Trainers cannot be held responsible for everything ....

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The wind is blowing a gale

Thursday, 18 January 2018

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."

Victor Hugo.

Indian Red on Hamilton Hill ...

... and making his way back to the yard

The gales that were forecast certainly arrived last night and it was still blowing very hard at first lot. As the morning has progressed the winds have slightly died down, but there are a lot of branches and one reasonably large tree down on the heath. Also a lot of rails have moved on the polytracks but the heathmen were soon on the case and cleared everything up in double quick time. We have had a couple of non-runners this morning which always frustrates me as you know, but the ones in have been working steadfastly and all the horses has been cantering on the polytracks Racecourse Side.

     08_Blaze     06_Breeze
(L) Astroblaze and (R) Astrobreeze ..

.. and walking home

We were delighted with Topapinion’s win yesterday at Lingfield, where, although running very green, he won with a bit in hand and I think will develop into a very useful horse. He was a very late foal so he is not really three until the end of April and has plenty of developing to do yet. His sire, So You Think, was bred by one of our very good friends Mike in New Zealand and after a successful Australian campaign, he came over to stand at Coolmore which gave us the opportunity to use him. In this instance there are no great nicks and figures, but it just goes to show that if you love the stallion, the breeding can work. Congratulations must go to David and all the stud staff who produce all these horses for us. They are very much part of a team - both the training yard and the stud are all in it together.

Topalova cantering

Exercise over

There was an incident yesterday after the race at Lingfield which really annoyed me. I think it is one that needs pointing out as there have been very high profile cases against trainers in recent months. The BHA seems to want to hold trainers responsible for everything that happens to their horses and quite rightly so in the training yards with the veterinary work, that is down to the trainer. However, an employee of Lingfield was giving my winner a bucket of water to drink after the race, without myself or my staff’s knowledge as he was being led round the winning enclosure. This person was shoving a bucket of water under his nose, and he did take a couple of mouthfuls before I admonished him. He looked completely bewildered when I told him, in no uncertain terms, not to do it and that only my staff were responsible for things like that. The course Vet was stood two yards away and she didn’t say a word either.

Now, if there had been anything in the bucket that had got into my horses system, he would fail a dope test which was completely out of my control. This is just a prime example of incompetence by the racecourse and the BHA Veterinary Advisory Group. I will be bringing this up with the National Trainers Federation and I am sure something will be done in future, but it is quite impossible for the trainers to be in full control of what goes on on the racecourses premises. In fact if I hadn’t of been there, I would never have known and the horse would have drunk a good half bucket of whatever. I am sure it was just water, but it might not have been.


We have one runner today at Lingfield

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

"Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment."

Rita Mae Brown.

On Hamilton Hill this morning

It’s another bright morning, but the stronger wind is making it very cold out on the wide open space of the heath. I was trying to find some shelter at first lot as we did some fast work on the Cambridge Road polytrack, but it was near on impossible. Over trousers and three coats still didn’t keep you warm. Everything went well though, and apart from one loose one, which was just showing its wellbeing, we have had a very good morning. We have got the flag flying and everybody is working well.

Pageant Master cantering

Gee Sixty Six ran well to finish fourth last night and showed a bit of an improvement. I still think he wants to concentrate more and it looks to me like he definitely needs further. He is one of those who is gradually getting the idea.

We have one runner today at Lingfield. Topapinion runs in the one mile two furlong handicap at 1.40. He has had three runs so far, his best being his last race. I hope this step up in trip will suit and he gets some luck in running. I would expect him to run a good sensible race today.

Pageant Master - Casamento ex Skiphall two-year-old colt

Two new horses, shown in the photos today, are for sale this year. We have the very attractive Pageant Master who is a half-brother to several winners, including a Group 1 winner. He is cantering strongly already and looks like his is going to be an early type. I recommend early viewing as he should be popular. The Farhh filly, who is called Farne Odyssey, is strong, attractive and is also a two-year-old type. She is by a stallion who did brilliantly well in his first season and is now attracting a lot of support at stud. Both the above will run early in the new season and are highly recommended. Just give the office a ring or email in for further details. More information will be on the website tomorrow.

Farne Odyssey - Farhh ex Divering two-year-old filly

I see the staff crisis has affected the studs as well, with the much respected Hillwood Stud stating they will not be having breeze-up horses this year as they cannot get the riders. This situation, as you will know from reading my daily blog, is constantly getting worse and has been caused by the generation of young people who don’t want to work with animals or have the work ethic. We are now not allowed to import people into this country from the Far East countries, so that source has dried up. The Europeans, other than the Irish who now stay at home, are not really racing orientated. I don’t know what the BHA think is going to happen about this situation, but they just cannot keep increasing the fixture list as the staff are not there to keep it going. It is similar to the NHS. Racing has too many meeting and not enough staff and the NHS have too many patients and not enough doctors and nurses, all because of the same immigration policy.


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