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A wet morning

Monday, 18 May 2015

"Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures."

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Warm_up

Warming up before exercise

It started to rain first thing as we all arrived in the yard and it has got heavier as the morning has gone on. It looks set in for most of the day. Rain is very much needed as the ground was getting quite firm and the times are very quick on most of the tracks. I don't know if you have noticed lately all the sand flying up as the horses race, whether at York or Newmarket. It is becoming a big trend to fill in hoof divots with sand rather than soil. I have always thought this is a mistake as good grass doesn't grow in sand and all it does is to make the courses firmer, but who am I to tell the experts. We have been on Hamilton Hill today which is as sheltered as any canter on the heath with plenty of trees to hide away from the elements. All has gone well so far.

Singing_H_Bracken_Smile

Singing Hinnie leads Bracken Brae and Smile that Smile

Prayer Time was very disappointing at Thirsk on Saturday, but I don't think he had the best of rides and to me the race was a non event. It's a long way to go and costs plenty of money with transport and expenses. It is always upsetting both for the owners and the supporters when we don't get a run for our money. I was going to send him up to Redcar for today but he hadn't eaten up overnight at the weekend and he will be given a bit of time to recover.

Hold_2

Hold Firm with Astrovirtue and Comrade Bond

I was intrigued to see a news article in the Racing Post on Sunday about Jim McGrath, from Channel 4 Racing, saying he thought the racecourses allowing "betting in running" punters to use hospitality boxes for that purpose, were in the wrong. He is about three years behind me, as I have always thought this was an iniquitous situation. The racecourses sell the boxes to the punters who have about a 10 second advantage watching live over people at home who have delayed pictures. I once mentioned this to an official of a racecourse group and was told it was "Getting an edge". I call it cheating and was pleased to see Jim bring the matter up again. I doubt anything will be done.

Group_owners_2

Some sydicate members enjoying coming to see their horses on Saturday

Watch_Hold_Firm

 

A lovely morning for visitors

Friday, 15 May 2015

"A man is not old as long as he is seeking something."

Jean Rostand.

05_BOT__HF
Band Of Thunder (Joe) and Hold Firm (Reece)

Many apologies that the site is up very late today, but there has been a serious computer malfunction. It started off a bright morning, and although there is a bit of cloud around the temperature has kept up and there's no wind. It's been a very busy morning with several owners calling in to see their horses in training and their brood mares, All the horses have been out cantering on Hamilton Hill where it has all gone very smoothly. We shall be having another batch of visitors tomorrow morning before most of them go to the races here at Newmarket.

09_Wolfie__Star
Astrowolf (Brian) and Star Commander (Niall)

We have one runner over the weekend. Prayer time runs in the 3.05, the 1m handicap at Thirsk. He is in very good form and although this is a competitive little contest, I expect him to run with credit. I may even leave him in the north of England and run him again on Monday at Redcar. It’s not far to go, just up the A19 and with the cost of travelling, we could get two for one, but I will wait and see how he takes the first race before making up my mind.

98_Taking_off_boots
Joe taking off Singing Hinnie's boots after exercise

I wouldn't be surprised if we hadn't seen the Deby winner yesterday when Golden Horn smoothly won the Dante, which is usually the best trial for the premier classic. The big problem is that he is not entered and the owner will have to stump up £75,000 to supplement him for the race. These supplements are very expensive and, although there is a calculation for these things, you always want the best horses to run. However a lower figure, albeit a substantial one, would encourage more people to take the gamble,

Theola
Theola with her Cape Cross filly

For those of you that can remember Theola when she was in training with us a few years ago, will like the picture above of her with this year's Cape Cross foal. She was a fantastic mare and was very unlucky to pick up a problem after winning the Cesarewitch trial, as she would have had a great chance in the race itself. Only smallish, she had a heart of a lion and could quicken up well. I am sure she will pass these traits on to her offspring. As you can see from the photo, she is happy and well at Des and Mariann’s at Swordstown Little Stud in Ireland.

Swilken_Bridge
Where Swilken got his name

I thought I would show you the famous Swilken Bridge at St Andrews Golf Club, which our very own Swilken is named after. There have been many famous golfers over the years, photographed on this bridge and it is one of the great landmarks of world golf. There are many different spellings, especially in Scotland, but I was pleased to see that we had spelt it as the postcode depicts. 

 
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