All has gone well ....


Topaling goes to Lingfield

Wednesday, 09 July 2014

"Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open."

John Barrymore.

A busy yard

It’s an overcast morning and many degrees cooler. We have got quite a breeze out on the heath today and were surprised, when leaving the shelter of our yard, to find out how cold it was. We have been cantering up the Warren Hill polytracks all morning. The town is starting to get busy with visitors for the July meeting this week, as well as the sales. People come from all over the world for the sales and stay on for the racing. 

Comrade Bond

We have one runner today at Lingfield. Topaling runs in the 5.20, the 1m 2f handicap. She has had three runs without troubling the judge and has had a bit of a break since here last run. I have given her time to strengthen up and she has been moving well lately. I have always thought a lot of this filly and hope she can be better than she has shown so far. Today’s trip should be ok, but it is still a learning curve with her.

Blue Bounty enjoying the grass

I am still not used to having racing Thursday, Friday and Saturday, rather than the midweek fixture they historically had for the July meeting, here at Newmarket. It has certainly congested the fixture list and spoilt certain races, especially the Magnet Cup at York, which was always one of the most popular handicaps of the season. I have said it before that there are only so many top class jockeys to go around and with Ascot, where you have got the Group 2 Summer Mile, York with the Magnet Cup, Newmarket with the Bunbury Cup and the July Cup, a good fixture at Chester, which hopefully I will be having two runners at, plus Salisbury and Hamilton at night, you can see why they call this congestion Saturday. Why this has been allowed to happen, nobody knows. It is all pure greed from the racecourses point of view, as they want to get as many people as they can crammed into their tracks. York must be tearing their hair out, as this weekend used to be a stand along fixture where everybody moved on to after Newmarket, but it has now become lost in the mire of racing. If this is promotion of racing I am a Dutchman (I will be supporting them tonight).

My Guardian Angel tucking in

It was very sad to see that Michael Scudamore had died, the father of a great racing dynasty. He was one of a kind and they certainly broke the mould when they made him. They were much tougher in those days and although we have improved safety no end, and the jump jockeys of today are still pretty tough, in those days they had  to be hard and have a great work ethic. Our condolences go to all the Scudamore family.


There’s a very thought provoking article on Lord Hesketh in today’s Racing Post. A must read for everybody thinking of the future. He doesn’t mince his words and has never been frightened to have a go and stand out from the crowd. He has never gone along with the idea of keeping quiet and going with the flow, speaking his mind on many areas of the industry. Let’s hope a few people in power are reading it, but I doubt they would take any notice and just hide behind their committees and decisions taken behind closed doors.


The National Racing Museum will be a must go to place

Tuesday, 08 July 2014

"No mind, however loving, could bear to see plainly into all the recesses of another mind." Arnold Bennett.

My Guardian Angel (Joe) leading Astrocat (Sinead)

It is another glorious morning with plenty of sunshine and the temperature is perfect. We have been on the Al Bahathri first lot with a few workers, and all went well. The rest of the morning will be just cantering and trying to get some of the backward ones fitter. It takes an amazing amount of time for them to get as fit as you would like. There is no quick fix, just good consistent training and when ready, intersperse it with some faster lung expanding work.

Blue Bounty (Heather) leading Topaling (Sophie)

We have two runners today, both at Lingfield. Crystal Pearl is our first runner in the 1m 4f handicap. She should be suited by the trip, if not a bit further in time, as this family have all got better with age and distance. Her two runs this year have been interesting. She didn’t get the best of rides first time and she didn’t handle the track at Newmarket second time. I am hopeful of a much better run today but can’t see any pace in the race, which may make it a bit muddled. We have fitted blinkers to Nancy, just to concentrate her mind a bit and although she hasn’t sparkled yet and this is quite a warmish race, she should run better than she has done and will be handicapped afterwards. Ted Durcan rides Crystal Pearl and Ben Curtis is on Nancy.

Blue Bounty (Heather) walking home

I see there is some talk about moving the Derby to a twilight evening start time. Well, this is another completely barmy idea from somebody, and where it has come from, I am not sure, but it must be either the TV people, or the people running our industry, who have no idea. Why we mess these races about is beyond me. I am sure the majority of people want the Derby on a Wednesday at 3 o’clock, in the middle of the card as it always was. I know we have to move with the times and in these days of social media and very fast communications worldwide, everything is happening before we know it, but history is history and we have so much of it in our industry. I am sure the new and the old should mix well and changing for changing sake doesn’t always work.

Topamichi (Glenn)

There is a great article today in the Racing Post on the Palace House Stables. It is being turned into the National Racing Museum, with not only an art gallery and the modernist of museums but we also have a working stable yard on site, so people can see the history and how it all works from the inside. It has been a long time in the organising, but the builders are now fully into the swing of it and I for one, know it will revolutionize the town of Newmarket and the high street. It will be a must go to place for all visitors to the town and to anybody worldwide who has any interest in racing. We have just visited Portsmouth and went to the historic dockyard to see the Mary Rose, the Victory and other great maritime museums on site. It was a fantastic day full of interest for young and old alike and I am sure this museum in our town will be as popular.


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