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Tuesday, 18 December 2018

"The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works is the family."

Lee Iacocca.

38_Tree
The strong winds have caused a bit of damage on the stud

It’s a funny sort of morning. It is certainly not cold and with the wind blowing and starting to get even stronger, I am sure we will be getting some rain in the not too distant future. It was the yard’s Christmas party last night and as usual there are a couple of non-runners. It’s not as bad as it could have been though and we have had a good morning so far with the horses. I am doing the feeding at present whilst Tim is off ill, so if anybody wants a phone call at 4.30 please say so. The horses are always pleased to see you with a feed bucket and there is plenty of speaking backwards and forwards between them all.

     45_Ducks     48_Geese
The ducks and geese on the pond at Dullingham

I see there are quite a few trainers agreeing with me that it is a disgrace that Arc have reduced their contribution to prize money by several million, even before we know the result of the FOB’s machine decision. I personally don’t think it will make any difference how much people will bet on the machines and I don’t think we will lose many betting shops, but that remains to be seen. I don’t like the sound of the Jockey Club’s reaction though. They said they would not comment on the announcement but did say they were in full support of the Racecourse Associations position who says the financial picture for racecourses is changing and they need to work with the professionals in the industry to manage it. This sounds to me like we are in for cuts across the board, especially in the middle and lower end which is the first hit. When you have the massive expansion of fixtures, which we have had over the last 10 years, this was always going to happen but the BHA are so busy trying to please the bookmakers they just have their heads in the sands.

56_Clipping
Wendy keeping the horses clipped

There is a good piece today in the Racing Post which is an extract from Henrietta Knight’s new book about horses jumping. She says all horses can jump, it is just how well they are taught. It is amazing the improvement that some can make when moving from the flat to the national hunt game. We have great facilities here in Newmarket with the loose school, the two lots of practice poles and baby hurdles and then full size hurdles and fences on perfect schooling ground. Horses need confidence and the schooling jockeys play a massive part. Proper horsemen are what you want, ones who know how a horse thinks and its stride patterns. We have a couple of very good lads in the yard that are ideal for what I want to do when going schooling. Speed is not the main thing, it is the ability to put yourself right at each hurdle / fence.

34_Ex_Lady_B
Casamento ex Lady Bellatrix yearling colt

A strong, well grown and good looking colt, his dam is by Singspiel one of the leading broodmare sires of the moment. This colt has all the right attributes to make a racehorse. A good mover and temperament, he is out on the heath cantering with the string and progressing really well. At this stage he looks as if he will run from May onwards as a two-year-old, but has the scope and strength to continue to progress throughout the year. He is a very attractive colt.