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It was a good weekend of racing

Monday, 26 September 2016

"Sometimes the biggest act of courage is a small one."

Lauren Raffo.

Red sky in the morning over Newmarket

Gee Sixty Six

It’s a much colder morning and it was the first time we have had a red sky for a long time, a proper autumn morning. We have been out on Southfields cantering on the Rubbing House polytrack with most of the horses and all has gone smoothly. It has been a quiet weekend weather wise, just a few showers, and I think a showery week is forecast ahead. We could do with some proper rain though, as East Anglia has missed most of the recent downpours. 

Sweeping Beauty

It was very good racing over the weekend, what with Newmarket and the Curragh, with plenty of upsets and it has been a bit of a bookmaker’s bonanza. The Cheveley Park a case in point, where the favourite was too keen and didn’t see out the trip against battle hardened fillies’ of Aidan O’Brien. As well as that, the Middle Park was won by a horse that had been racing all season long and it just goes to show if they are good enough in March and have the right attitude, they can still do it is October.


It’s Goffs yearling sales this week and the bandwagon rolls on. There will be plenty of big figures in the first two days and then the sportsman’s sale will decrease. I think it will be the same here in Newmarket the following week when October 1 will be the boutique sale with all the usual big players and October 2, 3 and 4 will struggle. It may be a good time to buy a nice horse at the right price as everybody wants to sell them, but buyers are in short supply. The BHA has got to get its act together with so many things, the fixture list, the staff situation and most especially prize money. The levy replacement seems to have gone quite quiet lately and although the top few owners are cocooned from the financial side, the majority of existing owners are struggling to get much back from supplying the actors.

Velvet Voice

It is nearly the end of the second month of the Great Frankland Fast and most of them continue to do very well. There is still one or two who have yet to get into the full swing of things, but the ones who have are really benefiting from their efforts. I know I am as I have lost over a stone and feel much better for it. It is great to know that we are doing it for the most deserving of causes and we have another five weeks to go. I want to get down to as near to 14 stone as I can do and I will be going all out next month.  We will be asking everybody to dip into their pockets and sponsor us as we want to raise as much money as possible.

Bracken Brae


Our horses didn't disgrace themselves yesterday

Friday, 23 September 2016

"Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly."


Desert River on the Cambridge Road polytrack

It’s much colder this morning, and in fact I was thinking I should be getting my bigger sweaters out as I walked across the heath at first lot. It is bright though and the temperature is sure to shoot up as the morning progresses. I think this is the forecast for the next few days, clear and bright with a few showers until at least the middle of next week. We have been cantering on the Cambridge Road polytrack after a preliminary lob down the Links canter. All has gone well and no coughers.

     11_Tlova     12_Bracken
Topalova and Bracken Brae

It was an interesting day yesterday with all our runners. Sandwood Bay ran a very sound race on a track that really didn’t suit her to be only beaten two and a quarter lengths. There are races to be won with her and she will improve considerably still. As I said yesterday, that race will throw up plenty of winners. Sant’elia will improve greatly for the outing and had a good blow for half an hour afterwards. I wouldn’t write her off yet.

Dot Green got very warm in the stalls once again and we may fit her with a hood next time to hopefully keep her calmer. She travelled well for a long way and weakened inside the final furlong, but she had used plenty of nervous energy and this is not her true running.

Regal Galaxy could never quite get into it after a slow break and I think we need to ride her a lot more prominently next time. Topamichi wasn’t beaten too far either in his race, about six lengths, and he was another one who couldn’t get into the right position. Lost The Moon ran a sound race to finish fifth, not beaten too far, and Astrowizard got bumped early, which frightened him, but he ran better than he did at Newmarket, needs a lot further and will be having another run quite quickly. They have all come back safe and sound.

Velvet Voice on Hamilton Hill

The BHA have announced changes to the weight for age rules with the allowances that three-year-olds get from the older horses being reduced. This is after so called ‘data collections’ and has been agreed by all the European authority’s. I call this tinkering and I think it is finding jobs for people who have very little to do. You are always going to get three-year-olds improving and the older horses having shown what they are capable of, plus the average winning distance, especially over a mile and a quarter plus, will be much longer than five furlongs to a mile. It is just obvious to me. I think I would have left it as it is, or if not made a much more radical change. Facts and figures can look good on paper, but in reality they often don’t work out.

Exercise over, back to the yard for a wash down

I see the BHA’s idea of selling six new colours has not been a great hit. When looking at the website this morning, two had not even had a bid. I think they pitched the starting price at £5,000, much too high and would have been better starting at a £1,000, which would have stimulated some bidding. We have got a great colour system and these new ones will only muddle the process. It will be interesting to see who has acquired them.


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