Racing under lights on the turf....

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It is the first day of the July Festival

Thursday, 13 July 2017

"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon."

Doug Larson.

Gee Sixty Six leading Dixon and Astrostorm

Topalova and Lost The Moon

It’s a warm, blue sky morning today, but thank goodness not as muggy and there is a slight breeze when you get out on the heath. We have been cracking on with the horses and using the Rubbing House Polytrack and Cambridge Road as our main cantering grounds. We are also moving a few horses to the sales, plus the horsebox is going in for a service and MOT. All in all, quite a hectic day.

First lot walking back to the yard after exercise

Our runners yesterday didn’t shine. Astrosecret got a very indifferent ride, which is disappointing for all concerned and Bracken Brae needed the race more than I thought. It looks to me like the horses are going to need a bit more graft at home and I will be upping everybody’s work from now on.

Stellekaya and Velvet Voice

It is the first day of the Newmarket July Festival and I say it every year, I just don’t understand why they have moved it from Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It would get just as many people here mid-week and then they could move on to either Ascot or York at the weekend. I wish somebody could sort the racecourses out, but I am afraid they are the ones that hold all the power.

It is also the July Sales, which brings people from far and wide to purchase horses in training and breeding stock. The Godolphin horses were the ones everybody wanted yesterday and there was a big batch that went through which were very popular. It is morning and evening sessions from now on and we have a few in on Friday morning. Let’s hope they can find good new homes.


It is the Newmarket Town Plate today which is always the historic opener of the July meeting. This race dates from 1666 and was the first race to be run under rules. King Charles II founded it and proclaimed it should ‘run forever’. It is not run for money, it is run for a Challenge Plate, a silver photo frame, a voucher from Goldings (a clothes shop in town), and a box of the famous Newmarket sausages. It is hugely popular and there are 15 runners today. Riders include a dentist, an ambulance driver, a bookmaker, a Sheikh and a retired international showjumper. I am sure they will enjoy themselves and let’s hope it goes without a mishap. It is races like this and their history which is so good for our sport.


We have two runners today

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

"Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious."

Bill Meyer.

     109_Lost     111_Tlova
(L) Lost The Moon and (R) Topalova on Southfield Round

We had plenty of rain overnight, in fact I think well over an inch has fallen, which can only have done the paddocks and racecourse the power of good. It’s overcast and damp this morning but I think the worst of the rain has gone and it will be drying up over the next few days. We have had quite a hectic morning once again with two lots of runners going off in different directions and everybody has been working together to get the horses exercised. We have been using Southfield Round and Hamilton Hill as our main exercise today.

Cantering past the Newmarket stands

Four Fifty Three ran a sound race yesterday to finish fourth. He will benefit from going a bit further and now he is handicapped, should be competitive in mile nurseries. Rum Ration will have learnt considerably from the outing and is another who will dramatically improve from the experience. Honey Blossom was a bit too keen for the boy and didn’t settle, consequently she had run her race in the first three furlongs.

Walking home after first lot

We have two runners today. Bracken Brae is our runner at Yarmouth in the one mile five furlong handicap at 3.10. She won’t want the ground too soft, and has not run for a couple of months so the outing will do her nothing but good. I may not run her if the ground has gone really soft there. Astrosecret has gone off to Lingfield to run in the 4.10, the two mile handicap and is capable of being competitive in this type of race. She has been moving much better of late and eating really well and I wouldn’t be at all surprised that if things go according to plan she makes the first four.

Maintenance work on the stud, cutting back the trees around the street lights

I thought the piece on apprentices in the Racing Post would cause quite a bit of consternation and it obviously has, as both Andrew Balding and Richard Hannon state they will not be having any new apprentices in the immediate future. Sometimes journalists can get the wrong end of the stick and don’t know how it is on the ground floor and in this case a very good writer has got his piece wrong and it will be to the detriment of any young keen new person wanting to enter the industry. There are always things that can be improved on, like I have said over the last few days, but to criticise Stan Moore who has done nothing but help kids get rides is the wrong way of going about it. The BHA is certainly much to blame here as the applications to become an apprentice takes longer and longer and more and more hurdles are put in the way. The majority of people who work at the BHA wouldn’t know how to put a head collar on, so how they can tell us how to run our businesses is beyond me. The sooner they move out of London to a country wide central position, the better. It would save a lot of money as well. We have got a lot of things to sing our praises about. We have just had a wonderful Royal Ascot, the levy is hopefully going to have more money put into prize money, and we have the July meeting and Glorious Goodwood to look forward to, so why does the Racing Post have to bring up items like the whip and this none story about apprentices? Let’s have good stories which hopefully will encourage people to have horses in training. With owners numbers decreasing rapidly, this must be the way forward. I must make one other comment though, where is Rupert Arnold, the Chief Executive of the National Trainers Federation when you need him? Not one pip has been seen in the press. He is our paid employee and needs to be to the fore a lot more.


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