Make the most of the weather today, it's set to change ...


One runner today at Chelmsford City

Thursday, 16 April 2015

"Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul."

W. Somerset Maugham.

Astromajor (Sophie), Mr Turner (Leon), Star Commander (Niall) 

and Swilken (Joe)

It’s another very sunny, warm morning with plenty of visitors, with it being Newmarket races. Peter Sakal called in to see his filly, Legal Art, at second lot and Harry Coldbeck and Marion called in to see Blue Bounty canter after breakfast.  I am sure they are all pleased with what they saw. The horses have all settled in really well at Frankland Lodge, but the main thing is the sunshine - it always does everybody so much good, horses and people. Everything has been cantering on the polytracks over racecourse side and although we didn’t do anything serious this morning, they all moved well and with zest.

Singing Hinnie (Frankie) and Humphry Repton (Reece)

We have one runner tonight at Chelmsford City. Topamichi runs in the 6.20. He is a course & distance winner and seems to like the track at Chelmsford. There is still a disappointing turn out across the card though, and for the prize money that is on offer you would have expected more runners. I think it must be the surface, which is certainly in need of refurbishment and the quicker the track sorts this out the better. It doesn’t seem to bother Topamichi though and although he has gone up the weights, he must still have a chance if things fall in place for him tonight.


The starting price system has hit the spotlight this week with the huge overround on the National which prompted one of the racecourse bookmakers to claim the starting price system was broken and open to manipulation by the big bookmakers. Now this sort of thing always baffles me and I can never quite get my head round what is happening, but I think with the new technology and most people now betting on their phones and computers and not on the racecourse proper, it reads to me like things have not changed with the times and it is very much in favour of the bigger bookmakers and the SP system is now flawed. The BHA are starting a probe into this and looking at the regulators. I suppose it is a bit similar to the banking system which went wild 10 years ago and nearly brought the country to its knees. Let’s hope we can quickly get things back on track. 

Peter Sakal and friends at second lot


Another glorious day

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

"It is important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle."


Prayer Time (Veronika)

The temperature is rising fast this morning and the forecasters tell us it will be the warmest day of the year so far. There is a slight breeze out on the heath and the horses have worn sheets for the first two lots, but I am sure by midday it will be very hot. Most of the horses have been out and cantered on Hamilton Hill and although we had a loose one, it was quickly caught and there was no harm done. Using different canters is like going on holiday, it does everybody good and it will be interesting to see what happens when we have a few runners from Frankland Lodge.

Star Commander

It’s the Craven meeting at Newmarket today, with the European Free Handicap and the Nell Gwyn, plus the Feilden stakes and some informative maidens. You can very easily get disappointed at this time of year as you can have high hopes for your horse, only for them to be dashed when they get beaten. You should not take it to heart though as usually everybody is running their best horses and the form will work out. When you look back later in the year, to finish third or fourth to a Classic or Group winner is not too bad. I commented yesterday on the TBA’s thinking on staying horses and how to keep them in this country. I re-read it yesterday and was amazed to see it said the flat season starts in two days time, ie, the Craven meeting. Are they using the same PR people that Great British racing use. I am very disappointed that there has not been a bigger outcry against this mad idea about the jockey and owners championship but I suppose we are all now very cynical about how we are run and that nothing much can be done by complaining. In a few years time it will all be forgotten. The people who have suggested it will have moved on to even higher salaries and other jobs and the racing world will just continue as it is, but maybe we will have some more lunatics in the asylum.

     Ex_Lady_Bellatrix_15     Ex_Seasonal_Blossom_15
         Excelebration ex Lady Bellatrix foal                    Makfi ex Seasonal Blossom foal

It is the breeze-up sales today and tomorrow. The sales start in the evening after racing and they were breezing the horses in front of the racecourse yesterday. I went up to see a few yesterday afternoon and came away with the impression that they weren’t a great bunch. I think the strength of the yearling sales last year was such that the breeze-up boys were taking away the lesser examples of what could be bought. It will be very interesting to see how the sales go. I suspect a lot won’t get sold. There is always one or two that do well and the art of sales is to pick those at the right price.


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