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There's no smoke without fire ...

It's another glorious day

Thursday, 19 April 2018

"Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire."

François Duc de La Rochefoucauld.

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Saint Anthony leading Isaac Murphy

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Astrofire and Velvet Voice

It’s a warm, sunny morning with no wind whatsoever and the temperature is set to soar during the day. It should be the warmest day of the month. The gallops and fields are beginning to dry and the grass is really starting to grow now. Everybody who should, and is fit to be in is in and we are getting on well once again. It is always a lot easier and happier when the sun is shining.

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Four yearling colts in the paddock

You always know it is spring when you see frogspawn in the ponds and this year we seem to have got an abundance of it in the ponds at Dullingham. I don’t know what this signifies and I am sure there must be some old wives tale saying that when there is a lot of frogspawn you are in for a dry year. We will have to wait and see if that comes true. All the foals are thriving and the yearlings are starting to get rid of their winter coats and bloom in the sunshine. Our industry is always looking forward and that is what horses make you do. It is always the future and the hope that you may breed, own or train a good horse. Anybody can do it but it just needs a lot of patience and luck.

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Frogspawn in the pond at Dullingham

The viewing figures for the Grand National were commented on today by Bill Barber the industry editor in the Racing Post. He is quite right to say, although the figures represented an increase on the previous year, it was still disappointing as we were on the mainstream channel at the so called perfect time but we still didn’t attract a bigger audience. Bill commented on Coronation Street and the soaps that are watched by millions on a daily basis and he seems to think that ITV should use other shows to promote racing. This has always been one of my ideas. If there was some conversation in the Rovers return or Woolpack on who was going to win the National or a sweepstake in either pub or other business, it would bring our industry to the fore. I have always thought that if one of the younger generations was sent off to the British Racing School it would do our recruitment chances no end of good. There must be several other good ideas to promote our sport, but when we have the ideal opportunity with horse racing on a mainstream channel, we should take it and maximise our appeal.