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Two runners go to Chelmsford tonight

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

"When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion."

Dale Carnegie.

15_Southfield
Walking over to the Southfield Round canter

I don’t know what the weather is doing at present because after the first two days of cold, we have now got a perfect day, sunshine, no wind and a lovely temperature. There is rain forecast and let’s hope they are correct as the ground is really starting to firm up now. Running young horses on firm ground is a recipe for getting them jarred up and once horses get jarred, it takes forever to get them right again. Patience, patience, patience are the three words a trainer should have. All the horses have been on Southfield Round today and the area has been pretty quiet which means we have had an easy time and all the horses have been very relaxed doing 2 ½ times round, about a mile and quarter of normal cantering.

26_Dot
Dot Green

We have two runners today, both this evening at Chelmsford. I couldn’t have picked it worse having one in the first and one in the last, but that’s how the cookie crumbles. Astroshadow is our first runner. She has taken a long time to get her act together and is not the best of eaters. In fact she is very fussy. She is one of those people you know that only eats very plain food and will just leave any nice mixture or additive we try and put in. She is ready for her debut run, only the trip is the unknown, but the mare stayed well and Aussie Rules does get a trip. She certainly looks like a marathon runner, rather than a sprinter.

Our other maiden runner is Clearance in the last at 8.55. He is a half-brother to Hold Firm, our six times winner. He is a big, attractive horse who will need this run tonight but the experience and the run will bring him on no end.

31_Walking
Walking back after exercise

I see there was a massive difference in the size of the crowd at Newmarket this weekend, with the Saturday crowd reaching nearly 20,000 but the Sunday’s 1000 Guineas drew less than 10,000. The Chief Executive was blaming the problem on that it wasn’t a bank holiday weekend, but really, in my opinion, nobody in England likes going racing on a Sunday. Why we persevere with this Sunday racing is beyond me. Just give everybody a day off. If people are desperate to have a bet there will be plenty of racing shown from Ireland and France where their cultures are different, although I don’t think many people go to flat races in Ireland.

40_Sandwood
Sandwood Bay at second lot

I will quickly mention the Hatchfield Farm situation where Lord Derby’s appeal in the High Court has succeeded on two of the four points. It will now go back to the Secretary of State when the new parliament is formed. I hope they come up with the same conclusion, which they should, as the reasons for refusal in the opinion of those who live here, are the correct ones. We will all just have to wait and see.

 

Our last foal of the season has arrived

Tuesday, 09 May 2017

"In true love the smallest distance is too great, and the greatest distance can be bridged."

Hans Nouwens.

06_Cantering
Warming up

It’s not quite as cold as yesterday and I think there is a little bit of rain forecast somewhere in the south towards the weekend. Everybody involved in the agricultural world is desperate for rain - the farmers whose livelihood is growing crops is very much up against it and the hay makers are certainly praying for as much as possible. We have had a busy morning with some fast work being done on the Cambridge Road and some cantering work being done on the polytracks close to home. Only one non-runner so not too bad and everybody who is in, is working well.

28_Storm_Clearance_Dixon
Fast work on the Cambridge Road polytrack

What a night, one of those nights that you just want to forget. We started off with Budgie who, once getting the idea started to improve, only to be flattened by a jockey flailing his whip. He will definitely be winning over six furlongs and we will look back on this race and smile.

Astrosecret ran well for a long way and just got tired in the straight. She will strip a lot fitter next time and there are races to be won with her.

Lost The Moon, well, words fail me here as she stumbled slightly when coming out, which should be expected when coming out of the stalls. The pilot lost one iron but failed to get it back and quickly bottled the job by kicking the other one out and pulled the filly up. He didn’t even start the race again and gave away £500 fourth prize money just for being a mile behind. A jump jockey would have kicked it in the ribs, jumped three fences had a haircut, watched the TV, cleaned his boots, and then got his irons back. Don’t get me going, I have just calmed down.

Then we have the debacle of Desert River who, once I have put the jockey up in the paddock, is out of my control. He was a lamb at Yarmouth and should have been again last night, but different starters and handlers caused him to get upset. Why they didn’t just stand and wait and calm down I just don’t know, but certainly chasing him in and at a trot is not what he wants. He unfortunately now can’t have a stalls test for six months so I may be showing him eight flights of hurdles in the near future. He is a horse with tons of ability and I am just sorry it was a complete mess last night. He would have gone very close as well.

Hold Firm, as usual, was the redeemer of the night, with a simple victory really in the mile handicap. It suited him that one went off lickerty split and he cruised into contention and won easily enough. He is a marvellous horse to train, always does his best and gives his very loyal band of syndicate owners such fun. I may give him a week off now.

Ex_Astrodiva_17
Colt by Sir Percy ex Astrodiva 

At last the final foal of the season arrived last night. A 60 kilo colt foal by Sir Percy was born to Astrodiva at around 7.30. He was soon up and sucking and looks a good addition to the fold. I must give the workers at the stud every praise and especially David, the stud groom, who does such a sterling and expert job year on year. It is very tiring for a few months and the constant workload can sometimes get you down, but everybody has been in great spirits and I thank them all for all their hard work.

Topatoo_17
Mount Nelson ex Topatoo

It is one of my oldest owner’s birthdays today, Michael Bowring. So, Happy Birthday Michael and the foal we share out of Topatoo is pictured above. She is a real cracker and would give Kate Moss a run for her model looks.

 
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