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The rain has been very welcome

Wednesday, 06 March 2019

"There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear."

George S. Patton.

Cantering on Racecourse Side

It’s a wet and windy start to the morning and what a very busy one it has been. I was in feeding at half past four, after thinking we might have a foaling last night, but the mare is still hanging on. She is sure to have it today at some stage. I then proceeded to sort all the lots out and get organised, only to realise that one of the riders hadn’t turned up which meant rejigging the whole board once again. This situation happens in ever yard and it is really annoying when it does. Everything went smoothly from then on and the lads that are in got the horses in and out for a good canter on Southfields Round. I myself drove the stud horsebox over to Shadwell where we had a maiden mare covered by Muhaarar. I must say he is a very attractive horse and looks sure to be a good stallion. As you can see it’s been a busy morning so far, hence the lateness of this blog.

Velvet Vision

It’s a very poor days racing at Lingfield today after the prize money boycott and Arc is only getting what it deserves. They have been making fortunes out of the industry and not putting anything back for as long as I can remember. It has been amazing how the trainers and jockeys have been as one and I commend everybody who has had the common sense to do it. We wait the outcome of the talks from yesterday but I read that they were constructive and that the transparency of the media rights income might soon be out in the open. These rights are the ones that horsemen should be getting the majority of and not like it is at present, just getting the bare bones of what the racecourses are raking in.

Moonlight Graham

It’s not long until Cheltenham and the BHA have bought in some very strict veterinary rules this year. Each horse will have to produce veterinary details for at least a month, ahead of time, and will be inspected at a trot in the stable yard before being allowed to run. It will be interesting to see how many fail this examination. I think is a bit over the top but the BHA’s welfare men and women have got to justify their huge salaries, and we don’t want any more incidents like we had last season. I read they have shut the racecourse in Santa Anita where a lot of injuries have just occurred, both on the track and on the training track, and will be examining them both to find out the reasons. Horse welfare should be at the forefront of all racing jurisdictions and it is good to see these issues being addressed.


We will be going back to Fakenham

Tuesday, 05 March 2019

"Our whole life is solving puzzles."

Erno Rubik.

Garrel Glen leading Ness of Brodgar

It’s a bright morning but cooler once again and everything to keep you warm has been needed when out on the heath. The wind has certainly got up and is making it feel much colder. We are in for plenty of rain, starting tonight, and going on for the next couple of days. It will be very welcome although not very nice to work in. Everybody is in and the horses have been getting a good exercise once again on a variety of the poltyracks on Racecourse Side. All has gone well and as yet no problems!

Velvet Vista leading Isaac Murphy

I have been training for 40 years now and have only had two tack malfunctions on the track. Both have been of a similar kind in that the rein has snapped underneath the rubberised covering where it is impossible to see. We keep our racing tack well maintained at all times and what happened yesterday at Fakenham was just a one off. Hopefully it will be another 40 years before it happens again. The filly jumped well, was a bit keen but had to be pulled up as there was no steering. We live to fight another day and will be back at Fakenham in a fortnight’s time, unless the ground is very heavy.

Having a pick of grass after exercise

I hope the Racecourse Association, and especially Arc, are getting their act together regarding the media rights and what prize money should be for the future. It will take some radical thinking and won’t be done overnight but our whole structure needs to be rejigged. The fixture list and race planning needs sorting, the media rights wants to be distributed fairly, and to the people who supply the goods, and the bookmakers want to come clean on what their plans are for the future. The future to them is surely on the digital front as everybody seems to bet now on phones and computers. A simple tax on every bet would be the easiest thing, but I suppose that is too simplistic as they like to keep things complicated and try and shroud us in fog.


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