The yearling sales continue ...

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This drizzle wasn't forecast

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

"Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it."

Henry S. Haskins.

The leaves are beginning to change of Hamilton Hill

It’s a very overcast morning and has just started to drizzle. It looks set to stay like it for most of the morning. I think we are then due for a dry spell until next week. All is good in the yard and with plenty of people in the horses are doing good strong canters on the polytracks. Two more colt yearlings arrived in the yard this week and Tim is getting on well with the breaking process. The first four will all have been ridden by today and we will be having them out on the heath in the not too distant future. Once we have got these first lot of colts going there are several fillies that will then be coming our way - I would think after the Horse In Training sales which would suit everybody.


Book 2 at Newmarket has held up pretty well but only due to the big players. The Maktoum family have bought a lot of horses between their many outlets and what with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and a couple of rich Australians, this has kept it ticking over. Today is the last day of Book 2 and then Book 3 and 4 will no doubt tell a different story, although I am sure there will be a gem or two to come out of there. Often it is the rougher pedigrees but with good physical attributes that can make the best horses. That’s the great thing about our sport, you just never know.

Garrison Law

I always smile to myself when jockeys move around from one establishment to another and it doesn’t matter what size you are it is always disappointing when they do that, especially when you have given them a leg up in their careers. But, with the advent of agents it has been happening more and more in the sporting world. I thought it was quite ironic though that the punter darling of Hong Kong, Joao Moreira, announced he was leaving to go to Japan, but is now trying to do an about turn after failing his written test on Japanese racing. I am sure the punters would like to see him back in Hong Kong but not the other jockeys. It would be interesting to see what actually happens, but sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat the lot.


It was a disappointing day yesterday

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future."

Paul Boese.

     02_Ness     11_Vision
(L-R) Ness Of Brodgar and Velvet Vision

Garrel Glen

It’s a damp autumn morning, not cold and would be much better if we had had a frost. There is no wind and the forecast seems to be very similar for the rest of the week. It looks to me like the ground at Ascot for the big finale at the weekend will be on the soft side as Windsor, which is not very far away, was abandoned yesterday because of the rain. The ground now at Ascot has soft and heavy in the description but if there is no rain between now and the weekend the straight course will dry up considerably quicker than the rest of the track. We have plenty of people in this morning and have been using Southfields Round canter for most of the lots.

Exercise over 

... now back to the yard

It was a disappointing day yesterday. I think I took a chance with Pageant Master. He has gone up 3lbs today for his Newcastle run so it was worth a go, but obviously the run came too quick for him. I will now regroup and let him have a bit longer between races. Velvet Voice ran ok and should be capable of winning on that sort of ground. She had a good blow afterwards as would be expected after her long break. Both Four Fifty Three and True Calling didn’t get into the race at any stage and were disappointing. It looks like Four Fifty Three doesn’t like the turf and will have to stick to the all-weather. We will give True Calling the benefit of the doubt as she has not run for a long time and will improve for the outing.

The sun is just breaking through the cloud

There is a very good article by George Baker today in the Racing Post about the rules and regulations in different countries. He agrees with me and Sir Mark Prescott that the whip rule here, when you can break the law and still win the race, is wrong. He explains and gives examples of how racing abroad is different from here and how we have got a win at all cost attitude, especially in all the big races. He says it doesn’t make a lot of sense when rules can be broken and there is not the ultimate threat of disqualification. He also says there are too many things you can get away with as a jockey nowadays and everybody would be better off if the uncertainty was removed. George was a very good jockey who very sadly had to retire, but if he keeps writing like this will have a long career in journalism. His common sense take on this situation is a pleasure to read.


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