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We have been using the polytracks on Racecourse Side

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

"The golf swing is like a suitcase into which we are trying to pack one too many things."

John Updike.

24_Ex_Wolumla
Swiss Spirit ex Wolumla two-year-old

44_Ex_Wolumla
Cantering yesterday on the grass

It’s a bright morning with the moon shining down at me. I wish it had done that yesterday as the low cloud stopped me seeing the blood moon, but there were some fantastic photos taken of it. Space travel and the whole of the galaxy is something that has always fascinated me. It is just amazing to think that you can just keep on flying with there being no end. With plenty of riders in this morning we have been getting on well with the horses using the polytracks on Racecourse Side. All has gone well and the progression, fitness wise, is on the right track.

26_Break
Break Cover

45_Break
Moving well

There are two things headlining the Racing Post today. Firstly, the political situation and how the majority of MP’s relate to our industry. There is only one or two that are really keen and understand it well, but the rest are very ill informed and think we are the cause of the gambling epidemic. If only they could all work for a week in any racing yard they would soon understand the ins and outs and the dedication within our sport. The welfare issue certainly needs to be kept on top of with the whip our number one priority.

91_Stalls
Walking through open stalls is part of the education

The other funny one to highlight is the Godolphin story that their staff are weighed every month and they must be under 10st 7lbs. The majority of staff are around that weight with their clothes and boots on with the occasional exception, but this is a mountain out of a molehill being made by the Racing Post. The big problem is with everybody being much better off nowadays the generation that is coming into the workforce is much heavier than they ever were. You very rarely get a youngster under 6st whereas 40 years ago it was common place. It would be interesting to know the average weight of the kids entering the racing schools as I am sure if they had a weight restriction the intake would be considerably lower.

 

There is a hard frost this morning

Monday, 21 January 2019

"There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice."
Mark Twain.

19_Warm_uP
Warm up over, off to canter

It’s an overcast start to the day which is very disappointing as I was hoping to see the wolf moon this morning. It was visible from half past four to just after five and is not going to occur again until 2029. If you missed it, like me, you now have a long time to wait to see another. There is absolutely no wind today but we have had a hard frost and it would be very cold if the breeze was up. The forecast is for it to continue like this all week but it is January and is only what we should expect at this time of year. The horses have all been out cantering on Southfields Round and everything is going well. The walking grounds could be a bit better this side as when they freeze they can get a bit rutted, but apart from that things are moving ahead smoothly.

57_Cantering
Cantering single file

59_Cantering
All moving well

It is disappointing to see Fawzi Nass, a prominent Bahrain business man who had recently set up a private trainer in Newmarket, pull the plug on his investment. They had just bought Eve Lodge Stables off Lester Piggott but with the finances as they are, and the cost of everything, he has decided to send most of his horses back to the Middle East and a few to stay with other trainers in Newmarket. What with the Godolphin pre-training yards only half full, we now have two big yards empty this side and with Bedford Lodge on the market, plus several other smaller yards up for rent, the prize money situation, which I have been banging on about for so long, is beginning to hit home. Something needs to be done about this situation and quickly or else more people like Fawzi will be leaving.

62_Amelia
Amelia receiving her Christmas Quiz prize

We have all had an email from the BHA about equine influenza which has seen outbreaks in France, Belgium, Ireland and one or two in the UK in non-thoroughbred horses. It is an airborne transmitted disease but it can also be carried on peoples clothing. If you were watching Countryfile last night you would have seen the disease which is spreading in pigs throughout Europe. It has not hit England yet but if it does, it will complete decimate pig farming in this country. Equine flu doesn’t kill them, but it would stop racing in certain places and we must all be taking every precaution to avoid such an outbreak. With the movement of horses now worldwide, sooner or later you are going to get a strange outbreak of something and let’s hope everybody can get it under control before such an event happens.

 
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