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We had rain overnight

Friday, 12 May 2017

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

Aristotle.

15_Wet
It is a wet start to the day

There was a drop of rain overnight and it was still drizzling at first lot. It has now started to clear up and with no wind, the temperature is holding up well. The one thing I noticed this morning is that the rain has made the snails come out and I have already saved several from certain death on the walking grounds. We have had a very quiet morning with a long walk and small trot, followed by a steady canter and a good pick of grass. Everything has ticked over well. We have no runners over the weekend and our next runners will be the middle of next week.

78_4.53
Four Fifty Three

The gelding operation went very well yesterday and the said horse is on the walker this morning. He will be ridden tomorrow and resume cantering on Monday. These operations are much easier nowadays and unless you get some infection in the wound, heal up very well. I think the majority of horses are far better off being a gelding as their mind is on racing, rather than other matters and unless they are bred in the purple, will never be thought of as a stallion prospect. I have got my eye on one or two more to be done, especially the two-year-old colts that will be in line for the same procedure during next winter.

81_Rum
Rum Ration

I see Epsom have taken the money and renamed the infield Poundland Hill. I think they could have come up with a better name, even from the same sponsor. Whoever gave the go ahead for this crass name needs some counselling and I am sure Great British Racing will be putting their take on the whole situation. I know we need sponsors in racing, but this to me seems to cheapen our greatest race, and if we can’t find a top quality sponsor for our prized possession, somebody is not doing the job right. I just wonder how much money they are actually getting for it and what they will do with it. As one of the commentators said, you would have thought it was April 1st on hearing the news. 

50_Pick
A pick of grass after exercise

I have been watching ITV from Chester all week and the racing has been excellent, as usual, but everything seems to come over to me from the presenters as very sugary. It is all fantastic this, great that, what a marvellous ride. We had so much boring analysis from the Channel 4 lot and now this seems to have gone the other way. There is nobody with a cutting edge. I was hoping that Jason Weaver might be the one, but he needs to be decisive, not sit on the fence and say what he thinks. I suppose being on ITV4 the viewing figures will be very low and those people watching racing, will be watching it on Racing UK.

93_Snail
A rescued snail

Phil on Friday
02_Phil

Sorry, I just can’t bottle it up any longer. I’m desolate, gloomy, dejected, distressed, despondent, almost without hope.

And the cause of all this despair: that lazy, uninformed, moronic question beloved of so many TV interviewers, ‘How does it feel?’

The final straw came in a cricket commentary of all things. The fatuous, bone-headed, vapid, bland, boring, witless, gormless query was put to Adil Rashid after he had taken five wickets in an England one-day international. My blood pressure went up to such dangerous levels I couldn’t bear to wait for his answer. It might have been ‘I’m over the moon’ or something equally meaningless, but I reckon he’s brighter than that. Shallow questions are always liable to produce shallow answers, though.

What was he expected to say? “I’m really p----- off. It’s been a bad day”?

Lester Piggott had the perfect answer. When his son-in-law William Haggas met him on his release from prison after doing time for tax evasion William asked him: “How was it?”  Lester replied: “Stupid ------g question.” Spot on.

They might just about get away with this sort of thing on Strictly Come Dancing, or news ‘from where you are’  which in itself is particularly annoying, but hopefully those in ITV’s racing  team will maintain their professionalism and continue to rise above it. They are good.

This rant bubbled to the surface during the London Marathon when someone who is probably a first class athlete (she should stick to that) but definitely no communicator repeatedly asked: ‘How does it feel?’ If she had said ‘Do your feet hurt?’ or ‘Do your legs ache?’ we’d probably have become more enlightened.

I could go on and on about this most inept, inadequate, senseless, stupid, brainless, inane, daft, I’m-too-thick-to-think-of-anything-else-to-ask, puerile, vacuous, mindless, worthless, drippy question you would ever want to hear but, while I’m on my high horse ….  I had the misfortune to watch hours of daytime TV last week and counted 28 ‘amazings’ and 35 ‘fantastics’. Sad of me, I know. Where would we be if those two words were removed from the dictionary?

And there’s more: why are TV reporters so often ‘stood’ somewhere when, in fact, they are standing, or ‘sat’ when they are sitting?

Mind you, I couldn’t do the broadcasting job for love or money so perhaps I shouldn’t criticise those who do, and I remain a huge admirer of TV racing commentators in particular. I don’t know how they cope.

But finally, whatever happened to the letter T? We constantly hear things like Brigh-un,

No--ingum, Ca--erick and the wa-er jump.

As I’ve said before I have probably become old and grumpy but this latest outburst has made me feel a  lo-  
be--r. Thanks for letting me get it off my chest, Guvnor.

 

We worked on the Cambridge Road polytrack

Thursday, 11 May 2017

"Climb from the depths of your soul to the heights of your future."

Terri Guillemets.

03_Storm__G66
Astrostorm and Gee Sixty Six

The weather is very similar to yesterday, warm, sunny and no breeze. Let’s hope we get the showers forecast over the weekend. We have had a good morning horse wise, with some fast work being done on the Cambridge Road polytrack at first lot, and second lot we quickened up a few on the Rubbing House strip. All has gone well and without a hitch. Staff are beginning to get settled, although illness, and I must count myself as not feeling too well at present, has hit one or two of the lads.

04_Ginger_Stelle__Dot
Ginger Lady, leading Stellekaya and Dot Green

Once again we were at Chelmsford last night, where Astroshadow got very tired as I knew she would do. She behaved quite well though, walking straight into the stalls and travelled well for a long way. She will come on for this run and I will not be long before getting another run into her. Clearance was the original bad boy and although there were no fillies in sight in his race, he had everything hanging out and his only interest was anything he could jump on. He was then completely stupid at the stalls with his mind on other things. He has been absolutely perfect at home. The first phone call was to the vet this morning and he will be having the appropriate operation on his undercarriage later on today. I think the last horse I had as bad as this was called Mensa, who did very similar things, but once cut, was a revelation and we sold him very well to Hong Kong where he was a champion. Let’s hope the operation will work the oracle with Clearance.

22_H_Firm
Hold Firm

I see the Racecourse Association Chief Executive is singing the praises of the racecourses commitment to prize money and how well they are doing. With the amount of money they are getting from media rights and other incomes, plus the amount of racing they are allowed nowadays, it has become very easy for them to manage this increase. It certainly has not been seen at lower levels and the sooner the Horseman’s Group get a minimum prize money agreement in place, the better. It is still pitiful at many places. I must mention Chelmsford here on a note about prize money as it was unbelievably good last night and it wasn’t all won by the big trainers. It is just a pity there were not more people there to watch the racing.

 
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