Onwards and upwards ...

A damp start to the morning

Thursday, 14 October 2010



Ted Spread leads the string around the indoor ride

"A smile of encouragement at the right moment may act like sunlight on a closed-up flower; it may be the turning point for a struggling life."

 - Anonymous


Smokey Oakey (Butch), Ted Spread (Colin) and Akula (Ashley)

A damp start to the morning and the forecast is like this for the next couple of days. It is also getting quite raw and thank goodness there is no wind, as that would make it feel even colder. The mornings are also getting pretty dark when we pull out first lot. Why do we moan about sunshine and fast ground!


Forgotten Army (Abby) and Edward Whymper (Wajid)

Our runners yesterday were all a bit disappointing but there are mitigating circumstances, especially at Uttoxeter, where the ground was horrible. We, all in the profession, go on about clerks of the courses and the honesty of their going reports. Well, when Iain, my travelling head lad, arrived there yesterday just after nine, having left at half past six - in the professional way we run the yard - he found the ground was soft with his stick going in eight to ten inches. Now, if that is anywhere near good, good-to-soft ground, then I am a Sheffield United supporter: it was boggy, holding horrible ground, which is what he should have called it. He got everybody there under false pretences and to cap it all the canteen was not open until gone ten, so anybody doing the job properly, having travelled a long way, could not even get a cup of tea until then. I used to write to Stan Clarke a lot when he was alive and in charge of Northern Racing. He was a marvellous man, who always relplied to me personally by phone, always took my comments in the manner they were meant and always acted on them accordingly - oh, for a man like Stan. He understood that without horses, paid for by the owners, there would be no racing. The young managers of today would have learnt a lot from him.
Consequently, both mine at Uttoxeter got bogged down in the ground and we willl not be visiting there again until matters improve. At Wetherby, which is a well-run track, the ground has improved since the problems last year. Our horses made one or two mistakes but will have learnt considerably from the experience and I think Astroleo certainly has a future in this sphere.


Astrolibra (Little Abby), Mystery star (Maria) and Dazinski (Steve)

We have been busy at the sales all week and, with my team of Angie and Neil, have got round a tremendous amount of horses. We have acquired six so far and they will be going up on the website in the near future. They are a great bunch and all vary in price, so keep an eye out for them


Walking home in the drizzle

We have one runner today and one on Friday. Cornish Quest, who runs at Brighton in the 3.00 pm race, has never run a bad race and has had some terrible draws but he has a bit better one today and he should be on the premises again. At Newmarket tomorrow, Old Boy Ted, who runs in the 2.20 pm race, had not got a clue first time and will know more this time but he is a big, scopey colt who, I think, will make up into a lovely horse next year.