The Grand National viewing figures are still disappointing ...

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When will this rain ever stop

Thursday, 12 April 2018

"Accept the things to which fate binds you and love the people with whom fate brings you together, and do so with all your heart."

Marcus Aurelius.

Ttmab cantering up Hamilton Hill

It’s still raining, in fact thundering down on the hut this morning. It is misty, cold and I just don’t know when it is going to stop as the sky is still full. All in bar one this morning and the horses have been getting out well, but a good spell of warm weather would be very much appreciated by everybody. It is just getting beyond a joke now, even Warren Hill turf is shut as the ground is so wet and it is becoming a ploughed field. There are also a lot of race meetings off, so thank goodness for the all-weather tracks which are keeping us going, although they continue to have such late finishes.

Indian Red in the mist and murk

Four Fifty Three evidently didn’t stay last night but from his bad draw Silvestre had to use him up and was pretty wide most of the way. It may turn out to be a useful race though and there should be plenty of future winners come from it. I will wait now until we get some good ground turf to run him again. The staff said there was hardly anybody there last night and they got back way past midnight, which is ridiculous, but the BHA don’t seem to take any notice of the participants or think of the staff. These evening meetings where nobody attends are purely for the computer punters who are supposedly keeping our industry afloat.

Gregorian ex Topaling filly foal

After Tuesday night’s foal we had another one yesterday afternoon when Topaling gave birth to her first foal, a filly by Gregorian. She didn’t know what was happening really, but once she started to push, the foal soon popped out and was up and sucking in not too long a time. You are always wary of maiden foalers, but she has turned out to be a good mother and loves her foal. It is a marvellous family all stemming back to Topatori, who was Michael and mother Bowring’s foundation mare. This line has bred nothing but winners ever since.


It is the start of the Grand National meeting today, which is hopefully going to be on ground better than heavy. In fact I see they are calling it soft, good to soft on the Mildmay course but we will have to wait and see what the jockeys say after riding on it. If they have had any of the rain that we have had it will certainly be on the slow side. It is a great few days though and the atmosphere will be electric, especially on Saturday when the most famous race in the world is run. I was born on Grand National day and have always wanted a runner in it, but as yet I have not had anything near. I must thank everybody for all the cards and presents I got for my birthday last weekend, very much appreciated.

Richard and I are in battle once again in the tipping competition and our thoughts are below. The stake is a £10 win on each race.


1.45  Brain Power     2.20  Cristal Icon     2.50  Double Shuffle     3.25  Supasundae     4.05  Grand Vision     4.40  Bun Doran     5.05  Gataway Katie Mai


1.45  Brain Power     2.20  We Have A Dream     2.50  Bristol De Mai     3.25  Cyrus Darius     4.05  Grand Vision     4.40  Theinval     5.05  Buildmeupbuttercup


We have one runner tonight at Kempton

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

"When our relatives are at home, we have to think of all their good points or it would be impossible to endure them."

George Bernard Shaw.

Roof Garden and Isaac Murphy

It’s another wet, miserable morning and I just don’t know when it is going to stop. It has been pounding down since first light and the sky still seems full. It is pretty depressing for everybody as this weather always keeps the spirit in check and I can’t wait for it to get warmer which will certainly do everybody the power of good. We have two non-runners this morning but the ones that are in are doing a good job and the horses are getting a proper exercise. A good couple of canters and then a good wash off in the wash box to get all the mud and polytrack off their legs. It is a lot easier to do the horses at night when they have been done well in the mornings and I have been trying to press on how team work is imperative. If everybody pulls together both mornings and evenings, the yard will tick over perfectly.

Walking back after exercise

We have one runner tonight at Kempton. We are now in the 8.45 which seems ridiculously late and means another way after midnight homecoming. It is the same for everybody though and I just wish sometimes the BHA would spend time with our travelling staff to see how hard they all work. They would then put the last race at any track at 8 o’clock, which just about gives them chance to be home in a day. Four Fifty Three runs in the one mile three furlong handicap. He is drawn once again at Heathrow Airport (how many bad draws have we had lately), but his form is solid. He has the champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa on board and he must have a chance of not being far away tonight.

Velvet Vision

Another foal arrived last night. Tenpence had a filly by Sixties Icon just before 11 o’clock. All went well and she was soon up and sucking. There are only three to go now with two overdue and one not until the end of April. It has been a good season with some cracking foals. It is amazing how time goes past so quickly as we are now getting a lot of the mares back in foal who were the early foalers. It looks like we will be covering around 18 mares this year, which is quite a number.

Tenpence with her Sixties Icon filly foal

The Grand National meeting starts tomorrow so Richard and I will be in competition once again trying to give you the winners. Our efforts at Cheltenham were pretty poor to put it nicely and we will be burning the midnight oil hoping to find you some good price winners this week. Unfortunately the ground is going to be very soft. Heavy is in the description which will make it very testing for the horses and let’s hope common sense prevails with the jockeys and we don’t get whip bans and incidents. It is a great meeting with the build up to the National on Saturday tremendous. There are big hopes this year that the winner could be a lady jockey with at least 3 taking part, but with 40 runners on heavy ground, the best bet will maybe be the spread that there are only 10-12 finishers.


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