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It's Champions weekend ...

It's overcast and muggy this morning

Monday, 20 August 2018

Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them."
Francesco Guicciardini.

11_Blaze__Fire
Melo Pearl leading the canter

It’s an overcast morning but it feels quite muggy and the temperature has certainly not dropped. I am told there is cooler air arriving mid-week onwards, but I think it is sunshine and showers all week. The ground is certainly drying up quickly and most of the courses have got firm somewhere in their going descriptions, along with the permanent good. We have a good lot of riders in this morning, only one missing, and have been cantering on the Rubbing House polytrack over seven furlongs. Just a normal Monday morning steady exercise.

     02_Roof     04_Indian
Roof Garden and Indian Red having a pick of grass after running on Friday

Our runners over the weekend were a mixed bag. Quanah pulled a bit hard and didn’t quite get home. He needs to learn to settle and then I am sure will show his true worth. We may go back in trip with him slightly. I don’t think Roof Garden stayed a mile and a quarter and he is another that needs to settle and learn to race properly. Astroblaze was very disappointing and I am not sure what to make of her. Maybe we should go right back in trip and start again. Indian Red ran well for a long way before blowing up and Louis looked after him in the final furlong. He will strip fitter next time and will go hurdling before too long. We could have a runner over hurdles on Wednesday and then a few on the flat towards the end of the week.

16_Flower
Growing wild on the heath

It is the big York meeting this week where it will give Richard and me one last hurrah this year at trying to find winners. It all reaches a climax with the Ebor, which has been boosted in prize money this year, and will be even more worth winning next year when it is increased to £1 million. The BHA and Thoroughbred Breeders are trying to encourage people to buy stayers, rather than the quick returns from the sprinting stallions. These initiatives and prize money will help, but once again I feel it will go to the elite few who are now starting to monopolise the sport. We need some ingenious race planning to encourage the mid to lower owners and prize money that will keep them in the game, rather than be forced to sell and move on.