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Good work morning

Friday, 23 March 2018

"Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out."

Michael Burke.


Crossing the Cambridge Road with first lot


Warming up on the Links Canter


Crossing back over the road again to get to the polytrack

It's another cool overcast morning with a medium breeze and we've just had the odd splattering of rain.We have a good turnout with riders this morning, so I've been able to work horses on the Cambridge Road Polytrack and the reports were very encouraging. Most of the other horses will be cantering on the tracks closer to home. Everybody is still on a high from Velvet Vision's win this week and the team spirit is good. It's great what winners can do. Tim is still off with a very bad infection and we send him our best wishes, as we do to Di and her family.

     instructions1             watching   

The Guv'nor giving instructions and watching work

Our runner yesterday didn't have the best of luck, and was never in the right place to get involved. It's disappointing but there will be other days for her and she may need further in time. She is a horse that is not to be forgotten.


Ttmab with Clearance

I see the whip debate continues with high profile owner Paul Jacobs calling for a complete ban other than for corrective purposes. There is starting to be a surge of people talking about the whip once again and the penalties not fitting the crime. To my mind it was a major mistake that a horse didn't lose the race if the rules were broken. The powers that be have made a rod for their own back by not doing so. They will say and point out at great length that the punters who have backed an offending winner would have to wait to be paid out and in that time they could be having another bet. But it's not all about the punters, it's about the horses and the owners. If the rules have been broken the correct punishment should be given.

      Indian_Gee      true_topa1     

                   Indian Red with Gee Sixty Six                                 True Calling with Topalova

It's the Lincoln this weekend with the ground on the soft side at Doncaster. It's a shame we don't have anything that fits the bill this year but let's hope we can find one for 2019. My comments about the race are firstly the draw will play a part but now there are only 22 runners allowed, it doesn't matter as much as it used to do. Secondly I  am sorry that the prize money has not been increased as it should have been over the years. It is only £60,000 to the winner when it should be well over £100,000 guaranteed. The marketing of the start of the flat on the turf is very poor indeed, but don't forget it's at Doncaster in the North which is a long way from London.


Pulling up


Reporting back after work

Phil on Friday


You might not have noticed, but tomorrow sees the start of the turf flat season. It’s such a low key affair these days – a mere whimper compared to the mighty fanfare of days gone by.

The Lincoln itself remains the curtain-raising cavalry charge it always was though. It was actually run at Lincoln, of course, until moving to Doncaster in 1965 after the Carholme was closed the previous year. The old track had a marvellous history – Sceptre was beaten in The Lincoln there before going on to win four Classics.

Field-sizes these days are limited but back at the Carholme in 1948 a UK flat racing record was set (it still stands) when 58 runners lined up for The Lincoln. Commissar beat his 57 rivals.

Forty or more runners were common in the first big handicap of the year, and elsewhere. On one occasion, away from Lincoln, the starter, a certain Captain Allison, was faced with a huge field jostling behind the tapes. He had no hope of getting everything into a straight line so shouted this despairing but memorable instruction to the jockeys: ‘Come on … line up. Triers in front, non-triers behind’.

Even the big Lincoln fields were eclipsed by the Grand National of 1929, which Gregalach won at 100-1. There were 66 starters. Fifty-six of them failed to finish, only 19 having got round just once.

Was that a world record then? Nowhere near.

According to Guinness World Records, in 2013 a race organised by the ‘Federation of Mongolian Horse Racing Sport and Trainers’ attracted 4,279 starters! Thirty of them failed to complete. The race was run over just more than 11 miles across the wide Mongolian plains and produced a tight finish. I don’t know how many places would have counted if you could have got on each way but it should have been a hundred or two.

The race probably set a few other records as well. The youngest rider was seven years old, the eldest 79!