Onwards and upwards ...

A very dark and cold morning...

Friday, 22 October 2010


Smokey Oakey (Ashley) and Marvo (Colin Bolger) flying the hurdle

"Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no delay, no procrastination; never put off till tomorrow what you can do today."

 - Lord Chesterfield


Miss Wendy (Colin Bolger) and Astrovenus (Mattie Bachelor) both jumping beautifully

A very dark and cold morning, especially at 5.30 am and I was meeting the jump jockeys at 7.15 am at the Links schooling grounds with several horses. It was too dark to school until at least 7.30 am but the ground was in great condition and it was a bit like Piccadilly Circus there this morning, as a lot of the jockeys were stopping off on their way to ride at Fakenham. We have fantastic facilities for schooling horses at Newmarket, which is a fact that is very rarely pushed. The hurdles and fences are all top class, the jumping lanes and loose school are available to everybody and I would expect several more trainers to give it a go this year. We will be running a few more and let's hope I can find another one as good as Halkopous or Staunch Friend, who won so many top races between them.  


Miss Wendy and Astrovenus really attack the next hurdle

Four runners today, two at Doncaster on the flat and two over hurdles at Fakenham. We will start at Doncaster, where Omokoroa runs in the mile and six furlong handicap at 4.30 pm; he has been a model of consistency this year and has been unbelievably unlucky not to have won, as everybody knows. The trip will suit and so will the ground, he is still in good form at home, he also has a new jockey in Michael Hills, so is sure to not be far away. He goes to the Horses-in-Training sale next week to dissolve a partnership and would come highly recommended as a hurdler. I have tried to persuade the owners to keep him as a hurdler but they prefer the flat. Our next runner is Astrodonna in the 5.35  pm race, which is a European apprentice race for pupils who have gone through their academies. I have drawn an Italian, who I am told has ridden twenty winners but speaks little English; even though there is an interpreter with him I think I could do with Frankie Dettori to do the translating. I have come up with a plan to show him where he should be at every furlong marker and the finish. I feel like one of those assistant managers at a Premier football match, drawing pictures on a board to show their players what to do when they are substituted. I wonder what picture I will draw if he rides a cobblers (if anybody knows any good Italian words text me now). 


Ted Spread has the finishing touches put to his preparation before the St Simon Stakes tomorrow

Our jump runners are at Fakenham, where Astrolibra runs in the two and an half mile novice hurdle at 3.10 pm and, although she ran moderately last time, I am sure the reason for that was that she was going right- handed, so back on a left-handed track today she is sure to be thereabouts. Kinsya runs later on in the two mile handicap hurdle at 4.20 pm. He has only had three runs and has always run with credit; he jumps well, will like the ground and has run well at this track before, so is another that should run well.


Dictate (Ashley) and Colzium (Maria)

I must comment on the Wayne Rooney saga and how it seems to me that money is at the root of this problem. There must be a wages' cap on the Premiership players as soon as possible. Let them have a bonus clause for playing and winning things but how so many of these moderate players are paid such money for very little is beyond the comprehension of normal people. As I see it, the managers have no control over the players and they are purely playing for the money - it wouldn't matter to them which club it was. The sooner the rule that home-grown players make up the majority of the team the better and, I am sure, that every like-minded football supporter in this country would agree with me. 


Astroleo (Abbi), Five Hearts (Dan) and Battery Power (Nikki)