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At last the rain is falling

Wednesday, 08 May 2019

"Friends are family you choose for yourself."

Anon.

22_Pageant
Pageant Master out at first lot

Hallelujah it’s raining at last. At present we are getting consistently strong rain and it looks set for quite a while. It will certainly do the ground the power of good if it continues like this for most of the day. I have a feeling we might have a few similar days which, although is not very nice to ride out in, is very badly needed. I have been keeping the horses as close to home as I can using Southfields Round and Hamilton Hill as the two main canters. So far so good.

27_Babo
Cantering on Southfields Round

We wish Pat Smullen, the Irish champion jockey and Derby winning rider, as good a retirement as he can get. He has been inspirational to so many people in his recovery from pancreatic cancer. His decision to retire has been on doctor’s orders who advised him about weight loss and what it can do to his immune system. There are not many jockeys that everybody looks up to but he is certainly one of them. A great example of what a top jockey should be.

40_Prosecutor__Isaac
Third lot on Hamilton Hill

There was an interesting little quip at the end of Julian Muscat’s piece in the Post today about the differences in British and USA racing. Not only are the interference rules completely different - I am sure the winner would not have lost the Kentucky Derby if it had been run under our rules, the only thing that would have happened is that the jockey would have had a few days holiday - but the main difference he was pointing out was the dominate stallions for the wealthiest owners in Britain and Ireland and how their progeny win all the top races. However, in America the horses that are winning the top prizes can come from anywhere with little known sires and be as cheap as chips. If only that would happen here it would give everybody hope, but I am afraid the way our game is going, both in the sales ring and the track, we are getting to become a closed shop other than to a small minority. Unless the powers that be can do something about it, we will continue on the slippery slope.

31_Ness
Frank trying very hard to stay dry

 

It is forecast to rain tomorrow

Tuesday, 07 May 2019

"Who does not thank for little will not thank for much."

Estonian Proverb.

Garrel
Saddling Garrel Glen for the 1000 Guineas

It’s another cool morning as it has been all weekend. We had a few sharp showers but that only dampened the dust. I think it was more hail than rain. The forecast is for it to be wet tomorrow and Thursday and let’s hope they are correct. We are one short in both the riding department and the yard, but are ticking over well and everybody is still in a very cheerful mood. The horses have been using an assortment of polytracks and all has gone well.

Garrel_Guineas
Walking around the parade ring before the race

We will be having very few runners this week, but hopefully plenty the following one. It is just how the races fall and the programme at present is geared up now for Chester and then York, plus we have the Classic trials at Lingfield in between. The whole picture for the Derby and the Oaks will sort itself out in the next three weeks. I just hope the papers, including the Racing Post which seems to love jumping far more than the flat, gets its act together and pushes our sport forward.

     Nobletts__The_yearlings     Nobletts__yearlings
David, Margaret and Clare Noblett looking at the yearlings

I am always mentioning about the going and how the clerks of the courses can justify their opinion that the ground is what they say. I had an email the other day pointing me in the direction that they are now calling it winter good and summer good at the jumping courses. This is because, and I have told you this many times, they don’t want to put the word firm in their descriptions. This must come from instructions from those on high, but is absolutely no help to the professionals. The major problem is that when owners read that it is good ground they try and insist to their trainers, when being told that their horse doesn’t like fast ground, that it is ok to run because it is good. We must have honest clerks of the courses who tell us as it is. We can then make up our minds whether to run the horses or not, and it will be fair to everybody.

01_Cantering
Cantering


07_Cantering
Moving well

Another new staff survey shows progress is being made, but what it doesn’t tell you is that nothing has changed. Until we get work riding as a skills shortage on the government list, we will be up against it constantly. Another trainer and I were discussing it this morning and he described it as when being told anybody can ride a horse, it is like putting a person who has only just passed their driving test in a formula one car, it is completely different. And until our leaders can get this across to the government we will always be struggling. There are hundreds of Brazilians, Indians and Pakistani’s who are ready and willing, with the right work ethic and skill, to come across and help. They would be only too delighted to enter on a two or three year permit but cannot come because work riders are not on the endangered species list.

10_Walking
Walking back after exercise

The Punchestown Festival has drawn to a close for another year and Richard and I did well in our tipping competition. We both came up with plenty of winners and finished in profit which isn’t bad for a £10 stake on every race. Richard came out on top again with a total of plus £122.25 but I was not too far behind on plus £82.90.

 
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