It's a cool, overcast morning
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
"Promise yourself to live your life as a revolution and not just a process of evolution."
Anthony J. D’Angelo.
It’s gradually got more overcast as the morning has gone on. When I was feeding early, the moon was just visible, but it was much darker than yesterday. We also have a slight breeze which is just making it on the cool side, but no rain and very little forecast. We have had a good morning with the horses doing some good cantering work on the polytracks racecourse side and one or two of the two-year-old are really starting to shine. It is great at this time of year as you can see the more precocious ones and the excitement starts to build.
I agree 100% with Richard Hannon who is having a real go at the prize money at Windsor Racecourse, as well as the prize money on offer at Southwell at the weekend. It is pathetic the amount of prize money we are running for and it is just not right that these courses are allowed to get away with it. The BHA has got to do something about it, but is pretty toothless and won’t stand up to these courses. We have got to do away with a least 300 fixtures and reallocate all the money into prize money. It may at least make it worthwhile winning a race, but as young Mr Hannon says, that when horses costing £90,000 or £75,000 etc. are running for £2,000 in prize money at Windsor, where the bars are crammed, champagne is £85 per bottle, there is something majorly wrong. We used to have a very good man employed by the Horsesmans Group who understood the game and got minimum values going the right way. He was got rid of because his face didn’t fit for some people. In my opinion it was a great loss.
Looking after the gallops between lots
We have a couple of really nice two-year-old for sale at present, Budgie and Honey Blossom, who would give plenty of fun this year and next. Take a look at the pictures and give me a ring on 01638 661434 if you are interested.
The flowers are growing nicely outside the office
Although I have been up at 4 o’clock every morning and look like being so for the foreseeable future, unless we can find a head person who wants a well-paid job with lots of perks, I did have the afternoon off yesterday to take a couple of our grandchildren to Go Ape in Thetford Forest. I know it was the school holidays, but there were literally hundreds of them there yesterday, from babies to teenagers. It is an amazing place with every type of climbing apparatus, both in the treetops and on the ground. It is a great day out for kids and they are all completely fearless. My point here is where does that fearlessness go when they become adults, or turn 17? They can’t all find jobs being scientists and doctors, and racing can give so much excitement to younger people it is unbelievable. We just have to get these kids on our wavelength and away from the health and safety rubbish. They would have a wonderful life in our industry.
We worked on the Peat Moss gallop this morning
Tuesday, 11 April 2017
"Nature decrees that we do not exceed the speed of light. All other impossibilities are optional."
Desert River on the Peat Moss gallop
This morning it’s a carbon copy of yesterday. When I was feeding at just after four, I was feeding in moonlight and you can see why these moons are called poachers moons as it was nearly daylight. There is no wind, a perfect temperature and everything has ticked over well. We had Gabriele in very early and then Stevie Donohoe came in and rode two pieces of good work on the Peat Moss gallop. I was having a conversation with one of the heathmen this morning, Edward, see picture below, and he was telling me he thinks there will be very little rain this month, and he could be right. Apart from using the Peat Moss, we have been mainly on the polytracks close to home. One or two staff are starting to turn up and we have a couple prospective good ones in the pipeline, although we still need a feeder and travelling person. Two really responsible, well paid jobs with plenty of perks, you just wonder where the next generation of senior staff are coming from.
(L) Koin and Astroblaze and (R) Astrosecret and Stellekaya
I see the Irish are getting tough on their integrity with several recent cases. Their most high profile team have just had a horse suspended and the jockey banned for, seemingly, the jockey not putting in enough effort. This is a new rule which has suddenly come in and although I haven’t seen the race in question, it cannot have been as bad as the one we saw the other night at Chelmsford where, after appeal, the BHA exonerated one of our high profile jockeys with a similar matter. It should be a level playing field for everybody, but it is very hard to prove one way or other and we will always get ones that slip through the net. We do need strong policing of our sport, both integrity and vet wise. It gives the public confidence to have a bet in the knowledge that if there are any misdemeanours, they will be punished.
Edward the heathman
I see we still haven’t got European approval for the reform of the Levy and we are starting to miss out on income already. Why we couldn’t have got it sorted out to coincide with all parties is beyond me as I have said before, and I still suspect something will come out of the woodwork to thwart it, but let’s hope not and the extra income can be used correctly.