Ginger Lady runs today at 5.40 ....

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We have one runner today at Kempton

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

"The best reason for having dreams is that in dreams no reasons are necessary."

Ashleigh Brilliant.

The moon was still up over Newmarket this morning

It’s a damp old morning but with everybody in, including the non-runner from yesterday, we have been getting on reasonably well. All the horses have had a good canter and I am delighted with how they are looking and moving. Tim is getting on well with the last lot of yearlings who are beginning to really know what is expected of them. In fact it looks like we may have a few sharp ones, which I know as soon as I say that, they will all grow about a hand.

Keeping the polytracks maintained

We have one runner today at Kempton. Ginger Lady runs in the mile maiden at 5.40. She ran with great credit last time at Lingfield and although she may need a bit further in time, I am sure she will run very well once again today. There are one or two in here that could be big improvers, but I am hopeful that she can improve again.

Back in the yard after exercise

It was the Gimcrack dinner last night, which is held every year for the great and good of the northern racing scene. There are always several speakers, one who is a comedian, one who has got something to say and the winning owner is allowed to have his say. It would be marvellous if I could win it one year as I would love to give the wider world a few of my thoughts.

Ed Chamberlain is obviously singing racings praises and I think the gist of his speech is that we have to move with the times. I think there are quite a few innovations in the industry and I am sure things like the new Tote and more artificial racecourses in the future, with races being run at times to suit the betting public and the young generation of the day, will keep it evolving. He seems to think that the jockeys are the way forward, to entertain the public, but I think there are very few of them who have got the charisma of Frankie Dettori. They are also paid every time they are interviewed, unlike the trainers who are not. But that is not the point. I think all participants should have a mandatory duty to talk to the press and the TV. As for educating apprentices, they already have to do compulsory media training at the racing school on different courses they have to attend. There is every opportunity, they just need to have the enthusiasm to become engaged. 


Definitely scarf and glove weather today

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

"One kind word can warm three winter months."

Japanese Proverb.



It’s a very cold morning, but thankfully not quite as cold as the forecasters had suggested. It is minus two or three degrees at present and it seems to have got colder as the light has come up. The heathmen have been out in force since 5 o’clock, salting and gritting the horse walks, plus making sure all the polytracks are rotavated well so we can all get out and canter. It is on days like this we are very lucky to be in Newmarket with the Jockey Club team doing a great job. We have one non-runner once again but two good canters close to the yard has been the exercise, and all has gone well. We will be having two or three runners from tomorrow onwards.


Ness of Brodgar

There is a great piece today in the Racing Post by Alastair Down on Peter Walwyn. As usual Alastair gets it exactly right and if you had never met Peter, you would get the feeling of what he was really like from this very well written piece. There are some great characters in the racing industry, but sadly they are all dying out and in our politically correct world, a lot of the humour and eccentricity has been muted. The workers of today certainly won’t get the ammunition for stories that we all had.


Garrison Law

It was interesting to read the bloodstock column in the Racing Post today and actually read how the other half live. Sending mares to Galileo, Dubawi, Sea The Stars, Fastnet Rock is what everybody would love to do, but in the real world and the middle range of breeders, these stallions are all out of our budget and you have to try and cut your cloth accordingly. Both the racing and breeding sections of our industry are beginning to get very top heavy. I just hope the BHA, the TBA and the ROA understand that they must nurture and encourage the people that love the sport and those that want to enter for the first time, are not put off by the enormous prices banded about by the agents and bloodstock journalists. We need to encourage new people to become involved, but the costs, if they continue to escalate, will be prohibitive.


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