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There's no smoke without fire ...

Happy Birthday Meg

Friday, 27 July 2018

"Friends are like walls. Sometimes you lean on them, and sometimes it’s good just knowing they are there."

Anon.

     25_Sparkle     48_Merry
Two-year-olds (L) Astrosparkle and (R) Astromerry

I woke up to thunder and lightning this morning and from 5 o’clock till half past seven we had two or three really massive downpours, which as you know is unbelievably welcome. The problem is it is now bright blue sky, boiling hot and looks like being the warmest day of the year. It is like living in a tropical climate. We will be having a rainforest at Dullingham soon. We have had a great day with the horses with the first two lots doing fast work on the Cambridge Road polytrack, and the rest cantering in bunches on Southfields Round and Hamilton Hill. All has gone well and I am delighted with both horses and staff. With the weather like it is, hopefully I can make some entries for next week.

     28_Breeze     34_Blaze     0_Fire
Three-year-olds (L-R) Astrobreeze, Astroblaze and Astrofire

246_Jewel
... and Astrojewel

We have just had the 2019 fixture list published with an increase in meetings once again and for the life of me I cannot see why we need all these meetings. To me more is always less and it just diminishes the product, but the bookmakers are obviously in control of the BHA’s thinking. I see that the jockeys are quite happy, as we are, that no floodlit meeting will go on later than 8.30. This means that if races are split they will be put on earlier, rather than later. The fixture list just cannot keep on increasing as there is not the staff to service it and although the horses will get there, it is the ones at home that will suffer in the long run. I am sure the racecourses are also pushing for more and more fixtures. It is sad to see that Chelmsford have lost five, as in my opinion they were one of the tracks that should gain, rather than lose. Why do we need another 15 at Southwell and why do the likes of Sedgefield, Plumpton and Wolverhampton need to gain? The politics of the fixture list are beyond most people, including me.

     128_Equiano_ex_Astromancer     139_Garswood_ex_Mega
Yearlings (L) Equiano ex Astromancer (R) Garswood ex Mega

153_Sir_Percy_ex_Astrodiva
... and Sir Percy ex Astrodiva

Another mystery surrounds the authorised betting partner’s scheme with a possible £1.3m refund heading the way of some bookmakers. Nobody seems to be taking responsibility and there is no explanation forthcoming with the people involved hiding being commercial confidentiality. If it is correct and the money has to be paid out, it is not clear where the money will come from and who is liable. Another fine mess they have got into.

63_Nutmeg__Mega
Retired mares (L) Nutmeg and (R) Mega

It has been a great week of Yorkshire heroes in the Racing Post and today’s is on the great Peter Easterby trained horse Night Nurse. Everybody thought they owned him and he showed all the characteristics of true grit and spirit. He and Sea Pigeon were both heroes to me and the whole series has been a big hit.

190_Rain
The rain was welcome this morning, but it has already evaporated

A very happy birthday to our owner Mystic Meg today and I hope she has a very happy day. We have had a lot of success together over the years both with horses we have bought or that Meg has bred at Dullingham Park. We cannot thank her enough for all the support she has given us and I hope I can unearth a star for her in the near future.