Onwards and upwards ...

A very damp and wet morning...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it- always."

 - Mahatma Gandhi



First lot at the bottom of the Warren Hill grass canter

A very damp and wet morning with continuous rain and it looks like being set in for the whole day; however, I suppose we are lucky compared with parts of Scotland, who have got an inch or two of snow. Everybody seems in a very cheerful mood and we have been able to give the horses a good exercise - thank goodness no situations similar to yesterday's have occured.


Astroverdi (Ashley)

Our runner yesterday, Miss Wendy, ran okay but there was no pace at all and it developed into a sprint once they turned for home. I will be dropping her back in grade and I am sure she can pick up another small race along the way. Some good racing today at Haydock, where the ground is very heavy and at Ascot, where the ground is good-to-soft. We are getting very near to the Festival now and there should be a few pointers today for that meeting. I like the look in the first at Haydock of Third Intention, who is a brother to our Theola and has a 3lbs pull with Local Hero, who beat him last time.


MHT and Steve discuss the orders for second lot as they leave the indoor ride

There is some discussion about Mark Johnston, the Middleham trainer,  joining the BHA board as an independent director to replace Jim McGrath, who resigned on principle about six weeks ago. Jim was a great loss but Mark will be a great replacement and it would be marvellous and very sensible to have somebody on the board, who knows exactly what happens in the industry. We should campaign for his election.


The two year olds, led by Watch Chain, cantering up Warren Hill

I don't know if I am the only one but the racing at Meydan in Dubai at this year's Carnival meeting seems soulless. I have only watched it on the television but there doesn't seem to be any atmosphere or excitement and, for all that good prize money, you would think there should be. I suppose if only South African trainers and the home-grown ones keep winning everything it does get boring. I don't quite know what they can do about it but something ought to be tried to liven it up.


MHT getting the feedback from the riders after cantering

Another foal last night at Dullingham Park when Optimistic gave birth to a cracking colt by Halling. He is a big strong lad with no white on him and also a full brother to the two year old, Rayvin Black, who is a colt that I really like and is in training with us. The mare is going back to be covered by Halling this year. It is starting to get really busy now at Dullingham with mares and foals and the coverings are coming thick and fast. Today we have sent Four Miracles down to Whitsbury Manor Stud to be covered by Refuse to Bend. This is the first time she will have been covered and many people will remember her being such a good racehorse for us.


Optimistic with her Halling colt foal


Resting at about 12 hours old

The  fifth round of the FA Cup over the weekend with The Owls away to Birmingham and Arsenal away to Leyton Orient tomorrow. I don't hold out any hope for our boys at Birmingham and I just hope it is not a cricket score but if Tranmere can put three by us, heaven only knows what will happen today. The Gunners should get through alright but if he plays the second eleven they may struggle a bit. Phil says he hopes Arsenal will find a chink in the Orient's armour!