Happy Easter ...


It's set to be a lovely week, but we do need rain

Monday, 15 April 2019

"Establishing goals is all right if you don’t let them deprive you of interesting detours."

Doug Larson.

Cantering on Racecourse Side

It’s a bright morning with a good breeze and the temperature, although low at present, is set to quickly get warmer. There is absolutely no rain forecast for the next 10 days, which I am hoping they have got wrong, but if they are right, it is a big disappointment as the ground on the courses and the heath is getting on the firm side. I gave the majority of the horses a flu jab on Saturday night, which is in line with the new BHA thinking, but it means they will all have to have a quiet time for a few days before I can get going with them. It may have been very fortuitous with the ground like it is as we would not be having any runners anyway. The amount of new rules and regulations that are coming in are starting to get beyond the pale now and why we can’t keep everything simple and easy is beyond my thinking. The employees of the BHA seem to me to have to justify their wages and don’t understand how time consuming and unnecessary the paperwork that we now have to produce every time we have a runner is.

Lost The Moon with her Equiano colt foal

Lost The Moon had her foal at the weekend. A colt foal by Equiano who was soon up and having a suck from his mother. We were all a little bit apprehensive as to what sort of mother she would be as she has been slightly hyper leading up to the foaling, but our fears were allayed as she is brilliant and loves the foal. There is nothing easy when you are dealing with animals and no sooner had we had the foaling we then had another mare in the vets for a twisted gut operation. These things can get serious very quickly and we are so lucky having the vets and their specialist hospital within 10 minutes. I am pleased to report that the mare is recovering ok at present.

Pageant Master

There was plenty of agro from trainers about the state of the ground at Ayr once again when the clerk gave it as good ground, only to change it to good to firm during the afternoon on their second biggest race day of the year. There were plenty of withdrawals and it is so disappointing and very expensive for all concerned when this happens. All we require from the clerks is straight forward honesty as to what the ground is and what they think it could go to. There is a great reluctance form the clerks to put the word firm in their description, even if it’s good to firm, but they will alienate the trainers and lose runners if they are not honest. The clerks of the courses who tell us the truth whether we want to hear it or not, are by far and away the best ones.


Our runner ran with real credit yesterday

Friday, 12 April 2019

"Gratitude is the music of the heart, when its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness."


Velvet Vision leading Pageant Master and Astromerry

It is slightly warmer this morning but there is a good breeze which is constantly drying the ground. We are now getting desperate for some rain here in East Anglia but there doesn’t look to be any forecast for the next 10 days at least, which is a bit disappointing. This morning the office is like a doctor’s waiting room with all three of us coughing and spluttering and all on varies pills and potions. Thank goodness the horses are much healthier and the lads are getting on well with the daily exercise. We ventured over to Long Hill on Bury Side at first lot which went well and the rest have been cantering close to home on the polytracks.

Cantering to the end of the gallop

Our runner yesterday, Velvet Voice, once again improved on her last effort. She jumped well and stayed on quite nicely I thought. I am hoping now we get a handicap mark and some better ground and then she will be competitive. It has taken quite a while to get her brain settled and get her to breathe during races, but Kevin Jones, who has ridden her the last twice, has done a great job and hopefully he will reap the rewards.

Walking out of the yard

It’s the swansong race for Winx tomorrow morning and I am sure she will be on the front of every national newspaper. The Australians love their racing and their press are certainly on side more than their British equivalent. What a remarkable mare she has been and although she has never travelled overseas, she has taken on all comers in Australia and her record will take some beating. I am sure the crowd will give her the proper send off.

It is such hard work being a yard cat

There are lots of things in the Racing Post today, a jockey recovering from a cocaine addiction, another jockey suspended for concealing lead weights and a problem with the surface at Dundalk, a racecourse in Ireland. But, the story I like best is about Cue Cards retirement. He has gone off to be retrained as a show horse and after his great career on the track, will now be able to enjoy another in the show ring. These are the stories that the racing industry does very well and should push them forward to the daily papers rather than just be in the industry ones.

The winter pansies are still looking good


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