Happy Easter ...


We have one runner today at Huntingdon

Thursday, 11 April 2019

"Life is not always fair - sometimes you get a splinter sliding down a rainbow."

Terri Guillemets.


It’s a bright but cold morning once again with some frost early on. We have had a busy time here with the horsebox leaving to go racing and the usual comings and goings. Everybody is pulling together to get everything done and huge thanks go to the staff for doing a sterling job. The Farm Canter has been the one we have used for the majority of the horses. It is certainly riding well after last year's improvements.

roof_1                                                            Cantering on the Farm Canter

We have one runner today. Velvet Voice runs at 2.10 in the two mile mares' maiden hurdle at Huntington which is only down the road. She has not shown great form of late but certainly possesses plenty of ability. It is just a case of getting her to settle and to breathe before we see the best of her on the track.


Going round the newly formed bend

It is good to read that the UK has been granted third country status for the live export of animals by the EU. Without this status horses would not have been able to move for racing and breeding purposes in the case of a no-deal Brexit. I have always thought that this was crackers as we have the best bio security and the highest animal health standards by far of any country in the world. We should be wary of imported horses rather than the other way round. 

RoofRoof Garden 


We really do need some rain

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

"We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey."

Kenji Miyazawa.

Velvet Vision working with Belle Bayeux

It’s another cold and breezy morning and we are told it will stay like this for the next few days. There is no rain forecast, which is disappointing, as I am keen to get on the turf gallops. They are open but on the fast side and as yet there is very little growth of grass. The horses have been cantering mainly on the Farm canter up to the Rubbing House over a mile. All has gone well and apart from one or two staff that haven’t turned up, things are ticking over. I am sure the horses feel a lot better than I do as I have got some sort of flu that is not doing me any good.


I see that Brendan Powell has retired from the training ranks due to financial pressure. I can understand his predicament as everything seems to go up, especially rent and rates, and nothing comes down. He will be a great loss to the profession, a top class jockey- he rode for me a few winners - and a very good person to boot. I hope he finds the right position in the industry as we can ill afford to lose somebody of his calibre.

I see the National Trainers Federation council and the BHA had a meeting yesterday in London with clear the air talks. There has been plenty of tension between the bodies, as everybody well knows, and let’s hope there was plenty of straight talking and openness and we can stop having these hiccups which cause attention. The retiring BHA chairman said he was very grateful to the trainers and that the BHA were committed to engage with the NTF in a far more effective way in the future. I hope that is the case.

Garrel Glen

I have not been into a betting shop since the FOBT machines had their big reduction but reading the Racing Post today it looks like these shops are much quieter now. The people who want to bet on the horses can now enjoy the shops rather than put up with the agro from losing punters on the machines. It will be fascinating, as I have said before, to see how many shops do actually close and what happens if they do.

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