Onwards and upwards ...

We have three runners today

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

"Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend."


Pageant Master

When I arrived in the yard at 5.50 there was a big moon and clear sky but as the morning has gone on it has gradually become more overcast and the wind has started to get up. We may be in a lull for today but cold weather is certainly forecast for the weekend. We have been mainly using Southfields Round canter for exercise this morning, doing what I call a normal canter for around a mile and a half. All has gone well with no problems.


It was a mixed day yesterday with both two-year-olds showing promise in what were two well above standard races. There will be scores of winners come out of all three of the two-year-old maidens that were run on good to firm but safe ground at Yarmouth. Both ours will have benefited greatly from the day out and will not be long in running again. As for Ness Of Brodgar, she was too bad to be true. She has been showing a bit at home and her three runs to date have been nothing like this. I can’t blame the ground but the jockey did say she choked up so we will check her over and regroup.

We have three runners today, one at Newmarket and two at Chelmsford. Garrel Glen is our runner here at Headquarters in the two o’clock. She ran a sound race first time out and we are hoping for improvement today, if so she should be competitive. Our two at Chelmsford are in the first and the last which is a long time to wait but they have split two races rather than one for some unknown reason. Astrofire is our first runner. She was very disappointing last time out but this is not a very good race. She is drawn averagely in nine but hopefully we can ride her more prominently today and let’s hope she runs well. The same comments apply to Velvet Voice in the 8.30. She was far from disgraced last time and in this low grade handicap and with a good draw should be involved tonight.


Steve Harman, the outgoing BHA chairman, was speaking out yesterday and stating that racing needs to show it deserves government help. He is quite right in this comment and is pointing out that stable staff are high on the agenda. Let’s hope that when we exit the EU the immigration rules are relaxed for the far eastern employees who were such a boon to us 15 years ago. The boys who came from India and Pakistan could all ride well, had a great work ethic, were enthusiastic about their horses and were a credit to the training they had received. Unfortunately this vein of staff was curtailed suddenly with all trainers’ employee licences cancelled. This meant we had to rely on home-grown talent or the ones from Europe which are thin on the ground. The new racing authority which will take over from the Levy board is another conversation that needs to take place to show the government that we can regulate ourselves in a proper way. The new Tote needs sorting out with BritBet and the Alizeti Group talking about working together. All these things that go on behind the scenes affect everybody who works in the industry and the government needs to be happy that we are working together, not in groups.