More accommodation would help
Monday, 23 May 2016
"The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists."
Warming up on Hamilton Hill before exercise
Dixon leading Sir Percy ex Missouri and Gee Sixty Six
It was surprising how much rain we had overnight and there were huge puddles when I was driving in from the stud this morning. It’s warm though with a mixture of sunshine and cloud. I think that is the forecast for the rest of the week. It will be a bit hit and miss with the courses where some will get rain and some will miss it. We have been stall handling once again with the two fillies that need practice and I think progress is certainly being made. Everything else has been doing good canters on Hamilton Hill.
Heavensfield and Sandwood Bay
Our one runner over the weekend, Prayer Time, did what was expected of him. He jumped well throughout, apart from one swinging hurdle and just got tired on the second circuit. It was a bit too firm for him and the course certainly didn’t suit, but I am sure there are races to be won once we get him on a more galloping track. He seemed to like the experience and came home and ate up. We will have one runner tomorrow at Wolverhampton and I will be taking a couple of horses to gallop on the new turf at Yarmouth where they are hoping to race in early June.
Smile That Smile and Regal Galaxy
I see it is the start of a three day series on the stable staff shortage and the first section has got underway today. As far as I see it there are two main problems. The fixture list, which constantly wants as many evening and weekend meetings as possible, does put an enormous pressure on the yards. Horses, and in fact any animal, needs seven day a week attention and anybody working within the animal business, horses, dogs, cats, cattle, sheep, chicken, pigs and zoos are on call 24/7. it is just the nature of the industry. Stable staff are the best paid of any of these and they have the potential to earn bonuses if the yard is successful. It is now becoming a young person’s game and they must enjoy the excitement and the camaraderie that happens in the yard. Everybody would like more money and time off, but with the prize money like it is at present, it is very hard to survive for the majority of businesses. The other major problem, especially in Newmarket, but it must be nationwide in our industry, is housing and accommodation and it would certainly help us no end if Racing Welfare or some other major group would build accommodation blocks in the main training centres. This would help retain staff.
We have just the one runner this weekend
Friday, 20 May 2016
"Love is like dew that falls on both nettles and lilies."
Dixon and Time Down Under
It has been overcast and warmish first thing with the threat of rain in the air. We have had another hectic morning with both fillies through the stalls once again, and this time it went without a problem. Yesterday’s accident turned out to be just a cracked rib, which I thought it would be and was very funny in the end. Yarmi, who was the person involved, was carted off in the ambulance with his coat and shirt with him. I talked to him several times during the morning and the last conversation went like this.
“Hello guv, I have got a cracked rib and they will let me go when I can walk, but where is my jacket and shirt?”
“Yes Yarmi, it went in the ambulance with you.”
“Oh they must have left it in the one we had an accident in.”
“An accident, what happened?”
“A car pulled out in front of it at Six Mile Bottom, there was a big thud, I nearly fell off the trolley, it must be in the old ambulance.”
“So what happened then?”
“I got transferred to another ambulance.”
“Your coat and shirt must be in the old one then Yarmi.”
“Thanks guv, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
You just could not write the script. All the other horses did a really good exercise and I am delighted with their progress. There are several two-year-olds who can now start to quicken up and I will be doing so during the next fortnight.
Authorized ex Four Miracles leading the canter
Our runner last night looked, on the face of it, disappointing, but I think the winner got a perfect ride. Our jockey was quite slow on the uptake as the race was run in a very slow time and developed into a two furlong sprint. The less said about this race the better, especially in my earshot. I just feel sorry for the filly and for connections as she should now be a winner and we should be looking for better things. The only one mitigating factor was that it was pouring with rain and even though they were only calling the ground good, they had watered it and it was definitely on the softer side.
Bracken Brae, Lost The Moon and Permera
We only have one runner this weekend. Prayer Time runs in the novice hurdle at Fakenham on Sunday. He has no problems after his unfortunate incident last weekend and I think getting him out quickly is the best idea. It is also the Irish Classic weekend which will obviously be very intriguing. The ground looks like it is going to be perfect at the Curragh
Making their way back after second lot
We have been trying to register new owners recently and this is another matter which needs to be urgently reassessed. The Racecourse Owner’s Association should really pull their fingers out here and get everything simplified. The main problem we find is that Weatherbys are so unhelpful and their rules and regulations are completely alien to normal people. It used to be so much easier to get registered and have a financial account, but nowadays it is a nightmare. The new Weatherbys Bank system is a monopoly and they can really do what they want. There are one or two helpful people, both in the bank and in the racing department, but the majority of them don’t understand what is required. I would make it compulsory that they all work in a trainers office for a couple of months and get as frustrated as we do. We need to encourage owners, not the complete opposite.
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