Congratulations to Andrew Snell, flying the flag for Newmarket ...


Katie Walsh talks a lot of sense

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

"It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help."


Cantering this morning

Pageant Master

It’s a much colder morning although bright and dry. We have got a slight breeze and that is making it feel even colder. I made the mistake at first lot of going out without my over trousers on, which I certainly needed. All the riders are in and a good mornings cantering has gone on. At present, as well as using the polytracks, we have been on the turf which is certainly riding on the good side and a drop of rain would help a lot.

Walking through open stalls to continue the education

There is a great common-sense piece in the racing post today by Katie Walsh on how anybody can get on in racing regardless of their background and education. Her observations should be read by all the people in high places that have no experience of racing. It will assure them that in our industry everybody who has enthusiasm and works hard has equal opportunity. It is a delight to read such a good article. Her other comment is that trainers should know best whether to run their horse or not on ground that is unsuitable. You will have read plenty of times over the years me complaining about clerk of the courses who tell you the ground is one thing only for you to find, when you have got the horse to the races, that it is completely different. The cost of transport and staff is horrendous nowadays and the biggest item on most owners’ bills, so having honest and genuine clerk of the courses giving everybody a proper ground report is imperative. When it is incorrect, it costs a lot of money and aggro, plus sometimes owners insist on the horse running on unsuitable ground. This doesn’t do the horse any good and usually disappoints the owner.

Planes have been busy this morning

It was the stable staff awards last night in London with only the stud staff award going to Newmarket, a well-deserved win for Andrew Snell. It always seems amazing to me, or not really, that very few Newmarket staff ever get to the final and there is a bias towards certain yards that always seem to have a finalist and quite often the winner. In my opinion, and I am sure many others, the whole process, which is a great reward for the staff, needs a re-jig.


The horses worked well on Saturday

Monday, 18 February 2019

"Springtime flowers bloom like colourful arrows piercing their way to the sun."

Terri Guillemets.

Velvet Vision and Garrel Glen working first lot on Saturday

... and Ness of Brodgar with Pageant Master

It’s an overcast day but the temperatures are holding up well. This is because of the jet stream which is pulling up warm air from Europe. In fact it is going to get much warmer during the week and forecast to be up to 18 degrees by Thursday. We could do with some rain as we have not had much at all this last six months and I suppose this weather at present could be the lull before the storm. We have a good lot of riders in this morning, as we also had at the weekend, including Sunday when we rode several out. Everything is getting on really well, the horses look pictures and are eating everything. I am as happy as I could be at this stage of the season.

First lot of workers walking back

Once again we have had a free for all fight on a racecourse. This time it all kicked off at Haydock where evidently a toddler was caught in the middle of it. It’s all to do with drink and drugs and not having enough proper supervision. I have told you before, police cost money and racecourses don’t like to spend much on security as it comes off their bottom line. Incidents like this will do our sport no end of harm if it is allowed to get out of control and we need to get a grip on it as soon as possible. If we are to encourage normal people to go racing and enjoy our sport they need to feel safe. Most other sports have twigged this and perpetrators are soon ejected. We need to stamp this problem out very quickly if it is not to do us any permanent harm.

Astrojewel and Roof Garden working second lot

I usually agree with a lot of what Lee Mottershead has to say in his Monday column and he is a top class writer, but I think he has got it slightly wrong when talking about the stable staff awards today. We have an enormous amount of good people in racing and it is a completely level playing field. The BHA chairman Nick Rust, Lee says, has actively tried to encourage nominations from as diverse a demographic as possible. He says it is a great shame if his effort has not been rewarded. But it is like anything, or any industry, political correctness should not stop the better ones rising to the top, which it doesn’t do in our sport. Everybody is treated equally and there is no favour in anyway.

Pulling up after cantering on Saturday


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