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Rain is set in for the day

Wednesday, 08 March 2017

"Love is missing someone whenever you’re apart, but somehow feeling warm inside because you’re close in heart."

Kay Knudsen.

Topalova leading Bracken Brae

It’s a very wet morning with the rain bouncing of the office roof as we write this and it looks set to stay for the rest of the day. I have just been informed by one trainer who talked to someone in Lambourn that it was pouring there, so it will certainly be the afternoon before it thinks of clearing through. This rain will also have done the ground at Cheltenham no favours as I am sure it will certainly start getting into it and will ease it considerably. However, I am sure the clerk of the course will have good in the description somewhere, even if it is only the canter down. I see the clerk is also saying that all 299 boxes have been steamed cleaned and waiting arrivals. Well so they should be. With the amount of horses going through the stables, from all parts of the globe, cleanliness, and anything that stops infection, is a must. With the amount of racing we have nowadays I am positive that the stables at the tracks aren’t cleaned as they should be between meetings, but that is another cost to the racecourses, which they can’t afford!

We have had a great morning cantering wise, with the first lot going out now at just before six. We have been cracking on with everything and half the yard has already done two canters as we write this at 9.20. We still want a couple of good riders to join the team and then we will be complete.

Astrostorm and Hold Firm at second lot

I see a trainer has won his appeal against business rates on his all-weather gallop. Our man, Bill Simpson, has been heavily involved in this matter and I am pleased to see a good outcome has been reached. These business rates are going to be a nightmare for everybody and will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back if not assessed properly. I know we have got one or two yards in Newmarket who have been dropped slightly since our main meeting, but I am sure that we will all be going to appeal once everything comes to a head. It must be the same for all businesses, large or small, and the government has to see sense and get their head round the internet problem, or our high streets will be decimated. 

Dixon and Stellekaya walking home in the rain

If you think the small owner / trainer has very little chance in this country, just take a look at page four of the Racing Post today and you will see what is happening in Ireland. Tomorrow’s 2.40 at Naas, a novice chase, has ten runners, nine of them are Gigginstown Stud and guess what, the other one is JP McManus. If racing continues to go this way, dominated by rich owners who care little about the prize money but all about the ego, we are on the slippery slope. Let’s hope that something can be done to sort this matter out.


New Ground turf is the canter of choice

Tuesday, 07 March 2017

"Put your future in good hands – your own."



On New Ground turf this morning

There was very little wind first thing and it was quite quiet when we were cantering on the turf on New Ground at first and second lot. It is a bright, not quite spring like morning with showers forecast later on, but I read today that the forecast of cold and frosty weather on its way may be wrong. We have been busy in the yard moving a few horses about and putting them in the boxes we think they will be more relaxed and happy in. If you observe horses like you should do, you soon get an instinct as to who gets on with whom and what position in the yard they like to be in. It is good to get it sorted out before the season gets underway.


 Mr Turner

I am pleased to the see the BHA have overturned the fine the stewards put onto the two trainers who withdrew their horses because of Storm Doris. Common sense is always the best way of going forward in these matters and certainly there was none on that night at Chelmsford. Rules are rules I can hear everybody saying, but for once common sense won out. No horses were injured and apart from the costs of getting the horses to the course, which was quiet dangerous in its own way, nothing has been lost.

Indian Red

We have got several mares well overdue now on the stud and I hope I can give you some news of new foals during the week. The mares this time are very slow coming into season and we have only covered a couple, which is not very good for this time of year. Angie and David put it down to the cold spells we had which made the mares think it was winter again and they have gone backwards rather than forwards. It is amazing how nature works. The only problem is that if it is happening to everybody, once the weather does warm up, the stallions will be having to work all day long and it will be harder to book the slots for when you mare is in a prime state. All the new foals though are doing well and I am delighted to say the orphan is really shaping up after her poor start. She has not been putting on as much weight as we would have liked, but with continued hardwork and skill, she will start to thrive from now.


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