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It's set to get colder

Friday, 16 November 2018

"A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it."
Jean de La Fontaine.

125_Babochoff
Babochoff walking to the Round canter

126_Babochoff
... and out cantering

It’s much more overcast this morning and although we still have no wind it is a few degrees cooler. If you believe what the forecasters are telling us the temperature is set to drop from this weekend onwards. The horses have been cantering on Southfields Round once again as with the Rubbing House being shut everybody is slightly restricted as to what cantering grounds are open for the next few weeks. I think the surface on the Round is very good and the horses can get into a nice rhythm and get fit without knowing it. We have had a quietish week after the flu jabs, but all has gone well.

18_Legging_Up
Legging up for third lot

I see the whip rule has certainly raised its head again with one trainer thinking the best plan would be for the jockeys who break the rules to miss the next festival. I am not sure if that is the best solution and we all seem to be thinking of the punters rather than the participants. The gamblers would fully understand the rule and the jockeys would soon learn to count if horses were disqualified from whatever position they finished. If you had backed the winner and it had been thrown out you would understand and if you had backed the second that subsequently got the race, you would be delighted. It's not rocket science and would very quickly sort the matter out. I just can’t understand how the BHA seems so reluctant.

42_Hay_Lorry
Receiving a delivery of hay

It’s the big Cheltenham November meeting today and tomorrow with very good racing on both days. I am sure the crowds will enjoy the spectacle and let’s hope that  the new rail system works on the run in. As you know a couple of horse ducked out at the last meeting and it was lucky that no injury occurred to either man or horse. At our premier National Hunt track everything should run smoothly as they are always in the spotlights.

29_Leaves
Autumn leaves

If the call for the Galway Light Festival in the summer in Great Britain is taken up I would think Tom Kerr is pretty close to the mark when he suggests Newcastle might be the place. With its jump and all-weather flat track they could have a mixed meeting all week and Newcastle and the surrounding area have plenty of sport and nightlife to keep everybody happy. It could be a runner if the right week was selected.

 

Rubbing House polytrack redesigned

Thursday, 15 November 2018

"The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour. "

Japanese Proverb.

Ajew
Astrojewel at first lot

         Astrobreeze    Astrojewel_1

Astrobreeze (L) and Astrojewel (R)

 It's another glorious morning and it is unbelievably mild. This is mid November and as yet we haven't had any hard frosts or snow! It may be that we shall pay for it later on, but being out on the Heath in the sunshine with no wind and seeing the glorious colours of autumn, is an experience you could not buy. Southfields Round canter has been the gentle cantering excercise for most of the horses this morning. All has gone well.

Ness1

Ness of Brodgar

The ground on the courses is still causing plenty of problems with a long awaited chasing debut yesterday at Exeter postponed at the last minute due to the ground conditions. This problem is especially important in the National Hunt game as horses can so easily be injured or be jarred up from running on unsuitable going. Clerks of the courses have a very tricky job to keep everybody happy, but let me implore them to be always honest with their going reports. 

Rosie_and_Ness

Rosie Scot leads the way

The Jockey Club have been very lucky with this weather as the contractors have been able to crack on with the redesigned Rubbing House polytrack. They are taking the dip out and realigning the bend so that the whole gallop will ride much more smoothly. With the weather as it is, hopefully they should be able to get it done in quicker time than expected. It will certainly be a big improvement and the trainers thank the Jockey Club for listening to our advice. It is a very expensive job as there is plenty of draining and ground work to do before the top surface is applied. It is vital to get this right in the first place.

          Rubbing_1   Rubbing_2   Rubbing_3

The Rubbing House canter being realigned

We have started the hedge cutting at Sarabex and Dullingham getting the hedges into shape for winter. It is always best to do this at this time of year when birds are not nesting and we like to leave the job until the leaves are nearly off the bushes to avoid too much debris and the berries have been taken by the wildlife.

Tim_W_Top

Tim and Willlie with the yearling filly Topanticipation

 
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