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The last of the weaning is taking place this week

Monday, 19 September 2016

"You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler."

Denis Waitley.

Bracken Brae


There was plenty of rain at the start of the weekend and the temperature has gradually come down throughout. This morning has an autumn feel about it, being on the damp side, but there is no wind and the temperature is about normal for this time of year. We have been cantering on the Rubbing House polytrack and all has gone well so far. We scoped three on Saturday with two going into the lab for analysis, but as yet the results have not come back. We certainly haven’t heard anything coughing this morning and they are all eating very well, but you can never tell until the blood and scope are clean.

Sweeping Beauty

As I said on Friday the Ayr Gold Cup would be decided by the draw and all three divisions of the big races were won by horses drawn in the first ten. It is amazing how a straight course can be affected by the draw and it is the one thing convincing owners after the Silver Cup that their horse has no chance at all if drawn high. It is purely the luck of the draw, but on Saturday I think the best horse did win, on form anyway. The two main factors when you have your horse spot on to win a race are ground and draw. Sometimes you can overcome one, but you usually can’t overcome both. The best of plans can go awry with twenty minutes to go if the heavens open, but you usually know your fate at the 48 hour stage with the draw.

Regal Galaxy

We are starting the last of the weaning this week with the remaining three or four mares being weaned from their foals. All the groups will then be left to settle before the next move, with the mares coming into the foaling area and the weanlings being put in separate fields of colts and fillies and in groups that get on. Observation is a crucial part of any horsemans job and although it requires time, it is a most important area. You certainly want the groups to get on and friends should stick together.


The Ayr Gold Cup will take place this weekend

Friday, 16 September 2016

"The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder."

Ralph W. Sockman.

Sant'Elia, Regal Galaxy and Lost The Moon

There were many flashes of lightening as I came into town this morning, but they were far in the horizon and as yet we have had no rain. I have been chasing everybody to get them out each lot before it finally arrives and I don’t think it will be long before it starts pouring down. It is supposed to be here all day and it will do some good, especially to the gallops and for the stud. Talking about the stud, we had another big branch down overnight on a 300 year old beech. It is the third big fall this year and I think it must be a combination of the wet and the heat that are affecting the old trees. It's God pruning, an old woodman once told me, and I think he is about right. It is amazing how nature works. It just means a lot of work for Ryan, our maintenance man, to clear up. His chainsaw has been unbelievably busy this year. I have worked horses on the Watered Gallop this morning and we should be having several runners next week.

Desert River and Dot Green

Permera ran quite well last night to finish fourth. It was an unbelievably slowly run race, 14 seconds over standard, and it didn’t really suit, but I think she ran up to her mark and we will try her over further this autumn / winter. Harry Bentley reported that she is sure to win and she should drop a couple of pounds for this run. The temperature last night was 30 degrees when we got there and then dropped to 27 later on. She was quite warm beforehand, like they all were, and she was a bit wobbly after the race. I must congratulate the racecourse and BHA vets who were brilliant in helping to put great quantities of water on her to get her cooled down as quickly as possible. She travelled home well and ate up overnight, so should be ok to resume racing in a couple of weeks.

Cooling down after exercise

I see in Tom Kerr’s column in the Racing Post this morning he is writing about how hard it is for the ordinary jockeys to make a living and how hard they all work. He mentioned Dougie Costello, who was the jockey who drove to Yarmouth and back just to have an abandoned race, will have lost on the day, but that happens all the time. Tom doesn’t come up with any remedies for the situation for how hard, not just jockeys work, but everybody in racing, just to keep their heads above water. The answer is prize money. If the prize money was much better, which it should be, it would be spread around much more and all the hard work people put in would be rewarded across the board. I have said it before and I will say it again, in the premiership it is the players who make the most money, in the acting profession it is the actors, but in the racing industry it is the racecourses that are coming out best. It doesn’t go to the people who put on the show, which to my way of thinking is completely wrong.

Astrowizard leading the way home

It is the Ayr Gold Cup this weekend at the western meeting at Ayr. There will be a massive crowd as usual and the draw will once again play a major part, especially when the ground is soft. It is disappointing that the Newbury Duty Free meeting is on the same day as the crowd used to love seeing the top jockeys, but most of them now stay in the south and go to Newbury. It is also Newmarket and Catterick, so there are plenty of other distractions and it is sad to see a very famous race, with an enthusiastic public, not being able to see the best on show, but that is race planning for you.


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