Hold Firm goes to Chelmsford tonight in the 7.10 ....

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Across the Flat is where we went today

Friday, 21 October 2016

"Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending.


Topalova with Hold Firm Across The Flat

It’s a damp overcast morning with periodic heavy showers. The one good thing though is it’s not cold, although Di and Ian will dispute that as they are sitting in the hut with their coats on. I am sure the heater will soon warm them up. If you keep moving though, it’s not too bad. I have had a couple of lots galloping on the Across the Flat gallop and third lot will be going through the stalls once again. I think the forecast is for it to be like this for at least the next few days. It certainly shouldn’t be making the ground at the racecourses firm.

Heavensfield and Sweeping Beauty at first lot

We have no runners today but two tomorrow, both in the evening at Chelmsford where we run Topamichi in the 7.40 and Regal Galaxy in the 8.10. Topamichi ran well last time there, is drawn ok and must have a shout. He is in the sales next week and will be a great recruit for somebody. He will be sold to dissolve a partnership.

Regal Galaxy runs in the one mile five furlong handicap, but has got the world’s worst draw, 14 of 14, which is very disappointing as apart from the top horse, she must have had an outstanding chance. We will have to hope that Stevie Donohoe can work wonders on her and get her into the right position early on. We seem to have had a lot of bad draws lately, but I always say it is swings and roundabouts.

Bracken Brae and Astrosecret at second lot

There are a couple of points in Tom Kerr’s column this week that I agree with. One is why can’t we attract more viewers when there is a £4 million race day, as Champions Day was last weekend? The crowd must have been swelled by a lot of young people as students evidently got in free. The idea in principal is good, but if the money always goes to the same people, which is seems to, you feel that at least half of the prize money could have been recycled into the lower end of the game. The other point he mentions is about Tony McCoy, who to my mind is getting better and better on TV, speaks his mind, and is very similar in a way to John Francome, who without doubt is the best pundit we have ever had. Why he has not been offered a job on ITV I don’t know, he may be holding out for a better contract, but we definitely need him on the TV to take issue with some of the complete rubbish that comes out of the mouths of several people.

Walking home after working

We are busy in the yard at present, steam cleaning and painting all the boxes up in anticipation of the arrival of the new yearling intake. This will mean the yearlings coming in from the stud with the foals moving to the Deer Park side of Dullingham Park and the mares moving closer to the foaling boxes. It is the roundabout that goes on every year and takes a lot of careful planning as you do not want to get any cross infection from the horses in training, to the mares in foal. I am sure it will all go like clockwork.

The heathmen working hard to keep the ground in good condition

I am still doing well losing weight, in fact I was my lightest ever this morning and I will soon be asking everybody to donate to the good causes. I hope all my fellow dieters are having a last big push and we will be announcing the final total early in November.


It's disappointing, but that's racing

Thursday, 20 October 2016

"Don’t live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable."

Wendy Wasserstein.

Regal Galaxy at first lot

It’s a very bright morning now but it didn’t start that way. It was raining as I drove in in the dark at 5.30 and I think the odd shower is the forecast for the day. We have been on Southfields Round polytrack at first two lots and third lot is going to be concentrating on some two-year-old colts going through the starting stalls. We are getting near to a few of them having their first debut run, so a sight of the stalls is very much required.


Richard Marriott and friends yesterday 

It was very disappointing not to be able to run Velvet Voice yesterday, especially as Richard had a party of his associates having a look round the yard and stud and I gave them a tour of Newmarket gallops. We took a blood the night before and only got the results around 11 o’clock which showed she had a slight infection. It is never worth taking the risk with these things, but the saying ‘best laid plans’ was very much right on this occasion. I think they all had a good day at the races and I hope they backed a few winners.


It is very sad to read of the death of Mark ‘Archie’ Birch at 67. He was the most popular of jockeys, a great horseman and very good and reliable. He rode me many winners and it was always a pleasure for him to ride for us. He was a great stalwart to the Easterby family and rode one of my favourite racehorses of all time Sea Pigeon to many great victories. Our condolences go to his wife Joyce and their children.

Permera at second lot

There is a big article today in the Racing Post, really about the bookmakers shop closures on the high street and what affect it would have on the racing industry. The majority of people nowadays bet on their phones or computers and the bookmaking shops are kept afloat by the gaming machines which have become more numerous in the last fifteen or so years. The point here is that the media right payment is paid on the number of betting shops where the pictures are being beamed into. If they are shut if the machines are seen by the government to be advancing gambling addiction, I am sure the bookmakers will use this as a tool to reduce their payments. There are lots of anomalies in their thinking as the industry editor Bill Barber points out in his piece in the paper today. With both sides meeting the sports minister yesterday there is still plenty of developments to come.


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