Onwards and upwards ...

A clear, bright morning

Thursday, 03 February 2011

"What we leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments but what is woven into the lives of others."

 - Pericles


Watch Chain leads the two year olds on Rayes Lane

A clear, bright morning with no wind and it is not that cold as yet; maybe it is the lull before the storm, which the forecasters tell us is coming this weekend. At least we don't live in Queensland where the poor residents have had to suffer a cyclone after the mammoth floods; if the water didn't wash their houses away, the wind blew them away. I wonder what happened to all the animals. Back to today, first lot went up Warren Hill grass for the first time, which is always an experience when you have some new riders, who don't know the drill but with Butch Smith-Eccles in front it all went smoothly.


Cornish Beau (Butch)

One runner today at Southwell in the 2.00 pm race, Koraleva Tectona with Tom Queally taking the ride. She had her first run for us a fortnight ago at Kempton over a mile but we are back in trip today and a on different surface. She is going the right way fitness-wise but has not shown much every time she has raced on the all-weather surfaces, so it will be interesting today to see what Tom makes of her - it wouldn't surprise me if she ran quite well. 


Cotton Grass (Abby)

I see Betfair have given £500,000 to Jockey Club racecourses to provide more prize money at grass roots level. They have also given some to the Scottish tracks and to the Horsemen's group itself. All very good and dandy but my question is: why this voluntary donation, which they can hold up and say they are supporting racing? why not a proper tax system, which should be in place to stop the professional punters and bookmakers using it in the way they do to avoid paying the Levy?


Old Boy Ted (Alex)

I met the MD of Epsom racecourse the other day, who was having a tour of the Heath with Nick Patton, the Jockey Club manager. I tried to instil into him that the Derby was the number one race in the world: the one that every owner, trainer and jockey wants to win with a passion and that he should strive with every fibre of his body to make sure it was. It is no good having it on a Saturday when we are competing with every other sport and it must revert back to the first Wednesday in June. I informed him that he should go to Melbourne to see how a handicap stops a continent on a Tuesday in November and is on every front page of every newspaper for weeks and weeks. His only explanation was that TV wants it on a Saturday and pay well for it. It is such a crying shame that this race is now so far down the world rankings, purely through lack of understanding, passion and determination.


The Act One ex Highbrook colt (Ashley)

Stop press news: I have just heard that The Owls have sacked their manager, Alan Irvine. He has had plenty of chances and our new chairman doesn't stand for second best. My choice is Martin O'Neill, as he would get us back in the Premiership within four years. 


Joe the Coat (Dan)