Indian Red runs in the 6.15 followed by Dixon in the 9.15 ....

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We have two runners today at Chelmsford

Thursday, 21 September 2017

"Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts."

Edward R. Murrow.

Working in pairs this morning

It’s another very calm and still morning, with the temperature holding up well. It is forecast to rain later and get much colder, but staying reasonably dry over the weekend. We have galloped a few horses on the turf Across The Flat this morning, plus using Southfields Long Mile grass canter. All has gone well and everybody is in who should be. We are very pleased with the new yard person who started this week.

Astrobreeze and Koin

Both colts ran with promise yesterday and will have benefited greatly from the days outing. The experience of travelling, getting saddled, paddock, stalls and the race, will have stimulated them mentally, and physically brought them on. They both behaved very well. Roof Garden won the best turned out, so at least we went home with a winner for the lads and they will both be winning races in the future. There was a good turnout of owners for Saint Anthony, which is always great to see, and I think both races will work out very well with lots of winners coming out of them.

Tonight we have two runners at Chelmsford City and as you can see big fields for the prize money that is on offer. Indian Red is our first runner at 6.15. He hasn’t run for well over four months and will need this outing tonight. I hope they go quick enough, which will help him settle and is what he wants to do. He is a horse who, without doubt, has plenty of ability, but needs to get it into his brains to relax more and this big field should help. Our other runner is Dixon in the 9.15, so I have three hours to kill at Chelmsford. I hope the owners and trainers bar are fully stocked with food and coffee. Dixon has had three runs so far, all in quite good maidens. He has had a few little niggling problems which have stopped him running for a couple of months, but he is ready to start back in harness tonight. I am still not 100% convinced about his trip and I will learn a lot more after this evening’s race.

Astrofire and Astroblaze

I see Bedfred is ending their commercial relationship with the vast majority of racecourses. This means a loss of over £6 million in sponsorship and the shops will shut on the tracks. Let’s hope the new conglomerate of racetracks will have the monetary weight behind them to make up the shortfall. Betfred’s ownership of the Tote is analysed today in the second article in the Racing Post and you can make up your own minds whether it has been a success or not. 

Saint Anthony in the parade ring at Yarmouth yesterday

Pauline (our oldest owner) giving Saint Anthony a polo

There is an article today in the Racing Post whose author seems to criticise the Newmarket training fraternity for keeping their yards shut over the weekend. I don’t know how many open days the author has ever attended, but these days seem to be less and less popular every year. In my opinion he makes one or two interesting points, especially about the fall in owner’s numbers, which is what he should be mainly addressing. This is a big concern to everybody as there are very few trainers with orders for the yearling sales this year. The main elite owners will continue to monopolise these markets and their trainers will be packed to the rafters with new inmates, but the vast majority of trainer’s, country wise, will continue to struggle to attract owners to pay for their inmates. This is a trend that must be addressed and the author should use his brains on how we can address this, rather than criticise trainers who are working to their limits. My idea to make the open days better, is to open one centre every four years on a rotation basis, so Lambourn, Middleham, Epsom and Newmarket will be one every four years. It would make everything so simple and improve numbers, plus it makes common sense as less is always better then more more more.


We have two runners today at Yarmouth

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

"I look into the faces of people struggling with their own lives, and I do not see strangers."

Robert Brault.


It’s not raining this morning and a dry day is forecast, but more rain tomorrow and then showers for the rest of the week. The day is going as well as it could do with the flag flying at full height and an extra member of staff joining us in the yard. We have been exercising on the polytracks this morning and all has gone well. We still need full time riders, and a member of staff for the stud.


I was pleased with the run yesterday of Clearance, who stayed on well in the straight. He is learning all the time, he looks like he wants a bit further and needs to strengthen up a bit more. He has got the right attitude and tries hard, so I am sure we can place him to his advantage shortly.

We have two runners today, both at Yarmouth and both two-year-old colts. Our first runner at 2.10 is Saint Anthony who makes his debut with Joey Haynes in the saddle. Both these divisions look quite warm and there are no great expectations with him today. A good experience will benefit him greatly for the future. Exactly the same thoughts go to Roof Garden next in the 2.45, the second division. He at least has had a run and will improve on what he did last time. This looks a hotter division of the two, but you can never tell and I am sure there will be plenty of winners come out of them both. 


There is a double page spread on the history of the Tote today in the Racing Post, and how it has evolved from the beginning, to its eventual sale to Betfred. This makes for fascinating reading and you can form your own conclusions, but my opinion is it has been run very poorly by lame duck politicians and our rulers certainly didn’t try hard enough to buy it when the government put it up for sale. As usual there are always behind the scenes goings on, which we mere mortals are not privy too, but I am sure we must have been able to find some bright ambitious brains that would have run it better than how it has been run at present, and it would have benefited the sport enormously.  It is a three part series and we will see how it continues over the next couple of days.

True Calling pulled out for second lot

I must comment on one thing I did last week, in that I spoke to a group of young people from Dubai who had been fast tracked by Sheikh Mohammed to go on a learning curve about the industry. I gave them a talk on a trainers view and I must say the eight of them, four men and four ladies, were very impressive. The average age wouldn’t have been more than early 20’s and if they are anything to go by, Sheikh Mohammed, and Dubai, have nothing to worry about with this sport going forward. Their enthusiasm and interest was marvellous to see. I wish them all well in which ever section of the industry they chose to work in.

Hunnie sorting out the Haygain

I am told you can now text Just Giving with donations for my commentary on Saturday. The fundraising is open until 1st October and now you just need to text 70070 with my code - MTTC 66 £(your donation in numbers).  So for example, if I were to donate £5, it would read; MTTC 66 £5

You can of course still donate by following the link below


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