Onwards and upwards ...

We worked Across the Flat this morning

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

"It is the hour to rend thy chains,

The blossom time of souls."

Katherine Lee Bates.

Working Across the Flat

It’s getting much lighter in the mornings now, which is great for us. I’m not sure when the clocks spring forward, but it must be getting nearer and we will be back in darkness once again. We have a full set of staff in, both in the yard and riders, and we have been doing plenty of work with the horses. A few went Across the Flat first lot and the rest have been using Southfields turf canter. All has gone well. It was quite amusing at first lot and something I have not seen before. As I was getting out of my car walking across the gallops a loose horse appeared in the caravan park of the racecourse. It proceeded to run through the silver ring and into the member’s enclosure. It then found a gap in the rails onto the racecourse. It was being chased by many personnel who failed to catch it for quite a while. I did a Lester Piggott and just stood still and let everybody else try and round the beast up. It was finally caught at the six furlong pole as our horses came across and gave it something to look at. I’m not sure whose it was as it didn’t have a rug on it.

Belle Bayeux and Velvet Vision

The fallout from the Cheltenham Festival continues with more and more professional people commenting on the BHA’s crass decision after the National Hunt Chase on Tuesday. I have been telling you for a long time that the BHA has nobody who knows horses and how it all works. I am glad to see there are a lot more professionals, like me, who think the same. If we can’t find anybody to work in our industry who understands it then it is a very poor situation indeed. Why we have to import overseas people is beyond me. This would never have happened if we had had executives who appreciate how our racing world runs. I am not sure where it will all end, but it needs to get sorted and talking will surely help.

Astromerry and Isaac Murphy

I see that Aintree have tightened its safety rules for the Grand National meeting. They are insisting that jockeys who have not ridden round the course more than twice will be required to walk round with a BHA jockey coach. This must be a good thing, but don’t you think that any jockey would want to walk round the course anyway before having a ride. It is just another welfare issue that the officials can put on their lists as to what they have done. I don’t know what the jockeys in the past would have thought of all this but I know my old head lad, Jonnie East who rode in the National many times, would be holding his head in his hands.