Wednesday, 11 January 2017
"True love stories never have endings."
Jumping off at the start of the gallop
It’s still mild and we haven’t as yet got the wind that is hitting the north of England at present. I have just heard on the radio that snow is forecast quite heavily tomorrow across the south of England as a band of rain comes in and hits the cold air. We have had a busy morning as usual with most of the horses using Hamilton Hill and everything has gone smoothly.
Cantering on Hamilton Hill
There were two big announcements yesterday. The one by the Jockey Club is a great credit as they are seeing the bigger picture and seeing to the future. Newmarket has been crying out for an all-weather track for a long time as there are over 3,000 horses in training and it is still growing. The major cost to owners is the transport and travelling costs and this new track will be a godsend to every trainer, big and small. There will also be major investments in many of the other Jockey Club owned racecourses and an injection into prize money, plus welfare affairs both for humans and horses. I can only see the upside from this announcement. It is very much in the long term interest of our sport and I can’t wait for it to happen.
The other was at Chelmsford where plans for a casino and a new stand, plus a turf track have been announced. This track has been very popular with Newmarket trainers, in fact all trainers as the prize money has been marvellous. These new developments can only make it even better and I don’t think the planned Newmarket track will hit it at all. It will actually be the nearest track to the southern based trainers of Epsom and Lambourn. My opinion has always been in the past 20 years that 60% of all racing will be on the all-weather and I don’t think I will be far off with my prediction.
Back into the yard after exercise
There is a standoff at the moment with the betting shops not showing any pictures, which to me seems absolutely barmy and the standoff must get sorted out. Mind you I used to love the old betting shops with the blower and the man with the chalk, it made for plenty of atmosphere and chat. I have had many good days in smoke filled shops waiting with great excitement to hear your horse mentioned as it hit the front, and many of us will remember the chalk man throwing his chalk down in disgust as his choice got nailed on the line.
Time to feed