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We have two runners today at Wolverhampton

Tuesday, 05 December 2017

"Who then can so softly bind up the wound of another as he who has felt the same wound himself."

Thomas Jefferson.

01_HH
On Hamilton Hill

It is not cold this morning, in fact it is relatively mild with no wind. This is the lull before the storm though as the forecast is for it to get considerably colder from Thursday onwards. We are very busy in the yard now that all the new yearlings are in and Tim is getting cracking with the breaking. It is amazing how they soon take to the tack and we will be riding the fillies that came in 10 days ago towards the end of the week. The last lot, which arrived yesterday, will start on the walker and in the lunge pit. They will all get clipped and have rugs on them, which I think is like having a new school uniform. Staff are still very thin on the ground with three injured, all with very minor problems, but the youth of today seem to think if they break a fingernail, they can have a week off work. Our old head lad at Phantom House, when I was pupil to Ryan Jarvis, rode out with a plaster cast on his leg after he broke his ankle. What a man, they don’t make them like him anymore. The riders I have in though are doing a sterling job and the horses are getting a really good exercise. We have got a couple of new people arriving at the end of the month, so the future looks a lot brighter, especially if the sick and sorry drag themselves back into the fold.

06_Lunge_pit
Dunaden ex Astrodiva in the lunge pit

We have two runners today, both at Wolverhampton. Astroblaze is our first runner at 2.10. She was very disappointing at Newmarket but this is slightly different, although there are at least five in here which will be above average. She is a little bit tricky to get on at times, but I am sure she will perform better than last time. Lost The Moon is in the next race, the two mile handicap. She is drawn once again on the outside, which is so annoying, and we will have to drop her in. She has run reasonably well here in the past and I am sure she could get competitive today, if getting some luck in running.

     03_Vista     05_Melo
Two of the new intake (L) Velvet Vista and (R) Melo Pearl

I see another trainer got fined for a positive test and we are all going to have to take as many measures as we can do to stop any human medicine cross contaminating into our racehorses. The testing system nowadays is very sensitive and can show up any little deviation, but with the amount of racing we have and the turnover of staff in all the yards, it is very hard to keep on top of what medication staff are taking and what they are doing at all times. You can only put up so many signs and tell them every single day not to drink energy drinks in the stable etc., but how do you control racecourse staff that are also mucking out the boxes. Today we have jumping at Lingfield and tomorrow I am in the 11.40, also at Lingfield. This means the boxes have got to be mucked out from 3.30 onwards after the last there today. How can you guarantee that a) they have been mucked out properly, b) they have been disinfected, and c) the paper bedding they use is uncontaminated? It is impossible. We are really starting to get into that zone of barminess.

 

The Supermoon shines over Newmarket

Monday, 04 December 2017

"The explanation is always longer when there isn’t any."

Robert Brault.

19_Supermoon
The Supermoon

It’s a clear bright morning with a supermoon shining down on us at first lot and it has certainly got colder as the light has come up. It has been an exciting morning already with a loose one which proceeded to run about until we managed to catch it. The staff count of riders is still not very good, but we are managing to get everything out that needs to. Hamilton Hill has been the cantering ground mainly used. We will start having some runners again this week, with two tomorrow, one on Wednesday and then possibly some on Friday.

16_Max__Malcolm
Max and Malcolm in the yard on Saturday looking at their horse with Tim

08_Peacock
The peacock looking very regal on the roof

The foal sale finished on Saturday with everything increasing the turnover and average, but the median stayed pretty similar. It was an exceptionally strong trade once again and it will be fascinating to see where the top price ones turn up next year, whether they will return to the sales ring for resale, or be kept for private sale. The sales ring is really where all the action is nowadays and nobody seems to be able to get a handle on what happens, but certainly big money is spent and turned over. It is the start of the mare’s sale today with several very high profile ones being sold and I am sure this sale will be just as strong as last week.

21_Ex_Trew_Class_16
Epaulette ex Trew Class yearling filly learning the ropes

The last of the homebred yearlings will be coming into the yard this morning, which means we can start to get the stables all sorted out and to where everything will stand for the coming year. These last three look very nice ones, strong and attractive. I am sure they will add considerably to the good intake we have already got and Tim will soon be getting on with the breaking process. David and the staff at the stud have already been handling them well, leading wise and bits in their mouths, so this next move doesn’t come as too big a shock.

 
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