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A very happy 91st birthday to Walter Whalton ...

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Day three already

Thursday, 12 March 2015

"The kind man feeds his beast before sitting down to dinner."

Hebrew Proverb.

22_Long_Hill_Climb
Prayer Time (Joe) coming up the steep climb of Long Hill

It’s another bright morning and again no wind, so it is very pleasant out on the heath where the horses have been doing their normal exercise on a variety of Bury Side canters. The grass is beginning to sprout on the heath and if we can just get two to three weeks of good warm weather, we will soon have a green sward across all the canters and gallops. This time of year there is everybody out with their horses, and hope springs eternal as we all step up into faster work.

27_Topamichi
Topamichi (Frankie)

It seems bad days don’t just come along once in a while, as I had another one yesterday. Whilst driving horsebox number two, moving a horse from Northamptonshire to Suffolk, I hit a pothole which gave me a puncture and dented the rim of the lorry. I managed to struggle home only to find we couldn’t get the tyre off as the nuts were too tightly on. We are getting ATS out this morning to put the spare on and we have already ordered a new rim. Photos of the pothole in question have been taken and the council will be getting the bill. To cap the day off, the garage where box number one went after my epic day on Sunday, phoned to say the engine was completely gone and I needed a new one, at a cost of £6,000. As I said at the time, you can’t make it up. I will have to have 30 winners to pay for it.

30_Hold_Firm
Hold Firm (Yaz)

I see the Channel 4 viewing figures were down the first two days of the Festival and you can see why, with the format and the presenters who have got very little character. Thank goodness for the Irish visitors, Brian in the betting ring and Ted Walsh, who give us some proper information and tell it as it is. I see in future when the contract comes up for renewal for the TV rights, they may sell the prime ones, ie The Festival, Royal Ascot, The Derby, Aintree etc to the highest individual bidder. This may be the best way to go forward rather than to have one who does the lot. Our sport is changing so quickly and is run by people who have no knowledge of horses that anything could happen.

35_Humphry
Humphry Repton (Reece)

The challenge continues today, with me just in front, but as I said yesterday anything could happen and an outsider could turn the whole thing round very quickly. I hope you all are enjoying the racing and taking no notice of our tips and winning some money yourselves.
 

Standings after day two

Richard minus £57.00

Phil minus £68.34

MHT plus £31.66


Richard

1.30  Vautour  2.05  Edeymi  2.40  Taquin de Seuil  3.20  Zarkandar  4.00  Attaglance  4.40  Benbens

Phil

1.30  Vautour  2.05  Regal Encore  2.40  Ma Filleule  3.20  Zarkandar  4.00 Hollow Penny  4.40  Gold Bullet

MHT

1.30 Vautour  2.05  Unique de Cotte  2.40   Eduard  3.20  Whisper  4.00  Un Ace  4.40  Gold Bullet

 

I'm off to a good start

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

"Sometimes age succeeds, sometimes it fails. It depends on you."

Ravensara Noite.

33_cantering
The string cantering

It’s a bright but quite frosty morning and I don’t think it is going to rain here until this evening. We have had a normal day, exercise wise, with most of the horses using the Mactrac on Warren Hill and walking back down the new walking ground on Side Hill. All the horses look magnificent, even if I say it myself, and let’s hope they continue in this vein. We will be having a few runners towards the end of the week and into next week and it is not long now until the turf season starts, with the Lincoln handicap at Doncaster.

12_Comrade_Bond
Comrade Bond (Frankie)

There’s been a great start to the Festival with a bonanza for the Mullins team, even with the hard luck they had with the faller, Annie Power, when all over the winner. As I said yesterday, there are always great stories to tell and what a start we got off to. The one good point I took out of it was that for once, the jockeys were sensible at the start and the races got off without much of a hitch. It may be the rules are sinking in.

Our tipping competition got off to a good start and not wishing to crow, but I am in front. It is a long way to go though and one 20/1 winner, especially in today’s big fields, could change the picture altogether. The standings and today’s offerings are below.

Standing after first day

Richard minus £52.00

Phil minus £53.34

MHT plus £46.66

Richard

1.30  Windsor Park  2.05  The Young Master  2.40  Activial 3.20  Champagne Fever  4.00  Toutancarmont  4.40  Starchitect  5.15  Pylonthepressure

Phil

1.30  Nichols Canyon  2.05  The Young Master  2.40  Taglietelle  3.20  Dodging Bullets  4.00  Duke Of Lucca  4.40  Sebastian Beach  5.15  General Principle

MHT

1.30  Outlander  2.05  Kings Palace  2.40  Blackmail  3.20  Champagne Fever  4.00  Duke Of Lucca  4.40  Zarib  5.15  Moon Racer

02_Topamichi_leading_way
Topamichi leading the way home

Although some of the horses cost fortunes, it showed yesterday the best horse was the least expensive, at one stage, as Faugheen only cost €4,000 as a foal and €12,000 as a three-year-old. You can buy these top class horses at the right price, if you have the patience, and this is what keeps everybody in the sport. It was marvellous to see the owner of Glens Melody had bred the mare as well. She hand fed it from a bucket when in the field as a foal and had great affection for her. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes and these stories make it much clearer to the public.

 
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