May the best man win ...


We have one runner today at Fontwell

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

"Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap."

Doug Larson.

Cantering at first lot

Garrel Glen

It’s another damp, wet morning with plenty more rain forecast for later on. After the long drought we are now in for a period of very unsettled weather. It will do nothing but good. It’s been a normal morning in the yard which has been really busy since 4 o’clock and we have been cantering on the polytracks close to home. All has gone well, everybody is cheerful and with a bit of help from one of the stud boys, we are getting the mucking out done in good time.


We have one runner today in the first at Fontwell, the two mile five furlong handicap. She starts off her handicapping over hurdles on a very good mark. The ground should suit, I am sure she will stay the trip and, if jumping ok, she could get involved at a big price today. She showed some ability on the flat, but had a few little problems. We have been concentrating on getting her to settle and in a rhythm. The jockey who rides her today has done a very good job and I hope he can have a good ride today.

A cooling walk after exercise

It is never easy when you lose horses and the headlines on the front of the Racing Post today just prove that point. Lady Kaya, who finished runner up in the Guineas, fatality injured herself yesterday working on the Curragh. It never seems to happen to a moderate one always the good ones, but as I say they are the ones who put in everything and try their hardest. We lost two top class horses last year, one on the gallops and one from an infection. It would have made a big difference to our season if they had been able to run and fulfil their promise. The big yards can afford to lose one or two but for the middle and smaller yards it can have a devastating effect.


The ground at the racetracks is finally going our way

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."

Edmund Hillary.

Velvet Vision and Garrel Glen working on the Al Bahathri

It’s a really wet day once again which is lovely jubbly. It is one of those proper wet mornings, good steady wet rain and after yesterday deluge, the ground should now be starting to get properly soft. All the staff have been working well considering the weather and the horses have been getting a nice canter close to home. It looks like we will be having plenty of runners this week and I am delighted that the tracks we are running at the ground is coming up soft.

Walking back to the horsebox 

I see there was another mix up with two horses when it transpired that a horse presented to run at Catterick was not the horse it was meant to be. When the two horses in question were transported form Ireland they had evidently been dropped off at the wrong place, 400 miles apart. For some reason only one trainer has been fined and it is completely beyond me why these things happen. Actually it is not beyond me, it is because there are not enough staff that are on the ball these days and I wonder how many more times this has happened in the past. These things only turn up when they are presented at the racetrack and the microchip tells all. This is just another case of how overworked trainers and their staff are, but the BHA will never get it into their brains that the amount of racing we have is just exhausting everybody.

Roof Garden splashing around in the puddles

It was very sad to see the death of Sir David Sieff who has done so much for our industry. He was one of the people who saved Newbury from being taken over and was a chairman and a trustee of Racing Welfare. His behind the scene work and understanding of the industry, plus his business acumen, meant he had a very calming and professional hand on the tiller of this very important charity for all racing staff. Our condolences go to his family.

Bob, why are you sat in the rain?


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