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Who needs the South of France

Wednesday, 04 July 2018

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."

Cynthia Ozick.

07_Rubbing_Hs
The Rubbing House Polytrack at first lot

12_Roof__Voice
Roof Garden leading Velvet Voice

It’s a bit like living in the South of France at the moment, warm, dry, all the grass burnt off and just a very pleasant temperature. It will get hotter though as the day goes on. There’s only one non-runner this morning but that could be expected after the football last night. I have been using all the different polytracks, the Rubbing House, Southfields Round and Hamilton Hill. All has gone well.

24_Melo
Melo Pearl using the Southfield Round second lot

It was the AGM of the Racehorse Owners Association yesterday and both their own chairman, Nicholas Cooper, and the BHA Chief Executive, Nick Rust, spoke at it. I think Mr Cooper’s plea was to work with the bookmarkers and hope that the two Tote warring parties can come together. Nick Rust seems to think that the challenge is not the FOBTs problem, its changing times in this modern world. He also thinks that racing needs to keep its profile and message going the right way so that we can maintain our sport with the general public. I think we can be politically correct too much at times and common sense and plain speaking is what is needed.

27_Fire
Astrofire

I see the National Heritage Centre, i.e. the Racing Museum in Newmarket, has received a much needed boost by being granted £250,000 from the Lottery Fund. This is split with Discover Newmarket who works closely with the museum. As you know the museum project has been a major one and I always thought it would attract many more visitors, but the numbers have been disappointing. I think they got the pricing wrong and feel that the entry fee, shop, and café are too expensive. It is also very hard to find as there is not enough signage. There doesn’t seem to be enough advertising and with all the visitors that come to Cambridge you would expect that we could attract many more of them to Newmarket. Let’s hope this new grant will work the oracle. It is very well worth visiting, it just needs fine tuning.

 

It's hot again

Tuesday, 03 July 2018

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

06_Vision
Velvet Vision

02_Ginger
Ginger Lady

I know everybody thinks it’s boring talking about the weather all the time so I am not going to today. It’s just hot. Everybody is in, the horses are happy, the lads are happy and everything is going as smoothly as we could want. Long may it continue.

13_Saddle_Off
Saddle off

22_Walking
and walking to the washdown box

There is only one track in England that doesn’t have a watering system and that is Bath. The ground there will certainly be firm and they are hoping not to have to put hard in the going description. The field sizes are certainly beginning to get much smaller as the ground gets firmer. Horses can get jarred up very easily and it takes ages for them to start moving properly again. It could be a month yet before we have any significant rain and it will be interesting to see the number of entries and actual runners in the next few weeks. I see in America they cancelled a meeting at Belmont Park where the temperature was approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I think it looked the right decision as the welfare of both horses and public was forefront in their minds.

28_Pick
Now for a nice pick of grass

There is always plenty of maintenance to do, both here in the yard, and on the stud. We have a great maintenance man in Ryan who has been with us for a very long time and can turn his hand to anything. Whether it is tractor work on the paddocks, fencing, tree work, gardening, plumbing etc., he and his team keep everything moving smoothly. We are having a big delivery of post and rails this week, plus boarding for the corners of the paddocks. The lads will be hard at work putting them up and creosoting them, which is not the best of jobs in this hot weather. A good team is worth its weight in gold.

 
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