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Tuesday, 18 December 2018

"The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works is the family."

Lee Iacocca.

38_Tree
The strong winds have caused a bit of damage on the stud

It’s a funny sort of morning. It is certainly not cold and with the wind blowing and starting to get even stronger, I am sure we will be getting some rain in the not too distant future. It was the yard’s Christmas party last night and as usual there are a couple of non-runners. It’s not as bad as it could have been though and we have had a good morning so far with the horses. I am doing the feeding at present whilst Tim is off ill, so if anybody wants a phone call at 4.30 please say so. The horses are always pleased to see you with a feed bucket and there is plenty of speaking backwards and forwards between them all.

     45_Ducks     48_Geese
The ducks and geese on the pond at Dullingham

I see there are quite a few trainers agreeing with me that it is a disgrace that Arc have reduced their contribution to prize money by several million, even before we know the result of the FOB’s machine decision. I personally don’t think it will make any difference how much people will bet on the machines and I don’t think we will lose many betting shops, but that remains to be seen. I don’t like the sound of the Jockey Club’s reaction though. They said they would not comment on the announcement but did say they were in full support of the Racecourse Associations position who says the financial picture for racecourses is changing and they need to work with the professionals in the industry to manage it. This sounds to me like we are in for cuts across the board, especially in the middle and lower end which is the first hit. When you have the massive expansion of fixtures, which we have had over the last 10 years, this was always going to happen but the BHA are so busy trying to please the bookmakers they just have their heads in the sands.

56_Clipping
Wendy keeping the horses clipped

There is a good piece today in the Racing Post which is an extract from Henrietta Knight’s new book about horses jumping. She says all horses can jump, it is just how well they are taught. It is amazing the improvement that some can make when moving from the flat to the national hunt game. We have great facilities here in Newmarket with the loose school, the two lots of practice poles and baby hurdles and then full size hurdles and fences on perfect schooling ground. Horses need confidence and the schooling jockeys play a massive part. Proper horsemen are what you want, ones who know how a horse thinks and its stride patterns. We have a couple of very good lads in the yard that are ideal for what I want to do when going schooling. Speed is not the main thing, it is the ability to put yourself right at each hurdle / fence.

34_Ex_Lady_B
Casamento ex Lady Bellatrix yearling colt

A strong, well grown and good looking colt, his dam is by Singspiel one of the leading broodmare sires of the moment. This colt has all the right attributes to make a racehorse. A good mover and temperament, he is out on the heath cantering with the string and progressing really well. At this stage he looks as if he will run from May onwards as a two-year-old, but has the scope and strength to continue to progress throughout the year. He is a very attractive colt.

 

New and exciting horses for sale

Monday, 17 December 2018

"You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures."

Charles C. Noble.

Cantering
Cantering on the polytracks racecourse side

After a wet and windy weekend it is now quite bright and still. There are plenty of people in this morning with a couple of new additions and the horses are getting a good exercise cantering on the wide variety of polytracks we have racecourse side. Everything has gone well so far with the horses, which is more than can be said for everything else. Unfortunately, Tim was taken ill last night so I was in feeding this morning and could be doing so for the foreseeable future. We wish him a quick recovery and everybody sends their best wishes.

Pulling_out
Pulling out for second lot

I see that Arc is going to slash their prize money over the impact of the crackdown on the FOB machines in the betting shops. This was always going to happen and I have stood up at many meetings and said we must reduce the fixture list if we are to keep the prize money at a reasonable level. With the bookmakers taking over £1 billion profit off the back of this industry every year you can see who the main beneficiaries are. If prize money is reduced across the board, and I am sure other racecourse groups will follow, it will hit the majority of the professionals very hard. What’s the answer to this question? It is easy, but nobody in power would listen and it looks to me as if we will be racing for peanuts once again.

Yard_Work
Hard at work keeping the yard tidy


30_Ex_Mega
Garswood ex Mega yearling colt

A big, strong, well grown and attractive colt, he is cantering with the string daily and his very good temperament is shining through. He is a half-brother to numerous winners, including Marvo, a very unlucky filly that won on her debut called Mystic Winds and a colt called Mercoliano who went to Saudi Arabia and was top class. A great mover, he looks to be a mid-season onwards two-year-old type. He is a really lovely colt.
 
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