The end of the Tote monopoly ...

AGAM - Clean | Sanitise | Protect. World leading solutions provider in industrial cleaning, cleanroom
sanitisation, corrosion prevention & protection
                     Four Fifty Three wins at                      Chelmsford


If only it would rain

Friday, 13 July 2018

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

Will Rogers.


Garrison Law above and below


It's another overcast morning and very pleasant to work in. With everybody in once again we have been galloping horses on the Cambridge Road polytrack for the first three lots. All has gone well and in fact I cannot wait for it to rain so that I can get some out on the track.


Garrel Glen in front of Melo Pearl and Farne Odyssey

I see the champion jockey Silvester de Sousa has lost his appeal against a seven day ban for failing to obtain the best possible position in a race at Chelmsford. This is bad luck for him at this stage of the season and his big advantage will be cut dramatically by the time he gets back into the saddle. My point is, and we were talking about it this week, that here the jockey misses out for committing a minor misdemeanour, but when the whip rule is broken the penalties always seem to be different. With the welfare lobby becoming more vocal, the whip rules certainly need an adjustment as quickly as possible.


Cantering up Hamilton Hill

The Tote monopoly ended yesterday and the new era is due to start. How it will look is anybody's guess at present, as we had the majority of racecourses all up and ready with the Britbet scheme, only for it to be put on hold when the original Betfred Tote acquired new partners. We shall all have to wait and see what happens next. With Ascot and Chester going it alone, I just hope that it will be sorted out quickly.

Phil on Friday


When Frank Brown walked out one wet day (remember what those were like?) to ride in a maiden chase for a lady owner he received some very unusual orders indeed.

His mount had been useful over hurdles and Frank reckoned he only had to stand up to win his first steeplechase. Not surprisingly the horse opened at 7-4 favourite and this did not please the owner at all. She had evidently expected something more like 7-1 for her money.

Her orders were straight and to the point.  Frank wrote afterwards: “She stamped her foot and said with great emphasis, ‘Mr. Brown, you are not to win’.”

What could he say in reply? He decided a grunt would suffice. But what could he say after the horse had won easily? Well, the rain was coming down like stair rods and this was to prove to be his saviour. He confided to the irate owner: “Sorry Mrs. H, the reins were so wet and slippery I couldn’t hold him.” Then he immediately fled to the weighing room.

Some time later the same owner was up before the stewards to explain the questionable running of another of her horses. She got away with it but only after brandishing her umbrella at the officials ‘in a menacing way’, it was reported at the time, and proclaiming: “Why don’t you warn off Harry Brown and Tom Coulthwaite (a leading jockey and top trainer) instead of wasting your time on an innocent woman like me?” 


The horses are bouncing

Thursday, 12 July 2018

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."

Henry Ford.


Astrosparkle leading the string on the Round

It's a much cooler morning, in fact Tim and I have both had our coats on for first and second lots. So far everything has gone as planned and the horses are really looking well and bouncing at exercise. We are still on the polytracks though - thank goodness these surfaces were invented. Let's hope we have a bit of rain in the next couple of weeks.



It was pretty hot yesterday at Lingfield but both our runners took it well. Topalova was far from disgraced finishing sixth. She now goes to the sales on Friday. Astromerry was a bit tricky in the paddock to get on, and a couple of times Harry Bentley and I were rolling around on the floor. It was all extremely exciting for her in what will turn out to be an above average race, on ground which didn't suit and with it all happening rather quickly for her. I'm sure she will have learnt a lot from the experience and will improve considerably next time.


Four Fifty Three leaving the yard and below cantering


It's the first day of the July meeting today here at Newmarket on ground which will have been well watered but cannot be anything other than fast. The July Stakes and the Prince of Wales are the highlights of the day. The great and the good have descended on Newmarket as they always do at this time of year for both the racing and the sales.


Page 1 of 16