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Desert River has his stalls test today

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

"To be curious about that is not one’s concern while still in ignorance of oneself is absurd."

Plato.

01_Watering_System
The watering system on the grass gallop

There was a good breeze at first lot, which certainly was very welcome, but it has suddenly dropped and we are now working in 24 degrees with it set to spiral up into the 30’s. I think it is going to be like this for the next couple of days and then thankfully some rain for the weekend. Everything is working very smoothly in the yard today, with first lot working on the Watered Gallop and second and third lot going on the Rubbing House and Hamilton Hill polytrack. A couple of horses have gone into the vets to be x-rayed and scanned, but that is only for minor problems which will be sorted out very quickly, and Desert River has gone off to his stalls test at Yarmouth.

09_Permera_Regal__Dot
L-R Permera, Regal Galaxy and Dot Green

The new ITV racing team will be disappointed not to have got John Hunt as their main commentator. He has decided to stay at the BBC where he will expand his career and commentary into all sorts of new areas of sport. I think he really enjoyed himself at the Olympics, especially commentating on the swimming. It will be interesting to see where they use him. This must mean that the very able Richard Hoiles must have a great chance of getting the plum job at ITV. I think they announce their team towards the end of the week and there may be one or two surprises yet. I am sure everybody will have their own opinions, but there is still one or two of the ones that have been selected capable of making you turn off instantly, which I didn’t think was the aim of the new ITV programme.

11_Cantering_to_start
Cantering to the start of the gallop

18_Lost__Tlova
Lost The Moon and Topalova

Our good wishes go to Allan Mackay who is recovering in hospital after having a bad fall on the gallops here last week. He has broken all sorts of bones and punctured a lung and I think he has a fractured vertebra as well. Allan used to ride as an apprentice for me years ago and many people may remember him riding a very good filly of mine Lucitanica who won many staying races and was second in the Ebor. She was a £500 foal and turned out a tremendous horse for all her connections. Allan is the father of today’s jockeys Nicky and Jamie Mackay and he has a daughter who is now pony racing. The accident happened on Hamilton Hill close to us when his stirrup broke. I am told it took the ambulance a long time to get there, which is unacceptable, and will certainly need to be looked into to find out a bit more about the circumstances of the delay. When you have thousands of horses and riders in one place accidents are going to occur, quite frequently sometimes, and we certainly need an ambulance service which is capable and quick. Any delay can cause major problems. We will be encouraging the Jockey Club, who I know are on the case, to follow this matter up urgently.

 

What a fantastic weekend of racing

Monday, 12 September 2016

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the will to continue that counts."

Winston Churchill.

03_Walking_to_stalls
Desert River walking to the stalls

It started off cool this morning and I fed round in a coat. It got even cooler as the light came up, but gradually as the morning has progressed, the temperature has quickly started to move upwards. The forecasters tell us it is going to be the hottest September day on record tomorrow with the air moving up from the continent and as to what rugs we put on the horses tonight, is anybody’s guess. We had a couple of new staff arrivals this morning, which certainly helps, and let’s hope they fit into our happy band easily. We have been cantering on Southfields polytracks and although I have been easy on a few whose blood results are not brilliant, the majority of them have cantered with plenty of life.

05_Going_in
Going in...

Peeps jumped out of the stalls well on Saturday, but without the blinkers on I don’t think she puts it all in. Although Georgia gave her a very good ride and had her in the right position at all times, when push came to shove the turbo wasn’t there. The blinkers concentrate her mind and she puts the effort in. We will have to give her plenty of stalls training with the headgear on where I am sure we will see a much better result.

06_In_stalls
... and standing quietly, waiting to jump out

It’s been a great weekend of racing and congratulations go to the Mongan’s and the first Epsom trained winner for quite a while. You always need a bit of luck and they certainly got it on Saturday with the favourite unseating his jockey. I am sure they will have enjoyed the party, as we did many years ago. The Irish weekend gave us plenty of excitement and some favourites were overturned. It all makes for great watching. We now have the Ayr Festival to look forward to at the end of the week. These races just keep on coming.

20_Walking
Second lot walking back to the yard

There is a big article today in the Racing Post on the increase of non-runners and what the journalist thinks should be done about it. He obviously has never been a trainer, or doesn’t understand all the problems we have, constantly trying to outguess the clerk of the courses who tell us the ground is one thing, when it is the complete opposite. The going stick is a complete waste of time and money and the pressure on clerks to get maximum fields encourages them to put a slant on the going, which in turn, encourages trainers to run. We have all run horses on unsuitable ground only to find them jarred up or run badly on it. If there is an abuse of the system the connections involved should be jumped on with a proper sanction. However, 99% of the time the non-runners will be for genuine reasons and with the 48 hour declarations, it is imperative the trainers have the option.

 
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