Monday, 23 January 2017
"Not all those who wander are lost."
Cantering on Hamilton Hill
It’s a cold morning and has certainly got much colder as the light has come up once again. At 5.30 it wasn’t too bad but by 9 o’clock it has dropped two or three degrees and we have got a slight touch of freezing fog. Everybody is working well and the horses are getting a good exercise. We have been on the Rubbing House polytrack and Hamilton Hill.
L - Four Fifty Three and R- Rum Ration
We have one runner today where Hold Firm runs in the 5.30 at Wolverhampton. He is top weight in this and must have a sound chance of being involved. As we know he has been very unlucky the last three times he has run and the last time was even worse when his rein broke and he took off too early and just failed to get home. Hopefully things will go more smoothly today and I certainly don’t think he will be too far off in this type of race.
The Kempton Park fallout goes on with three big pieces on it today in the Racing Post. Everybody has their own opinions but I think the one that Bill Barber wrote, who is the industry editor, is the most sensible. It points out the pros of what the Jockey Club are hoping to do and, as I keep saying, we can’t be looking short term we have to be looking to the long term. Lee Mottershead on the other hand seems to think everybody has a blinkered view in Newmarket and are self-centred, plus he thinks when I say everybody, it is an interesting interpretation of the word. We all as trainers appreciate how this development would affect our fellow trainers in Epsom, Lambourn and further beyond, but times are changing. The staff situation is changing and it is not just changing slowly, it is changing quickly. Costs are escalating and new owners are thin on the ground. In a few years’ time our industry will be even more centralised and the Jockey Club understand this, but with the majority of flat horses in the country trained in Newmarket, it makes so much sense to have an all-weather racecourse based in town. There may be plans afoot in the future for an all-weather surface to spring up nearer to Lambourn, what about the inside of Newbury for example. They have done it at two tracks in France, Deauville and Chantilly, why not Newbury? With all the housing development it wouldn’t have cost that much to have put one there. It is always going to be contentious, but forward thinking, not short termism is what is needed.