Three interesting and thought provoking pieces ....

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We now have no runners today

Thursday, 18 May 2017

"Give your dream all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you."

William James.

First lot warming up in the trotting ring

After plenty of rain yesterday, we have got a dry, warmish morning. There is plenty of cloud in the sky and more rain is forecast for tomorrow. It has certainly freshened up the ground, with Newmarket now good to soft and York have changed to soft, consequently we will not be running Lost The Moon there today. I have been using Southfields grass for the first two lots of the day but I think Hamilton Hill and Southfield Round will be used from now on. A couple of staff disappeared after first lot, which has not helped the morning, but the rest are working hard and things are going as planned. We have a couple of very good recruits starting shortly and we will then be up to full strength. Thank goodness.

Cantering on the Southfield Grass gallop

We had a bit of jockey trouble yesterday when he did the complete opposite of what I told him. Those who know me will understand when I tell you he had a long debrief. It is no good me running horses, owners owning them, the lads putting all the work in just for the jockey to do the complete opposite of what I want and it just disappoints everybody. All you ask from a jockey is to do as he is told, or try to at least. I have been in the sport nearly 50 years and understand things can happen, but jockeys must at least try and be part of the team. I am sure the young lad got the message yesterday and I just hope he took it all in. The second filly reared up, slipped and lost her footing, which meant she had to be withdrawn and although very disappointing at the time, she lives to fight another day. I will have my own people down the start with her next time she appears on the track. I have had 40 years of needing very few stalls test, but this year we have had 4 already. I suppose it is just how it goes.

Desert River with two-year-olds Saint Anthony, Budgie and Four Fifty Three

There is some very sad news coming through this morning on the death of Alan Swinbank. He has suddenly died at the age of 62. He was a very fine trainer and a good judge of a horse. Often we would be vying for the same type at the sales. Our condolences go to all his family and friends.


We have two runners today at Yarmouth

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

"Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve."

Roger Lewin.

It's a really wet morning

At long last the promised rain has arrived, 15mm already overnight and it is still pounding it down as we write this. It is forecast to stay around quite a while today and then showers for the rest of the week, but this rain will do so much good for the gallops and the paddocks at home. All the hay making men will be delighted as well as it should encourage a good growth of grass. We have been keeping close to home this morning getting the lots in and out as quickly and safely as possible. Two good canters on Hamilton Hill have been perfect for that.

Velvet Voice cantering through the rain

I have sent two runners off to Yarmouth today where the Clerk of the Course tells me that the ground will now be good. Neither of these fillies wants it anywhere near soft and if soft goes in the going description, neither will run. Astrosecret hated it at Salisbury last year and so did Dot Green at Sandown. I know it is hard for owners to understand, but some horses just cannot go a yard, especially when being asked to quicken. It is alright going the normal pace but when they have to make the effort and stride on, they just lose their action and get lost in the ground. If they both take the chance on good ground I expect them to improve from their first runs of the year and be competitive in their races.

Topalova on Hamilton Hill

I see Windsor have replaced their Clerk of Course who has been officiating over their abandonments. Following on from what I said yesterday they certainly needed to do something as the professionals, and the public, were starting to lose faith in the course itself. It has always been such a popular Monday night meeting, which must have been a good money spinner for the group, but if the farce of being abandoned had continued, they would have lost all credibility. Watering is the problem and they just can never get it right, so, to my mind just don’t water and let nature takes it course. As trainers keep going on about, some horses like it fast, some like it soft, if they don’t water, it makes it fair for everybody. A good covering of grass is better than anything, but in this day and age it is very hard to find a good groundsman who knows what they are doing.


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