try and baffle everybody with words. It would be far easier, and everybody would know where they stood, if plain common sense talking was the norm, but don’t hold your breath as I can only see more words that nobody understands being introduced. 


The horses are in really good form

Monday, 23 October 2017

"The person who really wants to do something finds a way; the other person finds an excuse."


Looking down Hamilon Hill ...

It’s an overcast start and quite cold. We have got some rain forecast for later on today, but looking at the clouds, I don’t know whether it will arrive or not. We have had an interesting morning with one non-runner, but the horses are all in unbelievable form. We had a loose one which proceeded to gallop round the yard for five minutes before allowing itself to be caught. No harm done and we gave it two canters on the Hamilton Hill polytrack. All the rest have had a good exercise and we will be having two runners tomorrow and two on Wednesday. All of which should run well.

and looking up

Champions Day went off reasonably well at Ascot on Saturday, with a good crowd. The viewing figures were not disastrous on the TV and we saw a very good horse in Cracksman. Obviously the ground played a major part with it going very soft, but as I have said before, at this time of year you are not going to get any good ground anywhere, other than Newmarket, and they moved the Champion Stakes just to suit this day.

My one comment on Champions Day is about the TV coverage - and I still can’t understand why it happens - is why we have the best jump jockey of all time talking about flat racing. You would never get flat jockeys talking at the Cheltenham Festival. It is a completely wrong idea by ITV. I suppose the general public may have heard of AP McCoy and that is what is behind their thinking. I await Frankie Dettori talking about the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The leaves are beginning to change

Congratulations must go to Sylvestre de Sousa who was crowned Champion Jockey again. He thoroughly deserves this honour and with his work ethic, his determination to win every race and his weight, he must be firm favourite to win it for the next few years. I think it is a completely stupid idea to finish the season in October and it should run from the 1st January for a year, which would make it much fairer to everybody. With racing becoming so international and the demands on the top jockeys to go here, there and everywhere, the accolade of becoming top jockey, especially on the flat, has declined, so it is something that as many as 20 jockeys could aim at if they put their mind to it. It is all about dedication, inner drive and the ability to be in the right place on every horse after the first 100 yards of a race. I look forward to the competition being closer next year.

We must also give a mention to David Egan, who was Champion Apprentice. He is a thoroughly accomplished young man who has been guided well by his father and Roger Varian. I read he is going to America for the winter, which will increase his education and hopefully he won’t lose his claim until the end of next year.


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