This country needs its own minister of racing ...

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It's hot again

Tuesday, 03 July 2018

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Velvet Vision

Ginger Lady

I know everybody thinks it’s boring talking about the weather all the time so I am not going to today. It’s just hot. Everybody is in, the horses are happy, the lads are happy and everything is going as smoothly as we could want. Long may it continue.

Saddle off

and walking to the washdown box

There is only one track in England that doesn’t have a watering system and that is Bath. The ground there will certainly be firm and they are hoping not to have to put hard in the going description. The field sizes are certainly beginning to get much smaller as the ground gets firmer. Horses can get jarred up very easily and it takes ages for them to start moving properly again. It could be a month yet before we have any significant rain and it will be interesting to see the number of entries and actual runners in the next few weeks. I see in America they cancelled a meeting at Belmont Park where the temperature was approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I think it looked the right decision as the welfare of both horses and public was forefront in their minds.

Now for a nice pick of grass

There is always plenty of maintenance to do, both here in the yard, and on the stud. We have a great maintenance man in Ryan who has been with us for a very long time and can turn his hand to anything. Whether it is tractor work on the paddocks, fencing, tree work, gardening, plumbing etc., he and his team keep everything moving smoothly. We are having a big delivery of post and rails this week, plus boarding for the corners of the paddocks. The lads will be hard at work putting them up and creosoting them, which is not the best of jobs in this hot weather. A good team is worth its weight in gold.


The heatwave continues

Monday, 02 July 2018

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."

William Arthur Ward.

Cantering on the Rubbing House Polytrack

Garrison Law

It’s a glorious morning once again and the forecasters tell us we are not going to get any rain for at least the next seven or eight days, in fact it might be longer. I can’t remember a spell like this for a long time but I suppose it did rain nearly every day for ages and now the sun is just getting its own back. Everybody is in this morning and all are working well. As you know we have been starting early to try and avoid the worst of the heat, which certainly seems to be working and we are very happy with the horses at present.

Isaac Murphy and Indian Red

There have been quite a lot of injuries to jockeys recently, all through bad falls and I am not sure why this has been happening. I just hope it is all bad luck and not circumstances that could be avoided. The one good thing nowadays is that when a jockey does have a fall they are automatically stood down for a certain amount of time, not like the olden days when they would just continue riding. The helmets and body protectors are the best designs available unlike the past when the helmets was only a bit of cork with the silk tied on top. Jockeys in those days would ride with concussion and nobody seemed to bother, but this is one area we have certainly improved in a major way. It also helps that the courses have got rid of the old wooden and metal rails and replaced them with plastic ones which bend and give when falls happen. Another vast improvement.

True Calling

It was interesting to read a comment from one of the Irish trainers in the Post on Sunday. He is a flat trainer who said the jump boys think it is hard trying to beat Willie and Gordon. What do you think it is like trying to beat the O’Brien family? He has a point and speaks for the majority of trainers, both here and in Ireland, when battling to survive against the major battalions who only seem to be getting bigger. I just hope we don’t get to a situation like we have on the high street where the shops are closing at a great rate because they can’t survive against the massive online retailers. It is food for thought.


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