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

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A warm forecast for the weekend

Friday, 15 June 2018

"Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad."

Anon.

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The Guv'nor, Tim and the Franklin's watching first lot

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Astrobreeze and Velvet Vision on the Peat Moss

It’s a bright, warm morning with the forecast set to be like this for most of the weekend. We have a good complement of staff in once again and have been doing some fast work with horses on the Peat Moss gallop on Racecourse Side. The ground is just beginning to dry up and we do need a good downpour to freshen everything up. I was delighted with how the horses went and although we have had very little action so far this year, we will be certainly in the thick of it very soon.

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(L-R) Saint Anthony, Garrison Law and Quanah

Garrison
The Guv'nor walking alongside Garrison Law for feedback

I see the BHA chairman situation is still rumbling on with an ex-board member commenting on the recent disciplinary process. It makes interesting reading on page five of the Racing Post and there may be more to come from this situation.

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Four Fifty Three and Ginger Lady at second lot

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Melo Pearl and Astrosparkle

Everybody is gearing up for Royal Ascot next week and the town is beginning to see plenty of visitors who are combining a trip to see their horses, as well as a few days in London. There is the Goffs Sale which is held in a big London hotel on Monday with most of the horses available to purchase holding Royal Ascot entries. Most of these will be overpriced, but if you want to buy an instant runner for the most prestigious meeting of the year and you have just won the lottery, give me a ring. I will be very willing to help.

Phil on Friday
phil

John Scott is generally reckoned to be the first of the really great trainers. As recounted last week he sent out the winners of 42 Classics between 1827 and 1863 and at one point nearly ten per cent of all horses in training in Britain were in John Scott’s yard.

A major factor in his astonishing success was that the best jockeys of the day clamoured to ride for him. Among them were Nat Flatman, whose headstone is prominent to this day in the churchyard of All Saints in Newmarket, and Frank Buckle who matched John Scott in being among the first of racing’s true greats.

Life was incredibly hard for jockeys, and everyone else for that matter, in those days, long before the motor car had even been thought of, let alone aircraft. Frank Buckle himself  lived at Peterborough and cantered into Newmarket every day to ride work before hacking back home. He would have covered more than 80 miles in the saddle before lunch, and you think commuting these days is a bind!

His career began in 1783, when he rode at 3st. 13lbs, and lasted until 1831. In his last few years as a jockey he was closely associated with Scott who employed an outspoken, blunt, Yorkshire-born blacksmith called Jacob. By this time Buckle had developed a reputation for riding what we now call a ‘waiting race’. He was the original ‘Head Waiter’.

In one witnessed conversation he was tackled by Jacob who disapproved of narrow victories and let Buckle know of his displeasure. “If I win by the length of my arm, Jacob, won’t that do?” said the great jockey. “Nay, lad,” responded Jacob. “Thy fine finishes shorten a man’s life.”

However fine the finishes might have been Buckle won the Derby five times, the St Leger twice and the Oaks no less than nine times.

 

Will we feel the full force of Storm Hector today?

Thursday, 14 June 2018

"Forgiving is rediscovering the shining path of peace that at first you thought others took away when they betrayed you."

Dodinsky.

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Roof Garden leading Isaac Murphy

It started off quite calm this morning but as the time has gone on the wind has got up and clouds have been rolling in. As yet there is no rain and I don’t think we will get much but this wind will keep drying the ground even quicker than it has been doing. We are having a good morning once again with plenty of people in and we have been using the Rubbing House polytrack for the daily exercise. All has gone well.

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Four Fifty Three with the Newmarket stands in the background

Unfortunately Astroblaze will not be running today at Yarmouth as she was not quite right this morning. She may have pulled a muscle overnight. It shouldn’t take long but it is just disappointing as it was a perfect race for her and on a course that she would have liked. I am very happy with how the horses look at present and they are all going very well in their faster pieces. We will be having plenty of runners very soon, it is just frustrating for today.

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(L) True Calling (R) Velvet Voice

I don’t know whether you have seen the YouTube video of Ryan Moore and David Walliams, plus Billy Jenkins who plays his son. There are three short videos so far with a few more planned. It is all about encouraging people to go racing and getting it across that children go free. This is the best thing that Great British Racing has ever done. I don’t know how much it will all have cost, but these are good sketches and let’s hope they work in encouraging people towards our sport. The sketches can be found on the Racing Post site or google ‘Horsing Around Great British Racing’ on YouTube.

 
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