Saint Anthony and Velvet Vision run today and True Calling tomorrow ...

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Day one of Royal Ascot

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

"The best time to make friends is before you need them."

Ethel Barrymore.

Cantering on the Rubbing House polytrack

True Calling

It’s a very warm morning once again, in fact it’s quite uncomfortable in a muggy way. The forecast is for it to get warmer as the day goes on and continue like it all week. We have had a good morning with the horses so far, although we are a couple of staff down. We also have one on holiday and one in hospital. Just a normal day in any training yard. Most of the horses have been cantering on the Rubbing House polytrack and we did school a couple of three-year-olds who are going to run at Market Rasen on Friday. Both went ok.

     04_Voice     05_Fire
(L-R) Velvet Voice and Astrofire


It’s the first day of Royal Ascot today, which is starting off on good to firm ground. I think the Clerk of the Course will be watering tonight but I am sure he will wait and see how the draw will take effect. The first three races are on the straight course so there will be a pattern emerging pretty quickly. Richard Marriott and I are having our normal tipping competition to a £10 win on every race throughout the week and may the best man win. Our selections are below.


2.30  Rhododendron    3.05  The Irish Rover    3.40  Lady Aurelia    4.20  U S Navy Flag    5.00  Dannyday  5.35  Mirage Dancer


2.30  Benbatl    3.05  Sergei Prokofiev    3.40  Mabs Cross    4.20  Tip Two Win    5.00  Meri Devie    5.35  Big Country

Rum Ration and Saint Anthony schooling

One of my bugbears is over complicating things. I like to keep things simple and straightforward. This new computer system that the BHA has brought in is enough to drive you to drink as they have changed so many things. They have also taken away the ability for trainers secretary’s to do so much more for the owners, i.e. sponsorship which is always complicated and time consuming. Why the ROA and the National Trainers Federation agreed to these changes I just don’t know. Most owners just want to turn up and watch their horse run without all the form filling and computer blips that are such a waste of time. If we are to encourage new owners everything wants to be simple and very easy to set up. The way it is now it is so complicated but once again the BHA has brought it upon themselves. There may be a few owners who like to do it themselves but they are professional owners who are trying to make money out of it, not normal owners who want the enjoyment and excitement that owning a horse can bring.


We are having a foal inspection

Monday, 18 June 2018

"At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss."

Paulo Coelho.

Isaac Murphy

It’s quite overcast as we write this but the forecast is for it to get very warm and stay like it all week which will be great for Royal Ascot and all the paying customers, but it certainly doesn’t suit my possible runners who would definitely like a drop of rain. The ground at Ascot, I am sure, will be on the fast side and it will be fascinating to see what advantage the draw will give certain horses. We have a good lot of staff in this morning and we have been cantering the full length of the Rubbing House polytrack. All has gone well so far.

Saint Anthony back in the yard

We are having a foal inspection this morning on the stud. We try and do this on a regular basis where David, Angie and I all have a good look at foals walking up and down on a hard surface. You can really see how they move and we are checking their conformation at this early stage. We always take notes and records and you can often illuminate certain faults at this stage. I know that David and Angie are very pleased with this year’s crop of foals and I am sure I will be when seeing them later on.

Foals look deep in conversation

I have always held golf and golfers up as a great example of sportsmanship and how to conduct yourself at the top level, so it was very disappointing when watching the U.S. Open to see one of the top golfers commit a deliberate stroke in a fit of pique when his ball was running off the green. The U.S. authorities are so weak that they didn’t disqualify him immediately, in fact not at all and it will be interesting to see what the repercussions are in the coming weeks. All sport must be played in the correct way, always play to win, but play within the rules and if you can’t be a good loser, then don’t play at all. There can only be one winner in every competition and the examples our top sportsmen set to the younger generation must be exemplary.


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