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The storm is on the way

Thursday, 15 January 2015

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

23_Careless_Rapture
Careless Rapture for syndication or lease

It was a very windy night, with a few heavy rain squalls, but this morning brings us blue sky and no wind. It is the lull before the storm, as tonight is forecast to be very windy and wet. A good morning so far with everything going according to plan and I have had horses going in all directions doing their daily exercise routines.

Topalova
Topalova, half sister to Topaling, for sale or lease

Our runners yesterday failed to sparkle for one reason or another. I don’t think I will be running Comrade Bond at Kempton ever again, as he has run there before and disappointed. I think he is much better either going in a straight line, or on a left handed track. Astrowolf showed up well for a long way and only just faded in the straight. He wasn’t beaten that far in finishing seventh, about 5 ½ lengths behind the winner, and I will be giving him one more run in a similar type of contest before trying to find him a good home as a riding horse. He is a good, sound, happy horse and if anybody is interested, I have got one or two available at present.

DSC_0001
Stephen Wallis (L) and Nick Patton (R) Jockey Club Estates meeting trainers

I see Mr Bittar, the outgoing chief executive of the BHA, was announcing prize money in Britain is breaking records. That is a statistic, it is not the real truth and he still can’t get to the problem of small field sizes, which is so simple. If the prize money is poor and the expenses are high, then people don’t want to run. It is as simple as that. The new incumbents to the BHA have got to listen and take it in what the professionals are telling them and not live in their own gilded cage. 

38_Nesting
A clever pigeon finding shelter in the eaves of the indoor ride

I see two more Australians are facing an enquiry over this cobalt doping scandal. It’s not a surprise to many people in the industry, as we have seen it in athletics which has ruined their sport and cycling has always had a cloud over it. We must, as a worldwide industry, try everything we can do to keep our sport clean of all prohibited drugs. If you can’t train a horse with natural food and a training regime, you should not be in the industry and any bad apples need sorting out as quickly as possible.

 

Off to Kempton today with two

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

"Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life."

John Muir.

     15_Rainbow    06_Rainbow
The rainbow over the yard yesterday

It’s got colder by the minute this morning and now, as we write this, it must be nearer zero than around the four or five degrees it was first lot. I am told it has been snowing in Newbury and the forecast is for snow showers and high winds for the next few days. Maybe winter is on its way. We had a fantastic rainbow yesterday afternoon, just before evening stables, with the rainbow right over us, which I always think is good luck. Anybody reading this that is in the Southern Hemisphere will be smiling to themselves that they are in the right place. Too right they are. I only wish I was on holiday with them. Everything has gone according to plan this morning. We had Jimmy Quinn in, who was on top form, and we did some work around Side Hill polytrack. With a couple of runners today, and some on Friday and Saturday, we are looking forward to a few more good runners to continue our positive start to the season. 

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Comrade Bond loading up for his trip to Kempton

We have two runners today, both at Kempton, in another one of these twilight race days. Comrade Bond is our first runner at 5.10. He ran a sound race last time out at Wolverhampton, over just a bit further than this trip. He is not drawn brilliantly well, but with a bit of luck could get into the frame once again. Astrowolf runs in the next. He wasn’t disgraced last time out over 1m 2f, but he is again, not drawn very well in 11. However, I wouldn’t rule him out of getting into the frame as he has been in top form at home, and I couldn’t have him any better, so with a bit of luck from the draw, he could run with credit today. I see the most expensive race of the day, the £19,000 guaranteed three-year-old conditions race, has only got four runners. They have certainly not abandoned this one and it is one of those 'win and you’re in' races for the all-weather championship for the end of the season. You could have still had this race, but for less prize money and shared it out across the board, but there is nobody with any brains to do this.

32_ex_Four_Miracles_13
Sir Percy ex Four Miracles (Yaz) two-year-old filly

I see William Hill have pulled the plug on their Lincoln Handicap sponsorship at Doncaster, stating the point of consumption tax as the main reason for pulling out. I thought we were all supposed to work together, but straight away a major bookmaker has withdrawn their sponsorship from a very high profile race and I hope this is not the tip of the iceberg for the other bookmakers to follow suit. According to the sponsors association, 50% of all sponsorships come from bookmakers and it would hit the industry hard if more join the bandwagon. Why we can’t all work together I just don’t understand. Let’s hope the new BHA can sort this out to everybody’s satisfaction.

 
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