The horses are in good form
Thursday, 13 April 2017
"We gain no easier advantage than be relentlessly pursuing our goal while others pursue an advantage."
Coming back in after first lot
It’s a bright morning but much colder than yesterday and I was feeding in moonlight once again. There is no rain due, or even forecast, for the next week at least. In fact I was getting texts yesterday from the heath foreman saying that the watered gallop will be open in the very near future. I can’t ever remember that being open as early as this. I hope we can get some rain and they don’t open it as it is hallowed turf and it will soon cut up and get worn if we use it when the spring grass is coming through. We have had a good morning cantering wise with most of the horses using Southfields Round and all the reports I am getting back from the lads, is that they are jumping out of their skins.
Second lot ready to pull out
I see other owners were complaining about the prize money yesterday, calling it desperate when a horse costing £190,000, got first prize money of £2,900. I hope the powers that be are taking notice but we have been going on about this for so long now and nothing seems to get done at all. When you have got Australia, France and Hong Kong producing unbelievable prize money for the owners, we can’t just live on our heritage alone. This article goes hand in glove with another one in the Post today about the all-weather tracks and how Newcastle may or may not have changed the look of the trainer’s table. Newcastle is still a good way up and very expensive to travel to from the big Yorkshire training centres, and it doesn’t surprise me that Mark Johnston and Richard Fahey are two of the main winning trainers there, especially Johnston, who has the owners who don’t seem to race for the prize money and don’t mind paying the huge expenses which are accrued nowadays. I think an all-weather track at Catterick or Wetherby would be a big help to the northern boys and I am sure there will be one there within a few years.
The urn and the archway in the yard
The viewing figures comparing the racing coverage of ITV and Channel 4 have been published. There was a big drop in the totals of both those viewing the racing and of those who watched the morning line. The big problem, to my mind, is that the ITV coverage is on ITV4 for the majority of its broadcasts whereas Channel 4 was on mainstream TV. Neither Channel 4 nor ITV will complain though as they are guaranteed advertising, in fact as much as they want by the bookmakers. They are still raking it in though as most people nowadays bet on their phones with all the profits going offshore and no tax going to our racing. We are still awaiting the European agreement to claim this tax anomaly back, and I know I keep going on about it but they couldn’t organise a … in a brewery.
It's a cool, overcast morning
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
"Promise yourself to live your life as a revolution and not just a process of evolution."
Anthony J. D’Angelo.
It’s gradually got more overcast as the morning has gone on. When I was feeding early, the moon was just visible, but it was much darker than yesterday. We also have a slight breeze which is just making it on the cool side, but no rain and very little forecast. We have had a good morning with the horses doing some good cantering work on the polytracks racecourse side and one or two of the two-year-old are really starting to shine. It is great at this time of year as you can see the more precocious ones and the excitement starts to build.
I agree 100% with Richard Hannon who is having a real go at the prize money at Windsor Racecourse, as well as the prize money on offer at Southwell at the weekend. It is pathetic the amount of prize money we are running for and it is just not right that these courses are allowed to get away with it. The BHA has got to do something about it, but is pretty toothless and won’t stand up to these courses. We have got to do away with a least 300 fixtures and reallocate all the money into prize money. It may at least make it worthwhile winning a race, but as young Mr Hannon says, that when horses costing £90,000 or £75,000 etc. are running for £2,000 in prize money at Windsor, where the bars are crammed, champagne is £85 per bottle, there is something majorly wrong. We used to have a very good man employed by the Horsesmans Group who understood the game and got minimum values going the right way. He was got rid of because his face didn’t fit for some people. In my opinion it was a great loss.
Looking after the gallops between lots
We have a couple of really nice two-year-old for sale at present, Budgie and Honey Blossom, who would give plenty of fun this year and next. Take a look at the pictures and give me a ring on 01638 661434 if you are interested.
The flowers are growing nicely outside the office
Although I have been up at 4 o’clock every morning and look like being so for the foreseeable future, unless we can find a head person who wants a well-paid job with lots of perks, I did have the afternoon off yesterday to take a couple of our grandchildren to Go Ape in Thetford Forest. I know it was the school holidays, but there were literally hundreds of them there yesterday, from babies to teenagers. It is an amazing place with every type of climbing apparatus, both in the treetops and on the ground. It is a great day out for kids and they are all completely fearless. My point here is where does that fearlessness go when they become adults, or turn 17? They can’t all find jobs being scientists and doctors, and racing can give so much excitement to younger people it is unbelievable. We just have to get these kids on our wavelength and away from the health and safety rubbish. They would have a wonderful life in our industry.
Page 4 of 8