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We have one runner today at Lingfield

Monday, 19 March 2018

"Failure changes for the better, success for the worse."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

True Calling

It’s a bitterly cold morning with a very heavy frost. There is still plenty of lying snow and a lot of salt has been needed on the icy patches in the yard this morning. There is sunshine about though, which is deceptive as the wind is cutting you in half even with two coats and over trousers on. Everybody who should be in is in and working well and we have been cantering close to home on Hamilton Hill. It was great to see our champion jockey of last year, Silvestre De Sousa, riding out for Chris Dwyer. He has just got back from much warmer climes in Dubai and on being asked if he was feeling the cold, he didn’t think it was too bad. What a great example to every young jockey, if only they were all like him. He works very hard and deserves all the accolades he gets, but if you asked 100 people on any high street today who the champion jockey is, I bet you that Silvestre would only make 5%. Most of them would think it was Frankie Dettori. It is such a pity that the publicity arm of the BHA can’t get the jockeys championship and promotions sorted out.

Cantering up Hamilton Hill

Gee Sixty Six

We have one runner today. Four Fifty Three runs in the 4.55 at Lingfield, so he may be two minutes late, but I hope he wins by a minute and he should run well once again today. At least we have got a good draw and an experienced apprentice.

Maintaining the gallops

Cheltenham finished with a flourish on Friday with the British trained winner of the Gold Cup. This means we won the three biggest races but were well and truly beaten in most of the other races by the Irish. The BHA has got to deal with the aftermath of six horses losing their lives and quite a lot of jockeys getting whip bans. I am not sure if there is a way to prevent horses losing their lives in such tragic ways, but most of them, when looked at carefully, have happened for some reason or other - out of the control of anybody. Horses can kill themselves in the field, which they often do, but it is much more high profile when it happens at meetings like this. There was three in one race which might need a close look and I am sure the BHA will do a thorough investigation. As for the whip this situation will continue to go on and on until they make the rules stick and have the penalties that suit the crime. I have always thought, and I know several people have agreed with me, that we only need to throw out one race winner for the whip offence and it would sort the whole matter out. If the number of times you can hit them is eight or ten, that should be the rule. I would make it eight, and if they break that then the horse loses the race. The only other possible solution is to bring in the Willie Carson style in that horses can only be hit in the back hand position, i.e. not out of the front of the hand but held in the back.

Our tipping competition didn’t sparkle this year and Richard had just hung on by the skin of his teeth to win by only £15. We were both heavily minus and were not very good. Aintree is not too far off and let’s hope we can do better at that venue.