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The Grand National viewing figures are still disappointing ...

The weather is on the change

Thursday, 08 March 2018

"We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse."

Rudyard Kipling.

18_1st_lot
First lot on Hamilton Hill

02_Tlova
Topalova

It started off calm and mild this morning, but has rapidly changed. There have been a few showers of rain, the wind has got up and the temperature has dropped very quickly. Everybody who should be in is in and working well, thank goodness. We still need some staff who can ride plus yard staff, but I am hoping that things will fall into place very soon.

06_Indian
Indian Red

I had to smile at a small article in Steve Dennis’ piece today in the Racing Post talking about the ground at Cheltenham. He doesn’t think it will be heavy ground and his final conclusion is that it will be good to soft, which is what the clerk of the course always calls it, regardless of what has happened. I would very much hope it does dry up as we have had some very poor viewing lately of races on heavy ground, both here and in Ireland when horses have got very tired and jockeys have not excelled with their control of the whip. It is a completely different kettle of fish with the quality of horse that is on show next week, but we do not want to see exhausted horses falling, or being battered. Jump racing grass roots is already losing out to the all-weather programme and with the bookmakers wanting more and more racing on in the evening when they say turnover goes up considerably, this situation at the bottom of the jump racing pyramid will only get worse. They have to be aware as you need a base to build it on.

10_Plane
Flying overhead

There has been another EHV abortion in Newmarket, this time at one of the big Newmarket studs and we are all starting to wonder why this is happening. It may be something to do with the vaccination, which is supposed to eliminate this. It may be that because the stocks have been very limited, it has been watered down over the last year or so, but it is certainly a worrying situation and let’s hope there are very few more outbreaks. Every time one happens there are strict controls put in place with a 28 day lock down on movement at the stud in question. At this time of year it causes havoc with breeding plans and could be devastating for certain studs that have not got the financial firepower behind them.