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We need to encourage the staying pedigrees

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

"Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart."

Victor Hugo.

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The Guv'nor long reining the Astrodiva two-year-old

We are back to normal this morning as Di has got out of her sickbed and come into work, which is highly commendable, but typical of her. I was listening yesterday on the radio to chat about men having maternity leave and part-time working. I don’t know what this world is coming to but I must stop there as I could go on and on. It was a very wet day yesterday, but today is chalk and cheese with plenty of sunshine and blue sky. It is not cold either and with no wind, it is nearly a perfect morning. Everything is buzzing about the yard with horses cantering, on the walker and being broken in. A typical January morning.

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Going out to exercise 

I was delighted to read Alastair Downs very sensible piece in today’s Racing Post on the closure of Kempton. He has thought it through thoroughly and puts the proposals in a clear way. It is a bit like Brexit, full of opportunity, if only people would see it that way.

I have made the Racing Post today in an article about the all-weather track here at Newmarket which, from a cost point of view, will save everybody so much money. I have mentioned it before but the travelling expenses is one of the biggest items on an owner’s bill and anything we can do to reduce that is a positive. It will be a lifeline for every trainer in Newmarket.

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Topalova on the Hamilton Hill

Angie and I have nearly finished our stallion nominations for the mares this season, but an article in the Racing Post took my eye and without doubt the journalist is right. The commercialism of our industry is killing the staying type of pedigree as everybody wants speed, speed, speed because they can sell their products more easily as the owners want quick returns. The old owner breeders who could give the horse time to mature are a dying breed and so are the stallions as trying to find a British based staying horse at the right price is getting so much more difficult. There are stacks of sprinters and up to a mile, but the ones that genuinely stay a mile and a quarter plus, are in very short supply. I know the TBA (Thoroughbred Breeders Association) are trying with some incentives for horses that are bred on staying lines, either with specially programmed races, or monetary help. We certainly need to do something about it as we will go the way of a lot of racing nations and as the article states, only Japan will be the nation that breeds stayers.