Two runners at Wolverhampton today ...
       wins at Wolverhampton


They are all on the mend

Thursday, 13 November 2014

"Action will remove the doubts that theory cannot solve."

Tehyi Hsieh.

Astrowolf (Jimmy Quinn)

It’s a damp, cold morning with quite a bit of wind out on the heath, which makes it much cooler. First lot have been having a breeze up the Warren Hill polytrack and the rest have just stayed in the indoor ride doing good winter work. All the temperatures have settled down well and there is no coughing. We had a loose one in there yesterday which is a good sign of them recovering.

Blue Bounty (Reece) breezing in the blinkers he will be wearing in his race tomorrow

Angie and I visited a stud farm in Norfolk yesterday. It’s run by two sisters and is where I will be giving a few of the horses a rest in the near future. A break away from training, in at night, turned out during the day, if the weather is ok, for a month to six weeks at this time of year can do them the power of good, especially the fillies. We will be sending a few there in the next few weeks.

The new surface in the indoor ride

Owners often ask what difference all these added headgear types do for horses, ie blinkers, visor, hood, cheek pieces etc can do to improve horses, or not. In America blinkers are  worn by the majority of horses and it is amazing how many two-year-olds wear them first time out. They will tell you it is to make them concentrate and I think when you are working on the same track you are running on it may be true. I use these additions sparingly and it is for the same reason, just to get their mind concentrated on the job in hand. Blue Bounty will wear a set of blinkers for the first time tomorrow and it will be interesting to see how he performs in them. Sometimes they work sometimes they don’t. 


A busy week of meetings

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

"Next to excellence is the appreciation of it."

William Makepeace.

Comrade Bond (Sophie) out cantering

It’s overcast this morning and we have had some showers overnight. The forecast is for it to get wet and windy, but as yet it has not arrived. Cantering up Long Hill polytrack has been first lots exercise and the rest are having good healthy winter work. We are starting to get the yearlings in to be broken and the ones we have so far are all doing very well. We will be getting the majority of them going in the next few weeks.

Singing Hinnie (Abbie) and Toptempo (Yaz)

I have had a very interesting couple of afternoon meetings this week. One was the National Trainers’ Federation meeting, eastern division, and yesterday was the heath committee, which consults on the gallop improvements. The first meeting was interesting as we discussed, amongst other things, pensions, the new BHA chief executive and what happens to the money which the BHA offshoot is trying to get from the Racing Post for data rights. All very interesting. Yesterdays meeting was also informative and I think we got somewhere. We want to try and make more space at the bottom of Warren and Long Hills, which is the busiest part of town. A reconstruction will be taking place over the next few months, which I am sure will be a big help. You always have to try and look at the bigger picture, not the short term, so we are going to plant plenty of hedges which will make it much more pleasant to look at, especially at the start of all the canters. Rather than white rails everywhere, there will be nice green privet hedges. In the 30 years I have been in Newmarket we have done so much on the heath and it is undoubtedly the best place in the world to train racehorses and will only continue to get better.


There is an interesting piece in the Post today which we didn’t talk about at our meeting and it may just have come out of the blue yesterday. The BHA has announced it has given itself the power to appeal any disciplinary decisions. This is all shrouded in smoke and windows and is very expensive to go to appeal. Whether you are a jockey, trainer or owner, you can possibly get help with your first inquiry, but if going to appeal the cost aren’t met. Just why the BHA has done this will hopefully be clearer in time, but it looks to me like another slight of hand.


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