The documentary will be fascinating ...


We have a short respite from the cold

Monday, 26 January 2015

"We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspirations and survival."

Winston Churchill.

Astromajor (Frankie) making his way out to exercise

It’s overcast and damp, but at the moment it is very mild and there is very little wind, so for a January morning, it is not at all bad. The forecast says it is to get really cold from the middle of the week onwards, with the weather coming directly from the Arctic, so it looks like we are in for a proper cold spell. The horses have been cantering in all direction once again this morning, with Bury Hills, Side Hill, Warren Hill and the Town Canter all being used at various times. So far everything has ticked over well and we will be keeping the last couple of lots in the indoor ride.

Hold Firm (Ali) on the walking ground

I just don’t know what the BHA are thinking of at present, with the announcement at the weekend that another Australian has been put in charge of all raceday operations. This new Australian has been in charge of Racing Victoria’s trotting horses. You just can’t make it up, why would we want another Australian in a position like this. I thought we had got plenty of capable people who understood the British industry, and have worked in it and we were told the calibre of candidate was very high. I am sure the Aussies wouldn’t have a Brit if it was on the other foot. We might as well call us the BHA Australian section.


(Photographed by Dylan Thomas for the Country Life)

Emma Wells with Ringmaster, now Charlie, just before her wedding.

With viewing figures for Channel 4 Racing, both the morning line and the afternoon programme, on the decline and very much so, it just shows the poor judgement of the people in charge of our sports, from moving from the BBC to a single channel. With 7 million viewers watching the Manchester Utd vs Cambridge Utd football match on the BBC, it just points to that very bad decision. The major TV channel of our country is the BBC and with Royal Ascot, the Derby and the Grand National now on Channel 4, we can expect figures to keep going downwards. When will they ever see the big picture, rather than the cash cow they thought it was going to be, but won’t ever be.


The gallops are in perfect condition

Friday, 23 January 2015

"The first step binds one to the second."

French Proverb.

The view across the Al Bahathri this morning

I think this morning is the hardest frost we have had this winter so far, minus six in places. Thank goodness once again there is no wind, as it would be minus 20 if there was in the wind chill. I was watching fast work from the tower half way up the Al Bahathri this morning, and I would be still there frozen to the spot if it had been blowing. Nobody had used the gallop when we arrived, and the frost was covering the whole surface. It just goes to show how good these all-weathers are as it was in perfect condition and the two I worked on it, purred up there. All the rest have had exercises on Bury Side polytracks or round the indoor ride.

Fresh ground on the gallops

I think Astrowolf wants to be seeing some hurdles, as he was outpaced yesterday and we will give him a go over eight or 10 flights. His brothers have done quite well over hurdles and if he takes to it, we will run him and see how he gets on. We have no runners over the weekend, but a few next week. At present I am busy getting horses back in from the studs and getting the final few broken in.

Legal Art (Jimmy Quinn) and Blue Bounty (Reece)

Put the flags up and blow the trumpets. It looks like Newmarket racecourse have finally seen the light and the July Cup will go back to it’s mid week slot, where it is much better suited and should always have been. I think it may be a bit of stick and carrot, as they want to move the Future Champions Meeting to a different date as well. I can’t see a problem with that and let’s hope the BHA agree to these new suggestions. It would certainly make that mad weekend in July much easier for everybody and the Magnet Cup at York, would regain its proper place as the headline race on that day.

Comrade Bond (Jess) leaving the indoor ride

There are still no foals on the ground, but you can’t blame the mares, as this weather seems to be getting colder and colder. We are only sending one mare to Ireland to be covered this year. She is going to Footstepsinthesand and will be lodging at Des and Mariann Leadon’s at Swordlestown Little Stud (, near Naas. The mares are being covered by a wide assortment of stallions this time, including some first season sires, Charm Spirit, See The Moon, Garswood and Duneden. It is always a shot in the dark with these new sires, but you can sometimes get very lucky. I can remember using Dansili the first season and we sold that colt very well. Let’s hope this year’s choice of stallions is all the right ones.


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