Roof Garden runs in the 5.45 followed by Dixon in the 8.45 ....

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It was quite dark this morning

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

"The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Albert Einstein.

First lot and it's still quite dark

It’s one of those cool, damp mornings and very dark at first lot as we pulled out. I don’t know when the clocks go back, but it must be soon. The forecast is for bits and bobs of rain today, but with a lot more forecast for the weekend. Unbelievably we could do with a bit as the ground is drying up and just a good dollop would make it perfect. We had one non-runner this morning, which meant altering the board, but we have been getting on well and using Southfields turf and the newly refurbished woodchip cantering down, plus Hamilton Hill polytrack. All has gone smoothly.

Roof Garden leading Saint Anthony

This time of year is when the clippers start coming out of hibernation and you always think “why didn’t I have the blades sharpened at the end of last year so they are ready for now”. I went and bought a new set of blades, some oil and surgical spirit, which is always needed when clipping. The oil keeps everything running smoothly and the spirit, poured into a bowl, keeps the blades clean of tiny hairs. Clipping is a great art. A good clipper can make a horse look top notch, but a bad one can make it look terrible. Horses will need clipping two or three times during the winter. February is usually the time we stop as their spring coats are starting to come through. It is a must do for all horses, especially the ones in work as they sweat and are much easier and healthier to keep clean when clipped.


I see the BHA have announced a massive study into the sports integrity. The BHA are embarking on a two year mission to educate jockeys, trainers and stable staff about integrity, with the aim of giving confidence to punter and racegoers that the sport is run honestly. Who thought this one up, another job for the boys and a complete waste of money, I don’t know. The man in charge, a Mr Watts, is evidently a former Met Police detective who joined the BHA from the English Cricket Board. Yes cricket. You can’t make it up can you. He says the first stage is to create three strategic options in what he calls a Ford Cortina, a VW Golf and the Rolls Royce versions. Where have we heard this gobbledegook before, when we had Great British Racing announce Bill and Ben. A complete and utter waste of time.

We used to have some marvellous security people employed by the Jockey Club/BHA who were constantly racing with their ear to the ground. They understood racing, and I mean understood it, and could watch what was happening with trainers and jockeys and a quiet word in their ear was all that was needed. They have now disappeared, been made redundant over the years. It seems to me that this is a waste of time and money. Money which could be used much better for something else. 


It's a chilly autumnal day

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

"Once a game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box."

Italian Proverb.

Warming up with a trot up Hamilton Hill

     09_Tpin     16_Breeze
(L) Topapinion and (R) Astrobreeze

It must be 10 degrees colder this morning after yesterday’s very strange weather. It was 24 degrees at Yarmouth and the sky was yellow with a big red / orangey sun. It was dark so early as well and then we finished with a gale in the evening. It is back to a normal autumn cold, crisp, clear morning. We have been getting on well in the yard with everybody in who should be in and we have been using the Rubbing House canter and Hamilton Hill. All has gone well so far and Tim is getting on with the breaking of the yearlings that are already in. We will soon be getting an influx as the ones from the stud will be in the yard shortly. That will please Angie and David as it will give them plenty of time to work on the paddocks and move horses about.


Dixon ran ok yesterday but had every chance and failed to quicken. He was much more relaxed and didn’t pull at all. It looks to me like he wants quite a bit further and that is the route we will be taking next time. There were nine races yesterday at Yarmouth, including the very good listed race which was moved from Bath. I think the crowd definitely got their monies worth.

     14_Ttmab     18_Bracken
(L) TTMAB and (R) Bracken Brae

It’s the big build up this week to the Champion’s Day at Ascot on Saturday, where every race will be very competitive. Let’s hope the ground doesn’t go too soft and that everything turns up and runs. There is so much good racing at this time of year for these high class horses and you need a stable packed full of group performers to keep having the runners. Horses are not Grand Prix cars that you can take the engine out of, or put new tyres on, or change the gear box, they are very delicate creatures and you have to try to get them cherry rip on the day. The ground and draw, which is out of your control, plays a major part, in fact sometimes it is a miracle it all goes right. It just goes to show what a fantastic organisation Coolmore is and what reserves they have to call on, all done within their own establishment. It would be marvellous to see Aidan break the Group 1 record at Ascot this weekend and he certainly has every chance.

Dandy Man ex Boucheron yearling colt

The pumpkin won its class once again at the weekend, see picture. She is now finished and will be used as a seed donor for next year’s crop. Mind you I saw a picture of the biggest one grown in England this year, and it was about ten times the size of ours, but I still don’t think we have done too badly for amateurs. 

The Pumpkin Show


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