Gee Sixty Six runs tonight in the 7.10 at Kempton ....

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We have one runner today at Lingfield

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

"Spread joy. Chase your wildest dreams."

Patch Adams.

Looking out over a very wet yard

It’s another mild but dark morning, with a slight drizzle in the air. Oh, I might have to change my mind as it is now bouncing off the roof of the hut. There is no wind, so the temperature is holding up well. We are having a busy morning once again with horses going off racing early and everything else cantering on the polytracks on Racecourse Side. All has gone well so far. We are still actively trying to find staff of all types and I am sure once the spring really comes there will be an influx from overseas, at least let’s hope so.

     13_Tpin     14_Ttmab
Topapinion and TTMAB on Hamilton Hill

After exercise, making their way back to the yard

We have one runner today with Bracken Brae running in the 2.15 at Lingfield, the two mile handicap. We have fitted her with a tongue strap for the first time today and a cross noseband, which should help. She has been in good form at home and we would be expecting her to perform better than of late.

The Epaulette ex Trew Class two-year-old filly

There are a few interesting talking points in the Racing Post today. I see the Irish are complaining about the late finishers at Dundalk when the stable staff are getting back very late. I only wish our powers that be would take notice of this as it is horrendous for all staff and horses, as well as costly for the owners, when you are in these 9 o’clock plus races. It is usually 1 o’clock in the morning by the time most of the staff are in bed and it is completely unacceptable in my opinion. It will be interesting to see if anything is done.

The Kempton Park plan and Newmarket all-weather gets a mention and they were putting forward the suggestion that there could be other tracks going down the all-weather route. I think Newmarket must be favourite and we are desperate for one. As there are over 3,000 horses in town it is a no brainer to have one here. It would certainly eliminate the article above as if you were in the 9.15, horses and staff would be in bed by 10.30.

The other interesting article was on the pony racing circuit and how the emergence of several good jockeys this year has come through those ranks. The author states this and tries to compare it with the pony racing in Ireland. The big difference is that in England the jockeys that have come through have been brought up in a racing environment, with parents and close connections to a yard from very young. They learn from a very early age what is required. In Ireland there is much more of a chance for a boy or girl from a not so privileged background to get the chance, but any competition is good at any age and it is great to see these jockeys coming to the fore.


A very busy day in on the cards

Tuesday, 09 January 2018

"Each one of us should lead a life stirring enough to start a movement."

Max Lucado.

Saint Anthony leading Ness of Brodgar

It’s a very calm, still morning and the temperature is not too bad. We have been able to get on well with the horses although still one non-runner through illness and one normal non-runner. One of the non-runners from yesterday is back, thank goodness, and everything is running smoothly. In fact I couldn’t be more delighted. 

Bracken Brae watching proceedings

Our runner yesterday ran creditably to finish fifth and earned a little bit of prize money under the new distribution. She was only beaten a couple of lengths and I think a mile will be well within her compass. She is sure to win a race or two of this nature over the winter. We have no runners today, but one on Wednesday and two on Thursday. 

The Dunaden ex Astrodiva two-year-old

On the lunge lines

It looks good news that Matthew Hancock has been named the new culture secretary in yesterday’s cabinet reshuffle. He is very much involved in the racing scene as he represents Newmarket in parliament and has got practical experience of riding after taking part in a charity race last year. It should certainly help as we move forward.

There is also some movement with the formation of the new racing authority, which will be taking over from the Levy Board under the new funding mechanism. It will be interesting to see how this new committee works and where all the money is diverted to. These committees are sometimes jobs for the boys, as it certainly used to be with the Levy Board. Let’s hold out some hope though that this time we are moving in the right direction.

Exercise over

I am having a very busy day today. Apart from training the horses and running the business, I am looking at stallions at several studs in the Newmarket Area. Both Richard Marriott and Max Franklin are coming with myself and Angie and there will be a great discussion afterwards on which stallions will suit their mares. It is not an exact science and there are plenty of ideas out there about what suits what and the best crosses. The three things I think that are important for breeding are conformation and health, soundness and good care of the mare during pregnancy and when the foal is at foot. How the youngsters are brought up and reared is a very important part of the business.


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