We have three runners tonight at Chelmsford City
Thursday, 16 February 2017
"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn."
(L) Koin and (R) Astroblaze cantering upsides
I think it is a bit colder this morning but maybe that’s because I am still pretty tired after this week’s foaling. Once again it has been a busy morning with horses cantering close to home and everything so far has gone well. It is going to get progressively busier as the day goes on as we have got three runners at Chelmsford City tonight. This will mean both boxes travelling down there and with staff away, it will be a bit hectic at evening stables, but everybody is pulling together and the team spirit is very high.
Bracken Brae on the Hamilton Hill
We have three runners tonight at Chelmsford. We start off in the 6.25 with Indian Red making his debut. He is a great big gelding, a brother to lots of winners including this season’s dual winner Lost The Moon. He has been a bit tricky in the stalls and we have done plenty of work with him. I will be taking a ticket tonight which means being allowed to go in the stalls last, but you can’t do this every time so it will be interesting to see how he takes this experience and how he comes out of it. The trip will be on the short side but it will do him the power of good and he is sure to improve tremendously for the outing.
Our next runner is Mr Turner in the 8 o’clock. He is not drawn very well in stall 11 and was very slowly away last time. I am hoping for a better exit this time and if so, he should run a reasonable race. He has begun to settle in his work at home and is mentally better at present. We get 7lbs off him with Gabriele Malune riding and it will be interesting to see how he goes over this shorter trip. He has got the ability to win races, if everything falls into place.
Our last runner is Topalova in the 8.30. She has had a long time off since she last ran as she tweaked her shoulder muscle in her last outing on the turf at Catterick. This trip should suit and I hope she runs a sound enough race tonight, but whatever happens she will improve for the outing.
Rum Ration back in after exercise
I see that the National weights evening is causing a stir as a lot of the guests have been called rude by the Aintree boss. It sounds like there was bad acoustics in the hall and that people were talking during the speeches and some singing. It always amazes me that a tried and tested lunch, which is enjoyed by everybody, is deemed not ‘modern’ enough for today’s marketers. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they revert to the old format for next year.
The foster mare with the Seasonal Blossom foal
The foster mother is proving a huge hit and it is marvellous to see the foal so happy with her new mum. She was born a little bit on the weak side with slackish pastern, but she has always been a fighter and has been taken to everybody’s heart on the stud. Her legs are now starting to brace up well and both mother and daughter is a picture to see.
It's a really mild day
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
"Desserts are the fairy tales of the kitchen — a happily-ever-after to supper."
Looking over the door at the surroundings
It’s much milder today and it is getting lighter at both ends of the day. I could nearly see at 4.15 when I was in this morning and it certainly wasn’t cold as I walked round the boxes. We have had a good morning cantering with a variety of canters used. We used the grass on New Ground, as well as Southfield Round and Hamilton Hill. All has ticked over nicely. A load of hay arrived just now which is getting unloaded as we speak and we have had a few applicants for various jobs, but, as yet, no new staff have been firmed up.
Excellebration ex Lady Bellatrix in the lunge pit
It was interesting to see the National’s weight published and how this race is now becoming so much more out of most owners reach. Very similar to races on the flat, the big elite owners have a monopoly on the top horses and the old way where anybody had a chance of getting in and that magical dream coming true has disappeared. It is all to do with animal welfare they will tell you, but, if you have not got fortunes to spend, you have got very little hope of ever having a runner in the Grand National. I don’t think the new evening affair rather than the lunch time format went down well either and a lot of the papers had gone to press before the weights could reach them. A bit of a silly idea once again.
Another silly idea is this city centre racing which reads like the Jockey Club are a key player in it. I hope the BHA knocks it straight on the head as this is one of the craziest ideas that have ever been bandied about. It is purely a way of certain individuals getting major sponsors to keep their company’s afloat. It wouldn’t work in any big city as the dangers and the health and safety would be far too much.
Singing Hinnie at a recent show
Our foster mother is getting on well. She arrived yesterday, mid-morning, and they have both bonded well together. It takes quite a bit of expertise to get this to happen, and we will be turning them out together tomorrow for the first time. These foster mothers are worth their weight in gold and I am told by the man who has these mares that there were two or three calls yesterday for other ones. It just goes to show what can happen with mares when they are foaling. It is always a miracle when everything turns out ok.
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