Onwards and upwards ...

Another clear, bright and cold morning..

Saturday, 29 January 2011

"Try not to be a man of success but rather try to become a man of value."

 - Albert Einstein


Barwick (Butch) and the Observatory ex Seasonal Blossom colt (Nikki)

Another clear, bright and cold morning, which is very similar to the ones we have had all week. The horses have had quite a busy routine this week, so we are just having a gentle cantering morning with all of them. Warren Hill grass canter, historically, opens in February and this year it is starting on the far side, which we have not used for over a year. It always seems like the start of the season when this canter opens and the horses love it as well.


Izzet (Lee)

Two runners today, one at Cheltenham on their Festival trial day and one at Lingfield on the all-weather. At the time of writing, there is a precautionary inspection around 9 o'clock but my travelling lad, David, thinks there will be no problem, as the  frost covers having been on the track for the last few days. 
Akula runs in the first at Cheltenham at 12.55 pm. He has run well every time this season, including last time here when he was third; he jumps and stays very well, so I am hopeful of a big run today. I suppose tactics may come into play and the pace of the race will dictate the outcome.
Marvo goes to Lingfield in the mile race at 1.25 pm with Ashley taking the ride. He has won on him before and this is another race that looks pretty tactical. He has shown he is in good order at home and is another I would be hopeful of, at least, making the frame. I would have loved to have run him over hurdles but the ground is very tacky at most places and, as he is not a great big, tough jumping sort, we will wait for better ground before he appears again under that code.


Astroverdi (Zeeshan)

I have been having a campaign against cars parked illegally between Rayes Lane and The Watercourse, which have been causing havoc and creating a very dangerous situation for all the strings, which pass along it daily. I have been like 'Andy' in The Shawshank Redemption, sending letters and e-mails twice weekly to the Council and Police. Yesterday, after many months of my pestering, the 'double yellow line men' arrived, only to find cars parked there, leaving them unable to paint the lines on the road. They put some down but had to stop where the cars were parked and my suggestion of painting the lines on the cars didn't go down very well. They will back on Monday - early I hope. I will keep you posted.


Watch Chain (Butch), Lady Bellatrix (Nikki) and Sleigh Bells (Dan)

The AGM of the Newmarket Trainers' Federation went well with quite a good turnout, considering all the other commitments that trainers have at this time of year. Nick Patton, the new Heath manager, introduced himself and took questions from the floor, which went down well and we had a very good discussion, as one would expect, about the new prize money tariffs. The National Trainers' Federation chief executive, Rupert Arnold, kindly attended and explained in detail how and why the tariffs were fixed; a robust discussion followed with many questions, which got clear and concise replies.     


Astroscarlet (Hannah)

The tennis has been interesting in Australia with the Chinese lady today, trying to be the first Chinese woman to win a Grand Slam. I think over 300 million Chinese watched her get to the final, so how many more will watch today is anybody's guess. Andy Murray plays on Sunday and has done well once again to make the final, I just wish he was a bit more charismatic and spoke without mumbling: he needs to make himself more likeable.
It is the fourth round of the Cup today and tomorrow with Arsenal at home to Huddersfield, which should see them progress. The Owls are at home to Hereford, which should be a home win but Hereford have got a good away record and the way we are playing, anything could happen. 


Piccarello (Lee)