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I am definitely on my soapbox today ....

What a perfect day

Friday, 26 May 2017

"Any man who followed the advice of his jockey is sure to be ruined."

Admiral Rous.

05_Lost__Voice
Lost The Moon and Velvet Voice at first lot

Today is probably the nicest day of the week as we have a slight breeze, which is keeping the temperatures perfect. I have galloped the first two lots of horses on the Watered Gallop, which was riding absolutely spot on this morning. I had a meeting with all the riders in the tack room before first lot, explaining where we were going, what we were going to do, i.e. how far, at what speed, and what we were trying to achieve with each horse. I think it sunk in and if we can maintain the improvement, it will benefit everybody. We have one more rider joining us next week and then we will have a very balanced team. It has taken me a while this year to find the right personnel, and let’s hope we can all stick together as the results will surely come if we do. The ground staff keep the beds clean and disinfected and the yard in pristine condition. It is much better to work in a clean, organised environment in every business.

10_Indian_Bracken_Stelle
Ginger Lady and Sandwood Bay on the Watered Gallop

Hold Firm didn’t get the best of luck last night only being beaten just over three lengths. Not having Gabriele claiming 7lb certainly made a big difference between being in the first three and finishing fifth.

Gee Sixty Six behaved impeccably and the bit and cross noseband got him relaxed and not pulling. He made up considerable ground in the straight to finish really well and over much more distance of ground, he will be more competitive and improve considerably in the not too distant future.

We won’t be having any runners this weekend but we will be starting in earnest from Monday.

05_Ginger__Sandwood
Indian Red leading Bracken Brae and Stellekaya at second lot

It makes interesting reading when you see that the bookmakers have increased their revenue enormously in the betting shops to £1.8 billion. It just goes to show how much these machines make and they wouldn’t have them without the betting shops being open. We then get the Racecourse Association chairman saying she is worried about the drop that could happen in media right payments and how it could affect prize money in the future. Why do we pamper to the bookmarkers when they are making these huge profits. There needs to be a stand somewhere just to get us on a level playing field. She also states that they want to improve the image of racing and make it more popular with the public and as a betting medium. I don’t know how she thinks she will make it more popular as it is the second most watched sport after football, and as for betting, whatever the bookmakers tell you, horseracing is by far and away the biggest earner for them.

44_Wash_Down
Time for a cooling wash down

Tom Kerr has three interesting articles in his piece this week, one about the Too Many Diamonds affair, one about how the disciplinary system for the professionals in racing should be decided in the disciplinary meeting, rather than on public opinion, and the most interesting on the problem of the growing of inequality of racehorse owners. All three interesting pieces and thought provoking.

Phil on Friday
02_Phil

There’s just eight days to go to the Derby and, after last week’s romantic story of Signorinetta, we’re now plumbing the depths of dishonour. The greatest Derby scandal of all was probably that of 1844. The race was won by ‘Running Rein’, who was actually a four-year-old called Maccabeus.

The brain behind the plot was the owner of the horse, inappropriately named Mr. Goodman.

When the colt won a race at Newmarket the previous year there was considerable suspicion about his age, and in the approach to the Derby itself the Epsom stewards were made well aware of these misgivings, but it was decided any inquiry would be more appropriate after the race had been run. Surprisingly, although ‘Running Rein’ was openly suspected of being over-age, he was allowed to start at 10-1. He won easily.

Colonel Peel, who owned the second, Orlando, immediately lodged an objection, but all the ‘Running Rein’ connections were reported to have “gone home.”

There was chaos in the betting ring and eventually the matter came to court. It is thought the unfortunate Maccabeus was beheaded to prevent his age being determined by his teeth, and was buried on a Northamptonshire farm which his ghost is said to haunt to this day. Certainly the owner could not produce ‘Running Rein’, so the stakes were awarded to Colonel Peel.

That was not the end of the scandal, however. Running in the same race was a five-year-old, known as Leander. Incredibly he fell on Tattenham Hill and broke a leg.

There was even more infamy in this most remarkable Derby. Lord George Bentinck, hugely influential on the Turf at that time, backed a horse called Ratan for a considerable sum, but subsequently noticed there was a marked tendency in the ring to lay against his fancy. The horse ran appallingly. It later transpired that Sam Rogers, who rode Ratan, had laid £10,000 to £1,000 against his own mount and had been backing The Ugly Buck, which was favourite. He lost those bets, and his licence – he was banned for three years.