Onwards and upwards ...

We have been schooling on the Links

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

"The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder."

Ralph W. Sockman.



It’s warm and dry once again with absolutely no wind and no rain forecast whatsoever. It must come at some stage but at present there doesn’t look to be any in the near future. It’s a busy morning, we have been schooling some at the Links on the all-weather strip and with a few runners this week we have been making sure they have a little sharp canter to clear their wind before running. All has gone well.


... and over

It was a very disappointing run by Belle Bayeux yesterday. She travelled well for a long way but found very little. That cannot be her running and we will have her home and tested to see if anything can be found. A great big filly with plenty of scope, it is very frustrating when they run this way.

Cantering on Hamilton Hill

Having a pick of grass before returning to the yard

There is a full page article today in the Racing Post on how rich or poor racehorse trainers are and how much they really earn. I wouldn’t believe the figures Mr Riley puts out as he has missed a lot of things you cannot get away with off his cost calculations. He hasn’t put any rates in, he hasn’t put any insurance in – whether it be buildings, vehicles or public liability, which is compulsory. There is nothing in for the BHA - all the costs for gaining a licence - or for anything you want to do with the BHA and there is a cost for everything. I think they just think of a number and double it. There is nothing in there for general maintenance, vets fees and shoeing. These are normally passed on but a trainer would have at least some shares in horses as owners always like trainers to be involved. His feed bill is much too low and there are several other items that are not included. His conclusion that some trainers are doing very well is correct but that is only the top four or five. The majority are just hoping to break even or survive.

It would be very interesting to see if Rupert Arnold, the Chief Executive of the National Trainers Federation, replies to this article and whether he was involved in the first place. There was a good article I read the other day that said the top 5% of trainers take at least 75-80% of all prize money. Now you can’t pamper to the poorer horses, but something needs to be done and I would think that race planning, which has never been right,  is the first place to be properly looked into and improved. More races that give a fair chance to everybody, not just to the few. There was a novice yesterday at Wolverhampton with horses costing £800,000, £700,000 and £500,000 from three big yards all competing against the ordinary Wolverhampton trainers. It doesn’t make sense.

Quanah turned out in the paddock

I see John Gosden spoke at the council offices yesterday at the enquiry into the Hatchfield Farm site. John would have spoken in his usual eloquent way and put across everybody’s concerns that the traffic in Newmarket is bad enough now and it can’t cope with much more, especially a big development like this. He stated that Epsom, Lewes and Maisons-Laffitte have all been urbanised by housing expansion and Newmarket doesn’t want to go that way. We will just become a commuter town for the Cambridge Science Park which is expanding at a rapid rate of knots. I hope this is the last time we talk about Hatchfield Farm and it can go away, but I have my doubts.