The end of the Tote monopoly ...

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                     Four Fifty Three wins at                      Chelmsford


We worked on the Peat Moss gallop this morning

Friday, 08 June 2018

"In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, for in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."

Khalil Gibran.

Working on the Peat Moss gallop

(L-R) Topalova, Velvet Voice, Astrobreeze and Velvet Vision

We have a bright, dry, sunny day once again with everybody in and we have had another very good morning work wise. Quite a few horses have been galloping on the Peat Moss on Racecourse Side, which is still in great condition. A good cover of grass and an uphill finish is perfect for the type of fast work that I like to do. We also have the staff who can ride to orders, so the work is done how I like it. Long may it continue. Most of the rest have been cantering on the Rubbing House polytrack over six to eight furlongs.

Saint Anthony and Quanah

True Calling and Melo Pearl

I see the BHA have appointed a ‘top policeman’ to investigate the conduct in the sales ring and the practices that go on in the buying and selling of horses. It will be fascinating to see the report which is due to be presented in the autumn. I am not sure what the BHA will be able to do about it, if anything, as they have no regulatory role within the sales industry. However, this is one area we need to sort out as it is a complete wild west and new owners, or even old owners for that matter, need to know that everything is done honestly and openly.

Walking home after second lot

The new racing authority which is to replace the Levy Board has finally been settled. I am not sure looking at the list of members that it will be any better than what we have had before, but it will be fascinating to see how the whole thing develops in the next year or so. What with this and the two Tote company’s going head to head, our finances are still in a precarious position and for the amount of money spent, the returns are still pitiful. I see one of the leading riders in Hong Kong, in fact a living legend in Hong Kong, is leaving that jurisdiction to race in Japan. The money these jockeys, owners and trainers can earn in Hong Kong and Japan is unbelievable, but the reason is because there are no bookmakers and it is all run by the racing jurisdiction themselves. Our racing industry, although the best in the world horse wise and history wise, is so far behind these other countries financially, but unfortunately I can’t see it ever changing.

Phil On Friday


Well, you can’t win ‘em all, even if you are Aidan O’Brien. With two English Classics under his belt already this year he was expected, of course, to land a third, and 32nd overall, with odds-on Saxon Warrior in the Derby, but through Masar the Godolphin empire has now surely resurrected racing’s battle of the super-powers.

O’Brien has won the Oaks seven times and the Derby six. This year he had five of the nine runners in the Oaks and five of the 12 in the Derby. It’s all a bit like the Mullins-Elliott domination of the jumping scene - you could call it the scattergun approach.

It’s nothing new. Back in the nineteenth century John Scott, born at Chippenham just up the road from Newmarket and reckoned to be the first of the really great trainers, had in his yard nearly 10 per cent of all the horses in training. He sent out the winners of 42 Classics between 1827 and 1863.

Now that was domination!

On more than one occasion, though, his terrific success led to criticism, perhaps founded in jealousy. In the 1835 St Leger, for example, he trained 19 of the original 67 entries. He ran only two which led the New Sporting Magazine to point out that if those 19 horses had been spread between different stables it was likely more than two of them would have started. At least O’Brien, Mullins and Elliott, even Godolphin, are not afraid to pitch their best against each other sometimes.

The New Sporting Magazine said of John Scott at one point: ‘This man Scott is so good he’s spoiled the sport’. Any thoughts?


A good morning of schooling

Thursday, 07 June 2018

"He who fears to suffer, suffers from fear."

French Proverb.

Walking to the start of the schooling fences

     19_St_Ant     42_St_Ant
Saint Anthony jumping well

Up ...

.. and over

It’s another bright, dry morning and we have had plenty of people in, which is very pleasing. I took a few horses, including two three-year-olds, up to the schooling ground first lot as we had a couple of jockeys in and had arranged to meet Jack Quinlan there. I was delighted with how everything went and both the three-year-olds performed with great credit. I was very pleased with all three jockeys.

Rum Ration over the tyres

     54_Rum     55_Rum
Looking a natural

With all the bookmaker mergers recently it seems that Mike Dillon, Mr Ladbrokes for the last 40 years at least, has decided to retire from the company and seek a new area of the industry to join. He has been a brilliant flag bearer for the firm and was certainly, for most of the profession, an ear when needing advice on many subjects. He will be a big loss to Ladbrokes and we wish him well in whatever he finds.

     30_Voice     38_Voice
Velvet Voice jumping through the stages



It is amazing how quickly the foals and yearlings develop at this time of year. I have not seen them for a few weeks but I have been walking around the paddocks recently and there is a big difference in what I now see. The warm weather always helps them as well as the grass growth, but we constantly feed them and bring the young ones in everyday for a short spell to give them time to rest. They are all developing how we would like and keeping injections, feet and teeth up to date are always top priority.


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