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What a day

Wednesday, 07 June 2017

"One man’s daydreaming is another man’s day."

Terri Guillemets.

Cantering up Hamilton Hill

What a day it was yesterday weather wise, and I was constantly following the rain as we drove from Newmarket to Yarmouith. It started lashing it down with us in town around 9 o'clock and didn't stop until mid- afternoon. It started at Yarmouth just when we arrived and to say we were soaked would be an understatement.  I went through three coats during the afternoon - wearing the first one at the stalls test, and then putting two dry ones on for the racing. These were absolutely wringing wet by the time I got back in the car. What a day. The horses this morning have been out on Southfield turf, which is just over a mile long canter, as well as going on the polytracks close to home.

Indian Red

I took Hold Firm and Sandwood Bay out yesterday as the rain had really got into the ground and the going changed from good to soft during the afternoon. It is disappointing for everybody concerned but it is better to have a dry horse and live to fight another day, than to have disappointed owners when the ground makes all the difference. Koin won the best turned out and enjoyed her debut day at the races. There will be a vast improvement in her next time. Ginger Lady ran a sound race in the maiden, handled the ground, got the trip well and looks as if she will improve over further. I nearly didn't run Dixon because of the ground as he blatantly can't handle it, but he settled well, unlike on his debut, and will be seen in a much better light on faster ground and quite a bit further.

Desert River

There is a big article in the Racing Post today about stable staff and it looks as if there will be more articles this week. There is plenty of effort being made to recruit and retain staff. There are two priorities. Firstly, both racing schools need to improve their training, so when the youngsters eventually hit the yards, they are not put off by the reality of the job. There is a big difference from being at school, and at the work place. The other thing we need to improve on is accommodation for staff. It is a must to have a clean, warm environment when they go home. This staff situation has been caused purely by the expansion of the fixture list with the BHA pampering to the racecourses  and the bookmakers.

We have five runners today at Yarmouth

Tuesday, 06 June 2017

"Education is the movement from darkness to light."

Allan Bloom.

Across The Flat

After showers overnight we now have good steady rain and it looks set for a few hours. We have been busy this morning with five runners and two that are going to have stalls tests leaving quite early to go to Yarmouth. It has been a logistical nightmare, but we have got there. Let’s hope it all goes smoothly, but if we get all the wind and rain that is forecast, you are going to need a mac and wellies. We have worked a few Across The Flat this morning, which went well, and the rest have stayed close to home on the polytracks.

Topalova and Velvet Voice

Our two runners yesterday didn’t trouble the judge. The two-year-old was slowly away and was certainly not sharp enough to get involved, but he enjoyed the experience, behaved very well and will come on a lot for the run. I think seven furlongs will suit him as he progresses. Stellekaya is definitely a work in progress, but once again she behaved very well and Tom Queally reported that she will improve a lot next time - mind you she needs to.

We have five runners today at Yarmouth starting with Koin in the six furlong race. She is one of five debutants in this and will obviously be lacking experience. I am sure this run will do her the world of good and she can improve from here. We have two in the one mile maiden at 2.50. Dixon who ran here a month ago over quite a lot further and Ginger Lady making her debut. Both will benefit enormously from the experience once again and we will then sort out their best distance and ground. Hold Firm is our next runner at 4.50. He is carrying an enormous weight today but Gabriele will take his 7lbs off. He will run his usual good race and I just hope it doesn’t rain and change the ground too much before then. Sandwood Bay is our last runner at 5.20. She is another who doesn’t want the ground to go too soft, but is capable of getting involved at a big price, although the major problem is the draw, which certainly doesn’t help.

Astrojewel and Honey Blossom

There is a very good article today by Colin Russell which is very poignant when you look at the prize money today on offer at Yarmouth, which is pathetic. Owner’s prize money for first place in four of these races will be below £2,000. His article is compulsory reading as the BHA and Weatherbys are the people who make the money, plus the bookmakers, and the owners are expected to keep coughing up. Colin says time for action is needed and it most certainly is. Let’s hope we have somebody with some guts and prepared to take everybody on as he would get the backing of the vast majority of owners. The BHA are holding out hoping the olive branch of the new gambling levy comes to fruition and saves them, but it seems to take forever and it will be too late if something is not done in the near future. You must build the bottom of the pyramid and make it strong as it will hold up the top and give everybody renewed enthusiasm to get there.


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