The mare coverings continue in earnest
Tuesday, 04 March 2014
"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow."
Prayer Time and Refuse To Bend Ex Four Miracles
It’s a bright, very frosty morning and it was marvellous to be out on the heath at first lot with the horses. There were strings going everywhere on all four canters on Warren and Long Hill. It was very atmospheric and even Conrad Lockey said he enjoyed the morning as we were walking across the frozen ground. Everything went well and the horses are all looking healthy and developing as I would want them to at this time of year.
It was interesting to read Willie Mullins’ comments on horse security at Cheltenham, or in fact any racecourse. It looks to me as if he is quite worried about this part of the industry. He stated his father's horses were got at in the 1980’s, with a gang that were going around. The authorities knew about it but the trainers didn’t know until after the race, when their horses ran so poorly. The security at Cheltenham, and at most racecourses, has improved considerably over the last 15 years, but there is always need to reassess and make sure that any loop holes are closed. I think Willie’s comments will concentrate a few more minds on the job.
We are getting plenty of mares covered at the moment; both in Ireland and here, and it looks like January and February next year will be a busy time. Still no more foals, but the overdue one is looking bigger and the others are catching up fast. Let’s hope we have some good news for everybody soon.
What a glorious morning
Monday, 03 March 2014
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Walking out to exercise
It’s a glorious morning with blue sky, no wind and plenty of sunshine. I hope it stays like this for a while. All the bulbs are really starting to come out at the stud and there will be a great display in about two to three weeks time unless we get some hard frosts, which we can get at this time of year. I was listening to a man on the radio the other day, who was nearly guaranteeing us snow in April. He could be right. Everything has been out and had a good canter around Side Hill or on Warren Hill.
The build up to Cheltenham
continues in a big way and the ground forecast there looks to be moving towards good–soft, which will be ideal for everybody. There should be very few excuses, ground wise, if that is the case. I see Annie Power will be taking on Big Bucks in the World Hurdle. That has always looked the way they would go as there are other contenders for the Champion Hurdle and the Mares’ Hurdle. It should be one race everybody will be anticipating with excitement. With the loss of a few of the big players this year, it gives other horses a chance of getting on the score sheet. The only one worry is the mass entries from Willie Mullins, who has such a powerful team, but racing is a great leveller and I am sure we will have great stories of the underdog once again this year.
We must wish Sir Peter O’Sullevan a happy birthday today; he is 96 and still going strong. He has not been very well over the last year or two, but is still as enthusiastic as ever over the upcoming festival, and I am sure he will be watching intently at all the goings on. He shares a birthday with quite a few people, including Sir Mark Prescott and Ronan Keating, three people with great voices. I hope he makes 100; he has been a fantastic ambassador to our sport and the best commentator of all time.
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