Don't forget the clocks go back this weekend ...


Tomorrow has a good day of racing

Friday, 10 October 2014

"Even when life isn’t good on the outside, you have an option to make it good from

 the inside out."

Terri Guillemets.

Cantering up Long Hill grass

It’s a bright, cool morning once again with the forecast for intermittent showers, but not long steady rain. I think this is the forecast for the weekend as well. It is autumn temperatures though and I think that is it for the summer. We have been cantering on the grass on Long Hill this morning, which has had very little use and is in perfect condition. I often say that Newmarket horses have no idea how to go on very soft ground as they never canter on it at home. If we have heavy rain, usually the grass is shut and the horses don’t get any practice of moving on soft ground. It never used to happen, but the introduction of the all-weather tracks has completely changed the way trainers use the gallops

Toptempo (Sophie)

Unfortunately we will now not have a runner tomorrow as the horse we hoped to run had a slight temperature last night.

Lexi didn’t run too badly last night and once getting the idea, stayed on well. She is very capable of winning a minor race on the all-weather this winter, especially over a bit further. Her mother stayed really well.

Bracken Brae (Jimmy Quinn) and Sant'Elia (Ali)

It is the Cesarewitch meeting here at Newmarket tomorrow and there's also a good meeting at York. We won the Cesarewitch way back in 1987 with Private Audition, who won by 10 lengths or so at a big price. It is a race I have always liked and I have had a few runners since. I think Theola, who won the Cesarewitch trial before having a problem, would have gone very close a few years ago. It has become very hard nowadays to get into these very big handicaps, with the fields being reduced and the top weights usually being rated over 100. Surprisingly enough the draw has a big effect and you really want a middle to low number to be sure of a good run. Quick Jack looks like my idea of being favourite and must have a good chance. My other one against the field is Nearly Caught.

Blue Bounty (Reece)

I see the headlines in the Racing Post today reveal Arc’s broken commitments to racing. The racecourse group had promised to put another £1m into prize money, but it came up £800,000 short and it is typical of this group to do so. In a week where we have had the sales going completely barmy out of all normal comprehension, here we have a group trying to minimise their input. If we are to have a racing business, we need the grass roots and the middle tier to thrive and prize money is the only thing that keeps it going. If these racecourse groups don’t come up to the mark, they must be penalised by not being given any extra fixtures or allowed to expand. The groups and the private courses which try hard and put on the prize money should be rewarded and encouraged. All we seem to get from Arc is the closure of racecourses, the minimum they can put into prize money and there is no sign of any new initiatives that will help the sport. I hope this exposé will help concentrate their minds

Astrodiamond (Yaz) and Astrowolf (Jessica)

I see the starting rules for jump racing has been amended once again and it will be interesting to see if it works. It states everybody has been consulted and the jockey association’s chief executive says he is pleased the agreed changes have been approved. If it stops the spectacle of horses trotting around at the start in a tight circle, it will delight me, as I couldn’t stand that practice. It is not rocket science, starting a race, it just needs a strong starter, sensible jockeys and it should go off without a hitch. I will be watching to see what happens.


We are off to Wolverhampton today

Thursday, 09 October 2014

"Action is eloquence"

William Shakespeare.

Cantering in the distance on the town sand

It’s a bright blue sky with a slight breeze this morning, which is keeping the temperature quite cool. We have had a good morning cantering on Bury Side with a bit of excitement when the air ambulance decided to circle about Sir Mark Prescotts yard, before settling down on the severals. There must have been a bad accident somewhere as there were ambulances with sirens blaring, roaring around town and the air ambulance on the ground for about an hour before setting off towards Cambridge. Our horses managed to walk by it without any mishap and all got home safely.

Cantering up the hill

We have one runner tonight at Wolverhampton. Lexi Grady Alice runs in the 6.20, the 1m claiming stakes. She has had a couple of runs so far, and for this run the trip will suit, she is drawn quite well, it is just the surface that is the unknown. I am hoping she can run into a place at least tonight. She is smallish but genuine.

Toparali (Jessica)

The sales seem to have gone mad yesterday with Sheikh Mohammed spending £8 million in a day. He has now already spent over £12 million in two days. It looks to me like there are only five or six people who can buy at this sale, with a lot of vendor buy backs. It is amazing how much money is spent and we are racing for so little. There will be a knock on effect to next weeks sale as so many people with what I call middle money, £10,00- £100,000, will be trying to buy. The problem of this successful sale is that it gives the wrong impression to the politicians who only see the headlines of how much money is being spent. It is a bit like the premiership where you have five clubs with the big money and everybody else is struggling.

Crystal Pearl (Ali)

The judgement to the government’s new gambling bill is due to be announced tomorrow and this will have big ramifications on how we tax overseas bookmakers. Let’s hope the judge comes down for once on our side, which is the government side, as it will be a big help to the industry. However, I have learnt never to count your chickens as there are so many twists and turns within the law, and so many ways of delaying decisions. Even if the government win the day, an appeal will be likely. Mark my words, it will be years yet.


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