My Guardian Angel runs at Plumpton on Sunday ....


A nice pick of grass today

Wednesday, 09 April 2014

"A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn."



It’s a glorious morning with very little wind. We have just had a very quiet cantering morning after yesterdays work day. A steady canter with a quiet walk back and a good pick of grass in the yard, has been the order of the day. We have got plenty more staff, which I am delighted with, and I can really start to plan ahead. Hopefully we will be having some runners in the not too distant future.


My comments yesterday about ‘am I missing something on the government’s crackdown on gambling?’ are the same today. I see the Jockey Club Racecourse Chief Simon Bazalgette, has warned against the Prime Ministers ideas. I still don’t understand their thinking, as we are just starting to get on top of this situation. The bookmakers are on the back foot, which means we must be in a strong position to negotiate more prize money. This to me is the whole life blood of the industry. We have a minority of owners at the top, who have very little interest in the prize money situation and race for the glory and prestige, but for the majority of owners, and to encourage new ones to come into the game, we must have a huge rise in the prize money in the middle to bottom races. I will be watching this situation with interest.

Having a nice pick of grass

It’s great to see a new handicap being introduced on Champions Day. It will be the riches mile handicap in Europe, but it is at the expense of the apprentice race. If we are to encourage the next generation of jockeys, it is a disappointment for it to be dropped. I wish Great British racing could get their act together and work with the BHA to form a series of apprentice races, and conditional races for that matter, which would mean something. The English apprentice system isn’t producing the jockeys of tomorrow. Something needs to be done about it.


There is a real chill in the air

Tuesday, 08 April 2014

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

Mother Teresa.


It’s a bright morning with plenty of sunshine but, and there is always a but, there is a very strong cold wind which is whipping across the heath, causing a real chill factor. You need a good coat on to keep warm. We have had a busy morning with plenty of staff in for a change, and the horse have been doing some fast work on the Bury Side of town. We have also started to educate the two-year-olds by getting them to go up alongsides, which they seem to be enjoying and progressing well. The next job will be to get them all in the starting stalls. I think we will have a morning next week when we can get them all through. We usually treat this as a fun day for them so they don’t associate the stalls with any stress.

Walking home

I may be missing something, but I thought bookmaker’s shops were where people went to have a bet on the horses or the dogs, but our BHA chairman seems to think that the government tax rise on the machines will damage racing. I just can’t for the life of me believe what I am reading today. For once the government is on our side. They are endeavouring to claw back some money from overseas bookmakers, from point of consumption tax and the increase in machine tax. However, our BHA leader is siding with the bookmakers, who are now bleating that betting shops will close in great numbers if this tax is brought in. The only way racing will thrive, and we have been on a downward spiral for a long time now, is if we get the right amount of finance, which will boost the prize money and encourage owners into the sport. Our leaders must realise this and not be on the side of the bookies. We can work together for everybody’s benefit. It has been so one sided for so long. It now needs a level playing field, and instead of all the money going one way, we must get some back into our industry.

Walking in the in door school

Thank you for everybody who sent me messages and cards for my birthday. They are all very much appreciated and I had a great day.


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