My Guardian Angel runs at Plumpton on Sunday ....


We still have the Sahara sand effect

Friday, 04 April 2014

"The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart."

Nikolai Lenin.


It’s another overcast morning and we still have the Sahara sand effect. The forecasters do tell us it will be blown away by this afternoon, followed by a bit of rain, which believe it or believe it not, will do the grass gallops good. We had another good exercise morning with the horses continuing to improve. They all look a picture and I am very pleased with how they are at this stage of the season.

My Guardian Angel and Swilken

I mentioned earlier in the week the Channel 4 programme which was on last night. Unbelievably it was called ’Jockey School’. If that was written on the side of a can in a supermarket, you would be prosecuted for misrepresentation. The kids go to the racing schools to learn to ride and to be good stable staff not jockeys. If they progress, there is every chance for them to become apprentices or conditional jockeys and trainers will give them rides in public. It is then up to them to improve and show they have got the talent to be a professional jockey.

My opinion of the whole programme was pretty poor. The programme concentrated on only three of the intake and I am sure there would have been many more that had the right aptitude and better work ethics than the three which we saw. Also the British Racing School, here in Newmarket, is completely different class to the one featured. There is really very little comparison. Everybody at the British Racing School is smart, clean and tidy and things are done in the way that I would hope. I know I haven’t ever visited the Northern Racing College and so therefore cannot comment with authority about them, but as chairman of the National Trainers Federation, I was very disappointed how this film came across. To me there was no encouragement for anybody to send their child to that establishment. For every young person who wants a job in racing (if they are under 21 they have to attend one of the schools) the programme last night was not a very good advertisement for the industry, never mind the Northern Racing College.

Astrovirtue and Crystal Pearl

Our tipping competition got off to a good start yesterday, with the challengers not even sighted and the holder nearly out of sight, but you should never crow when gambling, as luck plays a big part and a 33-1 shot could see the whole thing change around. Our selections for today are below and although we don’t do a website on a Saturday, we will be putting Saturday’s selections up on their own tomorrow.


2.00 Josses Hill    2.30 Don Cossack    3.05 Module    3.40 Soll    4.15 Capote    4.50 Alaivan    5.30 Avispa


2.00 Art of Payroll   2.30 Holywell   3.05 Ballynagour   3.40 Ma Filleule    4.15 Beat That    4.50 Stonebrook    5.30 Queen Alphabet 


It's the first day of Aintree

Thursday, 03 April 2014

"I bet on a horse at ten-to-one.  It didn't come in until half-past five."

Henny Youngman.

Toptempo and Topaling

It’s another overcast day, very similar to yesterday and I am coughing well. It must be from the smog and the sand from the Sahara, which we are told has blown over from Africa via Europe. We had Ben Curtis in for first and second lot and I was getting him accustomed to Topaling and Crystal Pearl. They are two very nice three-year-old fillies that will be running towards the end of April. We were just doing normal exercise canters on Bury Side, but he got a good feel of their ability and wellbeing. Hopefully Ben can take quite a few of our rides this year. He is a very cheerful lad who has done well in Ireland, and if things fall right for him, could go a lot further over here.

Blue Bounty and Nancy

It is the start of Aintree today with three days of great racing. I thought after the trouncing I gave the Marriott family over Cheltenham in the tipping competition, I would hear no more, but no, they are attempting to beat me once again. Our first day choices, to a level £10 win on each race, are below. If we have a non-runner the money goes on the favourite. It looks like the ground will be just on the slow side of good. There will be big crowds everyday and if you have never been, I recommend you make the effort to go at least once in your lifetime. The atmosphere on Saturday will be second to none, as the runner’s line up for the big race and are called in; you can cut it with a knife.


2.00 Activial    2.30 Menorah    3.05 Rock On Ruby    3.40 Richard’s Sundance    4.15 Astracad    4.50 Oscar Whisky    5.25 Busty Brown


2.00 Calipto    2.30 Silviniaco Conti    3.05 The New One    3.40 Warne    4.15 Sound Investment    4.50 Uxizandre    5.25 Uncle Jimmy

Smokey Oakey

I would like to show you a picture of Smokey Oakey today, looking fantastic in his new home. The Riding for the Disabled is having a fund raising day on Saturday, at Lingfield Park, and all funds go to the charity. If any of you are going, please donate generously. If you aren’t going, but would like to give something to this fantastic charity, you can donate online. Smokey is very happy and looks a picture of health and happiness. We are so thrilled that this very special horse, is as loved in his new home as he was in his old one.


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