Interview with Racing UK ...


Fresh horses

Monday, 24 August 2015

"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."

John Dewey.

Walking to the gallops

There was plenty of red sky this morning and as yet we have had no more rain but it's forecast for the rest of the week on most days. All the horses have been out on Racecourse side. They seem in great form and we had a loose one first lot when after cantering six furlongs Hold Firm decided to whip round and behave like a ballet dancer. I caught him by the water works farm and no harm done.

Topamichi cantering

There's an article today in the Post on the staff situation, but this time it's on the studs. The facts are that there are plenty of stud staff although not as many younger ones as there used to be. The thoughts from the stud owners and managers are that career teachers in schools don't have the information on this industry. Most of the studs don't need the numbers of staff that the training yards require, they still need the same horse care skills but don't have to ride out. When you read that the building industry requires hundreds of plasters, bricklayers, carpenters etc. you begin to get the impression that the benefits system is more favourable to our school leavers than getting a job.

Humphry Repton leading Legal Art

It was great to see my hope that a smaller trainer would win the Ebor come true when Litigant won for Jo Tuite. It just goes to show that given the right material there are so many trainers who can do a brilliant job. On a personal note, it was marvellous to see John Kiely's Toe The Line run a blinder for him and the Lillingston family when finishing fourth. This was another example of the T.V. and press not giving the horse any coverage. The other Irish favourites got the build up but no mention whatsoever of Toe The Line. I know time is short on T.V. but coverage of all the runners should be mandatory.


He was caught and all turned out well

Friday, 21 August 2015

"Relationships are like glass.  Sometimes it's better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together."


Smile That Smile, Singing Hinnie and Peeps

It’s a close and muggy morning, with very little wind. I only wish the air would clear quickly as it would make it far more pleasant to work. It’s been a busy morning so far with Jimmy and Saleem in and we have been on the peat moss gallop in front of the racecourse. It rode like a carpet and things were going swimmingly until a skip lorry came by the string when walking back in and one of them whipped round, dropped the jockey and proceeded to gallop about like a mad thing. Luckily, with the help of all the heathmen, no harm was done and the culprit was caught and reunited with its rider. They all seemed very well and although we only did good bridle work, I think we are on the right road.

Legal Art and Blue Bounty

The first results came back from the scopes yesterday, which weren’t too bad at all and I am awaiting the culture growth today. That will be the telling point and let’s hope we are going the right well. It has been very frustrating for everybody concerned.



I saw David Elsworth this morning on the gallops and he was in great form, as you can imagine. He is such a fantastic enthusiast and says he knew the filly would run well and just hoped she would be as good as she showed. It is a great game this, as you can only try, and enjoy the sport. It is taken far too seriously by many people and David was very right to point this out to the press, who gave him no chance at all and still think it is a fluke. We need characters like him and long may he continue. Days like that will certainly help.

Jack Carter, Humphry Repton, Hold Firm and Mr Turner

It is the final day of York tomorrow, with the Ebor handicap at its centre. This race, along with most of the other big handicaps of the year, are now hugely competitive compared to what they used to be and you have to be rated at least 90+ to have any chance of actually getting into the race. They are worth so much money that everybody takes aim at it and runs Group and Listed horses, which is what is required to win these races. It would be great tomorrow if a couple of the smaller trainers could take the prize home, but I very much doubt it. I would like to see some more creative and imaginative race planning start to happen, which would give everybody the chance of a big pot, but I can’t see the BHA having the brains to do this.


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