Onwards and upwards ...

Guineas Weekend

Friday, 04 May 2018

"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope."

John Buchan.

Ginger Lady


Many apologies for no site yesterday our internet was down all day. We have now published yesterdays news which is below todays article.

It's a very bright morning and the forecast is set to just keep improving. The horses have been cantering on Hamilton Hill without a problem. Tim and all the staff continue to do a marvellous job.

I must tell you that I have not been very well for the past fortnight. I have to give my upmost thanks to Tim, Di and Ian who have been holding the fort admirably and keeping up the standards.

Velvet Vista

Garrel Glen

It's a great weekend of racing both here and in America. We have the two Guineas here at Newmarket and the Kentucky Derby in the States. The ground and the draw will be the deciding factor at Newmarket where the Roley Mile with it's ridge and furrow undulations will suit some horses but not others.

Back in from exercise

There is a full page article today in the Racing Post on the never ending saga of Hatchfield Farm. It looks as if it is finally coming to a conclusion in the next month or so. The simple facts are the council wants it because they want the council tax, where as Newmarket doesn't want it. The town knows the majority of the houses will be sold to people working in Cambridge. It will bring far more congestion to the town and surrounding areas which could cause Newmarket, in time, to lose it's iconic horse racing indentity. Lets hope the right decisions are made.

Phil on Friday


There was I, thinking the unbeaten Arsenal side of a few years ago were the only Invincibles in modern sport. Now, a combination of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott comes very close.

Their domination of the Irish jump racing scene is staggering. The pair clocked up 14 winners between them at Cheltenham then the Mullins yard had 18 at Punchestown. One astonishing statistic shows that in less than four days Mullins won more prize-money for his owners than any other Irish trainer, except Elliott, could manage in the entire season.

It was a remarkable achievement. Sheer weight of numbers was a major factor. In this year’s Champion Four-year-old Hurdle for instance – this race always brings back wonderful memories of Staunch Friend’s victory in it – there were nine runners, six trained by Mullins and the other three by Elliott. That’s domination for you.

Supremacy by obviously talented and blessed individuals is nothing new in racing. There have been dozens of trainers and jockeys who, in their day, outshone everyone else.

Going back a good few years there was the irrepressible Sir Gordon Richards, 26 times champion jockey. He was turned over sometimes though. When he was at his peak a Middle Eastern punter was in the habit of backing what he considered was Gordon’s best mount of the day to win £1,000. That was the instruction to his bookmaker - if the horse started at 2-1 his stake would be £500, at evens it would be £1,000 and so on.

One day he chose a horse called Glendower. All this was before overnight declarations of course and the race cut up to two runners, Glendower and some obscure no-hoper. Gordon’s horse was returned at 25-1 ON which meant our punter’s stake was £25,000, a huge wager now, mind-boggling then. Starting stalls were still many years away and, as the tapes went up, Glendower dug in his toes, Gordon went over his head, the no-hoper cantered to victory and a fortune was lost.

So there is no such thing as a good thing then, even for apparent Invincibles, and without in any way belittling their magnificent achievements in the past astonishing season, it’s perhaps worth noting that at Punchestown Mullins sent out 99 losers, Elliott 76 …