Smiling, happy people ....


Let's hope it doesn't dry up too much

Friday, 18 July 2014

"Follow your passion, and success will follow you."

Terri Guillemets.

Topaling (Emilie) and Crystal Pearl (Sinead)

We woke up to thunderstorms at 4.30 this morning, with streaks of lightening and great bangs of thunder. I don’t think we had torrents of rain, but there were plenty of puddles as I drove into Newmarket. The clerk of the course has told us we have only had 3mm, which is very little. A quiet morning cantering with a pick of grass has gone well so far and we have got a couple of very backward two-year-olds about to have their first canter on the heath after breakfast.

Hold Firm (Tom) and Topamichi (Glenn)

I have decided to let Comrade Bond take his chance tonight. I had a walk on the July course with my stick at 9.30 ish and the point goes in about 3 ½ inches. I don’t think there will be any jar in the ground but if it dries up during the day and evening, there is still the possibility I won’t run him. If I do, although he has run badly at Newmarket twice, it will be interesting to see how he goes, as he seems in very good form at home.

My Guardian Angel enjoying the grass

I was thinking about the all-weather track at Great Leighs yesterday. Reading between the lines, it looks like they are going to put the stand once again in the middle of the track, which is a complete waste of time and money. The old one, that has now been taken away, was borrowed from when the Ryder Cup was in Ireland and you couldn’t see a thing, apart from the final furlong. It looks to me as if this will be the case once again. Also, the article that was in the Post this week about Newmarket trainers not wanting an all-weather track in Newmarket, was completely off beat, as it is one of the most wanted things in the town. They made out in the article that the track was going to be adjacent to the Rowley Mile, which was muted years ago but quite rightly got short shift from everybody. This was always a non-starter, but a big round galloping all-weather track would be a tremendous boon to the town. Great Leighs is close and will be used by all Newmarket trainers, but I am sure it will be mostly evening racing which cranks up the costs to the owner. If you have no transport costs, which you wouldn’t have at Newmarket, it would be a tremendous help to the training costs. I don’t know why people can’t see this and have a thought for the future of the town and the sport.

The empty stands on the July course

I see five horses have tested positive for morphine, but we are not going to know anything about it until the enquiry into it has progressed. So why tell us in the first place? If you can’t name names and let everybody know what is happening, don’t say anything at all. If it is contaminated feed we all want to know. If it is something else, then let us know that as well. Don’t just throw the line out and keep everybody dangling.


One of the wonderful pleasures in life

Thursday, 17 July 2014

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."

Pablo Picasso.

Blue Bounty leading Topaling and Astromajor

It’s a very warm morning and it looks like continuing like this for the foreseeable future, with temperatures of 30 degrees forecast. We have been out cantering on the grass on the Limekilns, which although on the fast side, has a great cover of grass and no jar whatsoever in it. I absolutely love standing on the Limekilns watching the horses come up it. It is one of those pleasures in life everybody should have.

Comrade Bond and Swilken

I have been to three funerals in the last week, which is never nice at the best of times, but a couple of them quite a lot of our readers may remember. Firstly there was Brenda Cox, who used to be our daily lady at Flint Cottage and was a marvellous woman. I advertised with the words “must be a good cook, shirt ironer and have a sense of humour.” I was inundated with replies, but Brenda was the first one I interviewed and she was perfect for the job. When her husband Peter retired, Brenda did also and Carol took over. That was well over 20 years ago but I can still remember some of the funny moments we had.

The second funeral was Mick Carty, who had been in Newmarket most of his life after coming over from Ireland. He was one of those real proper gentlemen and stablemen, who knew his job, was always cheerful and willing to give his experience to the younger generation. Mick worked for me later in his career and his stories of the old days kept many a stable lad spellbound.

The third one was an uncle of mine who helped me out when I bought Flint Cottage many years ago and was a proper uncle to me and my siblings.

Cooling down at the bottom of the Limekilns

You know I always go on about the fixture list and how crackers it is without a central body having control over it. Well, next Tuesday 22nd there are only two flat meetings, one at Carlisle and one at Musselburgh. How completely crackers is that. It is just like having Yarmouth and Fakenham on the same day. It cuts the crowd completely in half. However, nobody seems to care and I am sure nothing will be done about it, just like the stupid Saturday we have just had. It is the racecourses that don’t want to back down and although you can’t live in the past, and we don’t live in the past, the sport is being run by people who a) don’t care about it, or the future of it, they just live for the short  term and what they are financially getting out of it b) there is nobody with any power in the sport to sort it out and c) we have nobody who can think of the future and how we all should sort it out as an industry. If only there were.

What a view

Although Comrade Bond is declared at Newmarket on Friday night, we will be checking the ground in the morning and if there is any firmness in the going we will not be racing. It is great to be calling it good at the moment but with the sun like it is it will be firming up quickly.

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