Off to Pontefract today
Friday, 17 July 2015
"We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon."
Band of Thunder and Singing Hinnie
There were some big thunder claps about last night at around 2 o’clock, but not a lot of rain. 4-5 mm was all we got, unlike in Scotland where play at The Open golf championship was stopped after 10 minutes as the course was waterlogged. If only we could get rain like that. Once again I have used the watered gallop and had both Jimmy and Saleem Golam in to ride work. It was great to see Saleem, who was champion apprentice when he worked for us. He was joint winner with Hayley Turner that year and has rather lost his way since. He is a very talented lad and I just hope he can get his career back on track.
Peeps and Bracken Brae
Sant’Elia got a bit tired yesterday and the ground was very much on the firmer side of good to firm, but as you know, these Clerk of the Courses love to have good in their description. The thought of calling it firm, which it was, or even hard, as it sometimes is at Bath, is completely alien to these executives. She will be having another run in the not too distant future over a bit further.
Our one runner today, Jack Carter, is at Pontefract, and once again we do not have a good draw. It is amazing how many bad draws we do get and although they say it is all chance, the balls don’t seem to be rolling our way at present. He ran a very sound race last time at Leicester and that race has not worked out too badly, with the fifth horse being placed in the Chesham and subsequently winning. He should run a sound race, if the draw doesn’t beat him early on. Tomorrow we have a couple of runners at Newmarket. Regal Galaxy makes her debut in the 2.50, the 7f fillies maiden . She is a lovely filly who will gain enormous experience from tomorrow’s outing. Our other runner is Humphry Repton in the 4.00. This will be his third run and I am hoping he can improve a bit on what he has shown so far.
Mr Turner and Comrade Bond Legal Art and Smile That Smile
It looks like Bill Barber, the industry editor, agrees with me that the agreement between the BHA, the Horseman’s Group and the racecourses, will drag on for a long time and that a working agreement between them will be difficult to achieve. It is sad really because we are all one, but constantly pulling against each other. You sometimes need a dictator, whether it is a country or a sport. It does actually get things done.
Discussing the riding out board
There’s a great article on our mayor and local trainer John Berry today in the Racing Post. The picture of John in his chains of office and his shorts and wellies, is terrific. He is a great character and does tremendous work for the town. His comments though on small and middle size trainers hits the nail on the head, and if something isn’t done to sort things out quickly, there will be a lot of them disappear. The big are getting bigger and the elitist side of our sport is coming to the fore. We have got the best racing in Britain and we don’t want to lose the fun of it, which at present is in short supply. John epitomises the enjoyment that can be had owning a racehorse and there are plenty more like him who need support.
Working hard in the office at Frankland Lodge
What a fantastic weekend of sport ahead, one of the best of the year and if you are at home, you won’t know which channel to put on the television. There’s England vs Australia at cricket, with the Aussies fighting back after their drubbing last week. The Open golf at St Andrew’s, which is the home of golf. With the wind and rain, it will make it compulsive viewing and level the playing field, with the golfers who can adapt coming to the top. The fantastic Tour de France, which to me is one of the greatest competitions of the year. To watch Chris Frome take minutes out of the field on a hill that we would struggle to walk up, never mind bike up, is fantastic viewing and he deserves all the accolades he gets. They have nearly finished in the Pyrenees and will be heading to the Alps next. What a thought! Enjoy the viewing.
We have one runner today
Thursday, 16 July 2015
"No life is so hard that you can’t make it easier by the way you take it."
Cantering on the Rubbing House polytrack
There’s a hazy sky first thing, with very little wind and it is muggy and warm. What we need is a good day of heavy rain and wind to get this atmosphere back to normal. We have had a busy morning with a runner leaving early and visitors arriving. We have been on the Rubbing House polytrack once again and everything moved fluently.
Permera’s run yesterday at Lingfield was full of promise for the future. She was slightly slow away and being drawn low, moved across to the stands rail. From halfway she picked up well to finish just on the heels of the leaders. She took it all well and will get further as her pedigree states. This introduction will have done her the power of good mentally and in three or four weeks I will be looking for a 7f maiden where I am sure she can be very competitive. Both Astrovirtue and Astrowolf didn’t trouble the judge and were slightly disappointing.
Our runner today, Sant’ Elia, is at Leicester in the 4.30. She ran very nicely at Chelmsford a couple of months ago and then got very badly cast in her box, which meant a visit or two from the back lady and a bit of time to let everything recover. She has done enough work to hit the track again, but possibly this trip may still be on the sharp side for her. It will get her back on the road again and I am sure she won’t disgrace us.
The big trouble with our industry is highlighted today in the Racing Post, with the fixture list at the top. At present the majority of the races are owned and run by the racecourses themselves, not the BHA who seemingly only have 13% of the fixtures. Nick Rust has tried to get a partnership signed between the BHA, The Horseman’s Group and the racecourses, but as yet the racecourses are reluctant to sign up. It would mean some give and take on both sides, but as normal there is great reluctance to think of the future of the sport. They only think in the short term and of themselves. I can’t see an easy way around all this and I am sure, like Greece, it will come to a head eventually when the finances are just not there. My saying yesterday, that you need true grit, has never been truer.
Harry and Marion visiting Blue Bounty
With Ryan Moore side lined now for quite a while with his neck, and thank goodness it is no worse than it is, Richard Hughes going to start training, the so called new jockeys championship is fast becoming a joke and I am sure not what the people who invented it thought it was going to be. I don’t think they will admit that they got it wrong, but it is another idea that is a damp squib. It is a shame as the jockey’s championship and the apprentice championship should be really championed and up in lights, but nobody has had an idea how to do it correctly, which is a pity.