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Lester Piggott, what a legend

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

"How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence."

Benjamin Disraeli.

Working on the Farm Canter

It’s a much warmer morning with the temperature set to soar here in the east. There is very little chance of any rain, although they say we may get some on Thursday. We have had a good morning with the horses with Dan Muscutt in to ride a bit of work at second lot. We galloped on the Farm Canter over five furlongs and all went well.

Upsides and both moving really well

There is a fantastic article today on Lester Piggott in the Racing Post. He was without doubt the world’s best jockey and the best we will ever see. He was a horseman through and through with both sides of his pedigree steeped in the industry. His mother, by all accounts, was a most influential figure and I am sure that is right. There are some great stories told by his contemporary’s but basically he is greatly admired by everybody and nobody ever has a bad word to say about Lester. When asked if today’s equivalent Frankie was as good as him his reply was ‘maybe in another 50 years’. What a jockey, what a man. Compulsory reading for everybody.

Walking back to the yard

I see that Longchamp have announced they are going to put on far more facilities for this year’s Arc after the debacle of last year when the new stand was given the once over by the big crowd. There were so many complaints about the bars, the betting terminals and the toilets that the French, this time, have decided to put on what they call the biggest pub they could erect. There will be many more loos and the food outlets will be moving from the front to the back. I have said it before, and I will say it again, it is complete madness that architects are allowed to go their own way with the stands rather than listen or even ask somebody who knows what is required. Longchamp and the new Curragh are two examples of what not to build. The officials will say they will learn from it and change, but it is very hard to change the structure of buildings once they are built, especially nowadays. It should all have been done in the first place. I am sure this year’s Arc will be one of the most attended ever with Enable trying to win her third on the trot and the crowds will be crammed in. Let’s hope the complaints are down to a minimum this year.

Third lot pulling out


It's St Swithins Day

Monday, 15 July 2019

"It’s such a grand thing to be a mother of a mother – that’s why the world calls her grandmother."


Velvet Vision and Velvet Vista upsides

It’s a very overcast morning and we did have a little shower first thing, however, the forecast is for it to remain dry at least for the next few days. It’s St Swithins day today and the old saying is that if it rains today, it will rain for 40 days and 40 nights. We have done good canters with the horses on a variety of polytracks and all has gone well.


What a weekend of sport. There was the best cricket match you will ever see, culminating with England winning the World Cup and one of the most amazing tennis matches ever played in the men’s final at Wimbledon. Both highlighting a fantastic sporting weekend. We also saw a brilliant July Cup winner in Ten Sovereigns and Japan won the Group 1 in France. Two more stallions destined for the Coolmore rota.

Ness Of Brodgar

It was disappointing that Zac Purton didn’t break the record for winners in a season in Hong Kong. His 10 rides on the last card of the year only got him two winners and he was two short of the 170 winner record, but an unbelievable achievement nonetheless. I would be amazed if anybody got anywhere near that in the future.

Keeping the grass short

It was interesting to see the £1m Ebor mentioned in the Racing Post today in that it is now a race that just top horses can compete in. Yes they can, but it is most disappointing that the smaller owners and trainers now have no hope whatsoever of winning a big pot. The money on show in these prestigious handicaps has now gone out of control and only the top owners have the wherewithal to pay the entry fees and compete. Whether that is right for the game or not is for you to judge but, in my opinion, it takes away a lot of the excitement. We are beginning to get a bit like the Grand Prix racing in that the same people just keep on winning.


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