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A quiet morning

Monday, 12 November 2018

"No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent. "

Abraham Lincoln.

The Bated Breath ex Azure Mist colt weanling

After a wet weekend we have sunshine and showers this morning. It is not cold though and at present there is very little wind. We have had a quiet morning with the horses after they have had their flu jabs on Saturday. This injection is very good but it gives them a live dose and if you press on too soon you will set them back.

Bated Breath ex Astrodonna colt weanling

The jump season has now started to get into top gear and every big winner from now until February will be Festival bound. Jump racing is very similar to the flat in that it has some huge trainers and owners who dominate the top end. It is always great to see some of the smaller yards have a good horse as it makes a much better story and can encourage new people to get involved. Let's hope we have plenty of those stories this year. The numbers game seems to be even worse in Ireland where the two or three big trainers and owners completely monopolize the game. It is becoming a major problem and both sets of authorities have to come up with some new ideas to correct the imbalance under both codes.

The statue of The Queen at the top of town

There was an extremely dangerous incident in Ireland at the weekend when a jockey was jogging round the track at Navan with ear phones in listening to music. He was very nearly run over by the runners in the novice hurdle and an accident was only just avoided at the last minute. It is a pet hate of mine when runners or cyclists have their ear phones in and are oblivious of what is going on around them.


As you know it was a hundred years since the First World War ended on Sunday, and there were so many moving tributes on the TV yesterday. Grandpa Tompkins fought all through the war and thank goodness he came home safely. There were many racing and sporting men lost in this conflict and their sacrifice should never be forgotten. We also have to remember the thousand upon thousand of horses that lost their lives and the debt we owe them.


It’s a lovely bright warm autumn morning

Friday, 09 November 2018

"That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another."

Adlai Stevenson.

The two-year-old fillies' walking to the Cambridge Road Polytrack

It’s a lovely bright warm autumn morning. The trees are a great colour and the leaves are beginning to fall in larger numbers. I don’t know if anybody knows what I mean but it smelt like autumn as I walked on the heath. It has that lovely aroma that you only find at this time of year. There are plenty of riders in once again and we have been cantering on the Hamilton Hill polytrack. I also took a few two-year-old fillies over to the Cambridge Road and did a good spin with them at second lot. All has gone well so far.


After all the horses have been out on Saturday morning they will be having their annual flu jabs which will mean no runners for at least the next week. I have found over the years that it is much better to give the horses an easy week as the injection is a live vaccine and it can certainly affect a few if not all of them. Similar to human flu injections there is not one that can stop everything, especially in this day and age when they are moving around the world as frequently as they do. I have always said it is only a matter of time before we get an outbreak of something, but if you keep a good regime of vaccinations up, it certainly helps against the worse that can happen.

Working upsides (L-R) Rosie Scot, Melo Pearl and Astromerry

I have always been wary of trainers and jockeys being sponsored, or being made ‘brand ambassadors’ as they like to call them, for a variety of bookmakers. Recently a high profile jump trainer has been having a problem with his Twitter account and the advertising standard agency has got involved. The contractual terms says that the bookmaker had the ability to manage the Twitter account which once again beggars belief. In this day and age, communication is everything and all social media platforms seem to buzz every day with news. Long gone is the golden day when you locked your staff up for the night so they wouldn’t be able to release the information as to how a certain horse galloped. Any galloping news, or injury, is soon on the internet and whether you live in Australia, the Philippines, Alaska or Croydon you all know together within seconds. There is nothing secret or sacred when bookmakers are involved. This has always been the case, even before bookmakers were legal, but the times we now live in makes it even more transparent.

Exercise over now making their way back to the yard

We are moving the weanlings today from their paddocks on the main side of the stud over to Deer Park where they will remain until coming into training. It always seems to go quite smoothly. They have already been in a horsebox when their dams went to be covered, and if you do it properly and they are not frightened, the experience they gain does them so much good for the future.


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