Onwards and upwards ...

We have one runner today at Fakenham

Monday, 04 March 2019

"In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved."

Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Cantering on the turf

It must be 10 degrees cooler this morning with a good wind. We have had very little rain though which is disappointing as is it badly needed for the turf gallops and with this wind it will dry it out even more. We have had a busy morning so far with a runner going off racing just after eight, plus those cantering are using a variety of places to do their work. All has gone well so far and the yard is ticking over smoothly.


We have one runner today at Fakenham where Velvet Voice runs in the 2.10, the maiden hurdle. She pulled up last time on very sticky ground at Lingfield and I would hope this much better ground will suit her. She jumps well and if she settles for the first circuit, she should start to creep into it and let’s hope she can run with credit today. She is one we always thought could win races but, apart from a good second at Lingfield on the flat, she has not shown the ability we see at home on the track. I hope today is the day. Alain Cawley takes the ride. He is having his first ride for us and is attached to Micky Hammonds yard in Middleham.

The view across the town

The dispute with the Arc tracks has continued over the weekend and a big article today in the Racing Post by Lee Mottershead puts his position forward. I don’t agree with a lot of what Lee says but he is an independent journalist whose final conclusion says ‘if negotiations are conducted, a sensible way forward can surely be found’. He is correct in what he is saying but, for so long the racecourses and bookmakers have been creaming all the money off and out of our sport with the owners and trainers and everybody else just managing to survive on the very poor prize money. The main point is that when The Office of Fair Trading decided that the racecourses own the media rights, that was the game changer. There was no firm figure as to how that should be shared out and the racecourses have used it as a cash cow for their own benefit. Until we get a clear and open look at actually how much media rights these racecourses get, which I don’t think they will ever give us, this dispute will linger. There has been absolutely no pressure on anybody not to take part, and apart from a few stragglers of the profession, that there always is, everybody has been of the same mindset. Even the jockeys are on side as well, bar one or two similar to the above. The whole way racing is run from the BHA downwards need a shake up and most of the people who run the sport have very little idea how it actually works. They are getting very well paid so don’t want to be seen to upset the apple cart, which is disappointing.