Ixchell and Peeps run tonight ...
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Careless Rapture runs at Chelmsford tonight

Thursday, 12 November 2015

"Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll."


On Southfields rings

It’s a bright sunny morning, with no wind and once again the temperature is way up on what it should be for this time of year. We have had another good morning with a full complement of staff, although we do need a couple more good riders. We have been cantering on Southfields grass and the round polytrack. All has gone nearly as well as could be expected. 

Desert River

We have one runner tonight at Chelmsford City, which is another one of those twilight meetings where there will be no paying racegoers, just a few connections will turn up. The prize money is amazing a Chelmsford and it is one thing that attracts all the runners. We had the general manager at a National Trainers Federation meeting yesterday and he got plenty of advice on how the track should be maintained. In the track's short life it has gone from soft, to being very firm, with track records being broken at every meeting. I think he got the message that all the trainers want is for the surface to be consistent and then we know which type of horse to run on it. They have not had any snow and ice there yet and that will be another interesting situation. Back to Careless Rapture. She has had two runs so far, improved on her second run and should improve again, but she is a filly that will be much better next year and will be put away for the winter after today’s outing, come what may.


I see the former BHA chairman, Paul Roy, has now gone to work as chairman of online gambling operation Sky Bet. This is obviously the reverse of Nick Rust who came from the betting industry to the BHA and now Mr Roy has gone the other way. I think Sky Bet was one of the firms involved in the levy talks that broke down. They employee 700 people and are set to expand with another hundred jobs in the Leeds area. My interpretation of that would be that Sky Bet are doing very well off the back of our industry and other gambling outlets. I think the industry could have done without Mr Roy taking this positon, as he will know the complete working of the BHA and will be a strong advocate against the Racing Right, which will obviously hit the bookmakers but do wonders for our sport. This story rumbles on.


Jack Berry deserved his award

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

"The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet."


Walking over to the gallops with the light just breaking through

It's another very mild day and I heard this morning it may get up to 18 degrees in East Anglia. It certainly is an amazing temperature for this time of year. We may pay for it later on as we are getting into the winter months and yet it is still like summer. We have had a good morning with everybody in, which has made for a cheerful atmosphere and everything has gone according to plan.

Warming up before cantering

Peeps ran a very good race yesterday although she got too far behind early on and the race was run at a snail’s pace. I will be educating the jockey on how to come out of the stalls, as a good start is always invaluable. She was only beaten a neck into second and if she had been able to have been ridden how I wanted, she would have undoubtedly won, but in these apprentice races it is to be expected. We have got a massive lack of talented young jockeys who are not getting the education they should be.

Jumping off at the start of the gallop

The tributes have been flowing in for Pat Eddery and quite rightly so as he was undoubtedly one of the best jockeys of all time. With over 4,500 winners, 11 championships and 14 British Classics, his record stands up to any in living memory. He was a natural horseman and typical of the type that Ireland produces time and time again and still continues to do so. Only Ryan Moore stands out on the British side.

Bob surveying his surroundings

It was the Cartier Racing Awards last night with all the good and the great turning up to congratulate each other. All the expected horses won their category and it was great to see Jack Berry get a lifetime award. The one disappointment was that Trip To Paris didn’t win the staying section, which he thoroughly deserved to and would have been great for all his owners and for our sport. 


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