The Lincoln will soon be upon us
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
"Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
Malcolm S. Forbes.
It is overcast with a slight breeze this morning. It’s dry at present though, but rain is forecast for later on in the day and I think some bands of rain are due towards the end of the week. We have got one or two more staff in this morning and everything has had a good canter on the turf or Southfields Round. We have been using the Back of the Flat and New Ground turf, which is a great cantering exercise where you can get them into a rhythm and they relax. It has been quiet with runners this week, but we are just starting to have one or two more entries and the turf season is getting nearer. Memories of the Lincoln handicap are still fresh in the mind. Babodana and Smokey Oakey both won the race that used to have everybody talking from Christmas onwards, but is now sadly just another big Saturday handicap. How times change.
I see an MP has warned the bookmakers to expect bad news when the government produces it review of the gaming machines that are so widespread in the betting shops. The bookmakers warn that thousands of shops will shut, which would lead to a loss of millions to the industry through media rights and levy payments. It is all about problem gambling and how these machines are addictive. I think a sensible approach would be the best way, but it would be very interesting to see what is announced. Let’s hope it’s not too severe as I think it would affect our income stream if the betting shops were not viable.
Cushat Law with her Sea The Moon colt and below
It is the build up to the big Dubai World Cup weekend with quite a lot of European interest once again. There are plenty of Americans and Japanese there as well and it should make for very good viewing. The Meydan track and grandstands, plus hotel is huge and you can get lost on most race days, but this one weekend, it will be filled to full capacity and there will be everything known to man going on, before and afterwards. It is one of those days that everybody should witness at least once. The prize money is well worth having a go for, although you do have to pay enormous entry fees. Our owners, Malcolm and Max Franklin, have a share in Trip To Paris who runs in the two miler, so good luck to them.
Galloping Across The Flat today
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
"He that would the daughter win, must with the mother first begin."
It’s much colder this morning, with the temperature certainly dipping overnight. Its bright sunshine though and very little wind, so although cold, it is very pleasant working. We are still a bit short in the riding department, but have been galloping some horses Across The Flat at first and second lot. All went well. There is nothing better than riding a racehorse in fast work and to me it is beyond comprehension that we can’t get the staff to experience the thrill and satisfaction of bringing a horse to peak fitness. I am sure our industry is not promoted properly enough by the people who work in the recruiting area. For a young person who likes horses, has some bottle and wants to see the world, there is no better job.
With Cheltenham just over I thought I would comment once again on the whip rule. Here we had a horse win a race and the whip rule was broken. The comment from the rider of “I wanted to win at all cost, I’m breaking the rules, but I don’t care” is absolutely ridiculous and although getting a 13 day ban and a £400 fine, the horse still kept the race. It is the easiest think in the world to count the number of cracks you have given a horse, and it would only take one disqualification to sort the matter out, but as usual the horse in not thought about, just the betting.
I see another Irish trainer is calling for a cap on runners that a single owner can have in a race as he thinks it would help the middle to smaller trainers. He is on the verge of giving the game up because he can’t make it pay, and, if you don’t have the backing of a big owner, find that one horse to put you in the limelight, or you can sell to survive, you have very little chance of making it viable. The Irish have just had a great Cheltenham, but the big trainers have dominated once again and although the punters and the press don’t seem to mind, you must have a wide base of the pyramid or the whole thing will collapse. I think it is verging on that way, both on the flat and on the jumps in Ireland and here.
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