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It's a wet start to the week

Monday, 19 February 2018

"Garden fairies come at dawn,

Bless the flower then they’re gone."



It’s a wet morning with steady rain and no real wind. I think it is going to be like it for most of the day, but the forecast is for it to dry up later and then the rest of the week is hopefully going to be that way as well. We have a poor turn out in the yard this morning which is disappointing as we have got a yard full of potentially very nice horses and we need to be getting on with them in the right way. The ones that are in have been doing a sterling job and I will definitely remember them when the bonuses are paid out. Good canters on the polytracks close to home has been the exercise of the day, and all has gone well so far, but how much better could it be if everybody had turned up. It seems to me it is the same everywhere in all industries and this lack of dedication and work ethic seems to be put into these youngsters at a much too early age. It all stems from the top though and our politicians, who seem so out of touch with normal people, need to get a grip and start getting into the real world. Only then will the country move forward.

Saint Anthony

Our runners over the weekend all ran not too badly. Clearance was the only one who was disappointing as he was in a good position but then failed to stay on. He may need some blinkers or eight flights of hurdles. He will be getting both of those quite quickly. Velvet Vision ran a race full of promise at Newcastle. She has always shown us at home that she is a talented filly and she has an exciting future if everything goes to plan. Four Fifty Three ran very well to finish third after a long layoff but could have been much closer if orders had been followed, but at least the horses are in great form and we have a very good bunch. The majority of them are all capable of winning races and a few could be well above average.

Third lot and TTMAB is ready to go

There was a small snippet in the Racing Post yesterday which I thought was quite telling and just goes to show the frailty of the BHA’s integrity’s services. Ascots blood testing boxes were found to have old droppings still in them and cobwebs in the corner. These had obviously not been cleaned out from meeting to meeting and so contamination could clearly have taken part. If the sampling boxes aren’t clean what chance is there for everything else, and this is not Newton Abbot or Carlisle it is Ascot where our biggest race meetings are held. It will be interesting to see what happens and who gets blamed. I would suspect what will happen is that no one will get fined and the racecourse will say we will learn our lesson, which is a stock phrase that is pushed out by everybody when they have been caught out. It should never happen in the first place.


We have two runners going out today

Friday, 16 February 2018

"Though the barriers of life seem formidable, we find when we challenge them that they have no will."

Robert Brault.

Garrison Law

It’s a bright, cold morning with a ground frost, but at least it’s dry and much better weather to work in. It has been a hectic morning, after a hectic night and I will explain all the goings on below. First lot worked on the Cambridge Road, which went well, and the rest of the string have been doing good healthy work on the tracks close to home.


Our runner last night ran with credit, but I only got there to watch it by the skin of my teeth. There was a shunt on the M11 and five fire engines and three police cars later, plus sitting still for an hour and a half, I managed to get by the three car accident. I don’t know why we always seem to panic in England and take forever to clear these incidents away as everywhere else they just drag them off the road and then sort it out. Its health and safety gone mad! I eventually got to Chelmsford and Gee Sixty Six ran much better to come third, in fact the blinkers worked well and we may go back in trip in future.

We now only have two runners today as Ginger Lady knocked her eye very badly last night in her box. She must have been rolling about and caught it on the wall. She has had to be withdrawn which is unfortunate as I thought she had a good chance. Clearance is our only runner at Lingfield in the two mile race at 2 o’clock. He has always threatened to show what he can do on the track and I am sure he stays well enough. Let’s hope today he can get in a rhythm and start to earn his corn. Our other runner, Velvet Vision, is at Newcastle tonight in the 8.15. She is the second foal of Battery Power by Nathaniel. There is a great story to tell about this filly and I will do that once she has performed on the track. This is the only mile maiden for fillies for the next month or so, which to my mind is absolutely bonkers.  The BHA, in their wisdom, want the novice events to be full and the only way they feel they can do it is by letting colts and fillies take each other on. I have always liked this filly at home and she has shown me plenty, but this race looks pretty warm and I am just hopeful she can have a nice introduction and maybe run into a place.

We have one runner on Saturday where Four Fifty Three runs at Lingfield in the 4.40. He has been very consistent before a minor problem stopped him. He has now been cut and has been working well for the past fortnight. Drawn quite wide once again, which never helps, this run will put him cherry ripe and I wouldn’t be surprised if he made the frame.

Rum Ration

It was fun and games coming back from Chelmsford last night, and don’t forget I had a nightmare journey getting there as well. I had just got on the main road to Stansted on the M11 when there was a load bang and the car started to swerve all over the road. Luckily I managed to keep it under control and get into a layby. The AA was very good but it was another two hours before they got me on the back of a truck and delivered the car to our local garage. It was one of the springs on the near fore which snapped and then went into the tyre. When it happens, it happens. It was no fun for Angie either as she had been sitting up for two nights and wanted to have some sleep, but she came to collect me from the garage well after 12 o’clock. Just to show you how hard trainers work as well, I was up at 4.15 helping Tim to feed as he was leaving early to go to Newcastle. There is never a dull day.

Astroblaze ready for third lot

Tom Kerr’s piece in the Racing Post today deserves a comment and it just shows how changed our society is by social media. Everybody is pushed towards having social media accounts, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat or whatever, but with these modern inventions the abuse that can be directed at people can be very distressing for the receiver. I know jockeys get plenty of it and we have had disgruntled punters sending in abusive messages to our website. The abusers can hide behind their pseudonyms and are complete strangers to the recipients. I have never been on Twitter and never will be and I think that the sooner the government can bring in laws to control the amount of abuse and hatred which is being sent out by very sick individuals, the better.

Phil On Friday


Phil is still incapacitated but hopefully will be back soon.


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