One runner today...


We have three runners going out today

Monday, 11 May 2015

"When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?"

George Canning.

Walking to the gallops

It’s a mild morning and the temperature has kept rising as the day has gone on. Everybody is in great form after yesterday’s winner, which is the first we have had from Frankland Lodge. The horses have been out cantering and all are moving and looking very well. It looks like this weather will stay like this for most of the week and the ground will be drying up once again. We have missed most of the rain that the rest of the country has had, especially in the north and Scotland, where the ground is on the soft side.

Mr Turner (Leon) on Hamilton Hill

Band of Thunder won very easily yesterday. He has been a revelation since Joe and his family bought the horse to go point to pointing, but after a change of mind, we decided to give him a go under rules and physically the horse has done so well since coming into training. He won with quite a bit in hand and may be a very well handicapped gelding. I will be looking for a race for him with a penalty and let’s hope he can follow up his win in the near future.

We have three runners today, two at Wolverhampton this afternoon and then one at Windsor tonight. Topaling is our first runner in the 1m 6f handicap at 2.20. She has won three times over course and distance and although she has had a break, I think she is fit enough to do herself justice today. I am sure she will improve for it though and has not finished winning yet. Hold Firm drops back in trip in the 3.30, the 7f three-year-old only handicap. He has been very consistent and I think this trip will not be any inconvenience and can see him bang up there once again. Smile That Smile is our runner at Windsor in the 6.50, the 1m 2f three-year-old handicap. She won on her only start over 1m in very soft / heavy ground at Brighton, so this faster surface will be my only doubt. She has been in good form at home and is ready for this, her first outing of 2015. She will get further in time, but if she handles this surface, and lets herself down, I am sure she will run a sound race tonight.

Prayer Time (Niall) leading Swilken (Joe)

There’s a very interesting article in the Racing Post today, on the decline of Ladbrokes in Ireland and the feeling I get from reading it, is that the general public don’t like the shops at all. They don’t like the interiors, or even the exteriors and would rather use the two big Irish firms instead. It got me thinking as to how betting shops might change and I think a bit of radical thinking may benefit all shops, starting with the windows and then moving on inside. I am sure it is not rocket science to make them more customer friendly and a bit of clear thinking could rectify the situation for all.


We have two runners over the weekend

Friday, 08 May 2015

"For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?"

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Singing Hinnie (Brian) and Astrowolf (Sophie)

It’s a very warm morning with the temperature up, I would think, into the 20’s, and we have been out doing good canters on racecourse side. We have been using the Rubbing House canter and walking quietly back via the farm on Southfields. All has gone well so far.  

Astrovirtue (Leon) pulling out for third lot

It looks like it is going to be a good day for racing, with the Conservatives wining the election and the racing right will be high on their agenda. Mr Osborne mentioned it in his last budget and with Matthew Hancock, our MP, they will be pushing to get it through. It has had the full backing of all the parties and although there will be some challenges along the way, especially from the bookmakers, hopefully it should be in place as quickly as possible. 

After exercise Royal Applause ex Astromancer is having a pick of grass

We have two runners this weekend, one tomorrow at Nottingham on the flat, Humphry Repton, and one on Sunday over hurdles, Band Of Thunder. Humphry only had the one run last year when he was very green at Pontefract and he will need this comeback run tomorrow. It looks a competitive little contest as well. Band Of Thunder let himself down badly last week, when refusing to go in the stalls at Lingfield on his debut for us. We have got him out quickly, but there are no stalls at Plumpton. I am sure he will run well for a long way, but may just need this first initial outing.

Permera looking out into the yard

The Derby and Oaks fixtures have had a couple of the O’Brien inmates added to their possible list after Chester this week, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Irish had a clean sweep of our Classics once again. They have a brilliant and well organised team, with their breeding programme and attention to detail. The words ‘they make it look easy’ spring to mind. It’s not easy though and all congratulations need to go to Aidan and his team who keep the standards up year after year.


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