Onwards and upwards ...

The first of the horses are on the move

Friday, 19 July 2019

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough."


Cantering on the Round Canter

It’s an overcast morning and a little bit cooler, thank goodness. There is rain in the west but it looks to me like it is moving northwards rather than eastwards. It would be very nice if we could get some as it has been a long time since we have had a proper downpour. The horses are going out and getting exercised and we are starting to move one or two into new homes later today. It will take us a week or two to sort everything out but at present we are getting on well.

Velvet Vista and Ness Of Brodgar

Thank you to everybody who has sent good wishes on my announcement yesterday. All the messages are very much appreciated by both Angie and I. I have had a fantastic time training and loved every minute. People say I ought to write a book, and I may do so some time in the future. I am sure it would be full of stories but the problem with racing books nowadays is there is only a small percentage of the population who would appreciate them. I see in today’s Racing Post a very prominent, now ex bookmaker, was stating the obvious in that the politicians of today have no idea about horses or gambling. How right he is. Everybody used to own a horse and use them as transport many years ago. We need to have leaders who can explain our industry and how it works in a clear and understandable way. It is only then that the sport can move forward. I have so many ideas that would improve the sport, but most of our leaders have no foresight, or imagination, and are only looking after themselves rather than the good and the future of the sport.


The great thing about British racing is that no track is the same and every day jockeys are riding at maybe one or two different tracks. They go left and right, uphill and down dale on all types of ground and sometimes mistakes are made, like the young apprentice yesterday who stopped riding for a few strides inside the final furlong at Leicester. We don’t want to become like America where every track is the same but this sort of thing wouldn’t happen then. The 10 day ban the apprentice got pales into insignificance to the pathetic ban the jockeys got for overstepping the whip numbers at Ascot. In my opinion the whole system wants sorting out once and for all, by people who know the game. At present we are tinkering at the edges and getting nowhere. I see we still have no senior person overseeing the stewards and the operating manager, who does all the official personnel at the racetracks, has resigned from the post. I could see that coming a long way off as the proper people who should be employed are being alienated by the pressures of a never ending fixture list.