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The firm ground means Blue Bounty is a non-runner

Friday, 08 August 2014

"A good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend." Anon.

14_Topamichhi
Topamichi (Joe Akehurst)

We have only had a couple of very quick sharp showers overnight and the heavy rain that was forecast has not got to us yet, if it ever will. The hurricane which is supposed to be on its way, I doubt will come anywhere near us. We have had a good morning so far with a visit to the Al Bahathri first lot, where I had a couple of jockeys in, and all went well. Second lot have just done two canters, again up the Al Bahathri without a problem and third lot will be a real mixture of walkers, trotters and a few to canter.

18_Lexi
Lexi Grady Alice (Jimmy Quinn)

Blue Bounty will not be running today as the rain has not arrived at Brighton. When I talked to the clerk of the course, who was half way round the track at 6.15 this morning, he told me they had had no rain overnight and the ground was good to firm all over with no good in it at all. There are already seven non runners at Brighton and 24 altogether across the cards. 48 hour declarations is the bane of our lives and for everybody else involved in the game. It certainly needs looking into.

21_C_PEarl
Crystal Pearl (Jessica)

We run two fillies in the first tomorrow at Newmarket, the 7f maiden, Peeps and Lexi Grady Alice. Both will improve considerably for the outing and we will learn a lot from their debuts.

29_Toptempo
Toptempo (Heather)

The headlines on the front of the Post this morning state ‘racing braced for sharp rise in all-weather cards’. A quarter of the fixtures look like being all-weather in 2015. I have been telling you this all the time. We are certainly on the slippery slope to boredom if the BHA sanctions these fixtures. We need someone to stand up and shout loudly that we don’t want this to happen.

33_C_Bond
Comrade Bond (Sophie)

There was a great article yesterday on racings World War 1 heroes and it made for fascinating reading. What brave men they were and how sad so many of them didn’t come home. The paragraph on Fred Rickaby, who was Lester Piggott’s uncle, was enlightening. He had already ridden five Classic winners and was first jockey to George Lampton. Mr Lampton said ‘I don’t think I ever knew a jockey so universally respected and liked by owners, trainers, and by those is his own profession’ and his commander of the Tank Squadron said ‘he was the most gallant and orderly little fellow and set a good example to everyone, not only when fighting but also when in camp.’ He was killed in one of the last actions that were fought before the end of the war. It was a great loss to racing. His two sons were both top class jockeys, Bill and Fred, and his sister gave his middle name to her only child, Lester.

The piece on stud owner Arthur Boyd-Rochfort was also brilliant reading. He won a VC for his bravery on saving his men from a bomb. There were so many brave men lost in both World Wars who were involved in our industry and I just hope the young of today appreciate and realise that they did it so we could have a free society.

 

Topaling gets her head in front

Thursday, 07 August 2014

"Once you choose hope, anything's possible."

Christopher Reeve.

06_My_Guard
My Guardian Angel (Abbie)

It certainly is not as muggy as it has been for the last fortnight and in fact it was very pleasant at 6 o’clock this morning, but as the day has gone on it has got progressively warmer and I feel some pressure building up. Let’s hope we get the expected rain during the next few days. We went cantering round Side Hill first lot and second lot through the stalls, as well as Bury Hill. Everybody was in a good frame of mind and on top form after yesterday’s winner. It always cheers everybody up and they deserve it, as the team has been working very hard without much reward lately.

top2
Topaling in the parade ring (photograph courtesy of Phil Agius)

It was great to see Topaling win yesterday, in what was quite an exciting race. It was marvellous to train another winner for Mike Bowring and a homebred winner for the stud. Topatori, her dam, has been a most brilliant broodmare. She very sadly died last year but we have this filly and  a very nice Champs Elysees yearling to keep her line going. She took an age to know what was expected of her but once getting the idea she fairly flew home. This was only a little handicap but nevertheless I think she is on the upward curve and hopefully we can win another race or two with her. I think she will stay a bit further and will get stronger as she gets older. Thank you to all the people who have sent a text or phoned to say well done, it is always appreciated. Also thank you to Phil Agius who was there yesterday and took the photo of her in the parade ring. If anybody ever wants to send in photos we will try and put them on the website and give you credit.

10_Swilken
Swilken (Tom)

We have one runner today at Southwell. Hold Firm runs tonight in the 5.50, the 7f maiden. He has not run very well in his two runs so far and I hope he may handle the surface and the kickback here. The only one thing that will come out of this is that he will be handicapped and it will open up a number of opportunities for him. I think 1m to 1m 2f nursery on soft ground could hopefully see him in a better light.

30_Crossing_road
The horses crossing the road

This whole episode of whether a banned jockey can come back and ride again is hitting the headlines and is front page on the Racing Post. It is amazing to me that when a jockey is banned for deliberately stopping a horse, he can ever ride again but he has already been licensed in America, Spain and Ireland so he is earning a living in the sport already. This shows once again that each racing jurisdiction just does what it wants and will allow disqualified persons from one country to work in their own. Why we can’t get a worldwide agreement, I will never understand.

 
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