Don't forget to put your clocks forward this weekend ....

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We have one runner tonight at Wolverhampton

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

"The level path is easy, but it will not bring you to the mountaintop."

Dr. Idel Dreimer.

Across The Flat

Indian Red and Gee Sixty Six

It’s turned colder overnight and it is very dull this morning. There is no rain though and none forecast for today or tomorrow, but then the weekend looks like being very wet. We have had a good morning so far with horses galloping on the turf for the first time. We came Across the Flat and just did some good spring work with a few of the older horses. Most of the rest have stayed on Southfield Round polytrack and Hamilton Hill. All has gone well so far.


Bracken Brae only had a canter round yesterday as they went much too slow and it just developed into a sprint in the final couple of furlongs. Needless to say I have given the jockey a good talking to as the race was 10 seconds slow, which is a furlong. He did the same on Lost The Moon and both horses should have won. Judgment of pace is a major weapon in a jockeys arsenal and it is one thing he will be getting drilled into him at frequent intervals. She will take her chance on Thursday over two miles, where Stevie Donohoe will take over.

Today we have one runner at Wolverhampton where Topalova runs in the 6.45. She has run two sound races this year, is beginning to get the idea and if getting a clear run, shouldn’t be too far away tonight.


There was an article yesterday about not calling stable staff lads or lasses, which is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard and won’t make a jot of difference whether they come into the industry or not. They are all called stable staff nowadays and we are just one big happy family. The one thing I always thought was wrong is that the main training centre is called a school. The British Racing School should have a name change. What to, I’m not sure, but certainly not school as nobody wants to leave a school and go to another one. All this is a complete waste of energy and time and is typical of political speak, which gets us nowhere.  A good recruiting crew run by enthusiastic and knowledgeable people would be my ideal and instead of some jockeys being coaches, they could be used as recruiting agents. Moving out of London and away from people with little knowledge of horses would also help as well.

Four Fifty Three

Cheltenham starts today and the excitement will be intense. Let’s hope for a great few days with no casualties either equine or human, just a few sore heads and bulging pockets after taking the bookmakers to the cleaners. Our tips are below from both Richard and I and we have also got Rebecca Marriot’s tip of the day. It is our usual rules, £10 win on one horse each, non-runner no bet.

1.30  Melon    2.10  Altior    2.50  Holywell    3.30  Yanworth    4.10  Limini    4.50  Champers On Ice  
5.30  Foxtail Hill

1.30  Ballyandy    2.10  Cloudy Dream    2.50  Noble Endeavour    3.30  Wicklow Brave    4.10  Apple's Jade   4.50  Bigbadjohn    5.30  Gold Present

Rebecca's tip of the day


Rebecca has chosen VIC DE TOUZAINE in the 2.50. Her stake is £5 each way.


Hold Firm is a five times winner

Monday, 13 March 2017

"A diplomat is a man who always remembers a women’s birthday but never remembers her age."

Robert Frost.

Cantering on Southfield Round

It’s a spring like morning, no wind, good temperature and sunshine. It sounds like it is going to continue along this way for most of the week, which will certainly cheer up Cheltenham Festival racegoers. It is also much better for everybody riding out as it is far nicer, always, when the weather is like this. We have been cantering on Southfields Round for most of the morning. Everything has gone pretty smoothly and, as you can imagine, everybody is in good spirits.

Honey Blossom, Koin & Astroblaze

It was great to see Hold Firm win once again on Saturday night. He was left in front a bit earlier than he wanted to be, but Gabriele is beginning to know him well now. He idles when hitting the front but always has something in reserve when another horse comes up to him. He is a tough, genuine horse and has given his loyal band of followers, the Raceworld syndicate, plenty of action and excitement all his life. Long may it continue. As he gets no penalty for winning an apprentice race, he may well run again this week.

Mr Turner behaved very well but didn’t stay the trip and at least I have finally got this out of my system. I will drop him back to six, seven and a mile and even put a pair of blinkers on him. He is such a frustrating horse as there is no better looking horse in training and he shows ability at home. I am always hopeful of getting it right and let’s hope I can sort it shortly.

Gee Sixty Six

We have one runner today with Bracken Brae in the 5.50 at Chelmsford. It’s an apprentice race, which she won last year, and I am hoping she can do it again tonight. Gabriele claims the full 7lbs here and she loves racing around this circuit. It was amazing for me to see the statistic in the Racing Post today with trainer spot giving us 100% in form. It must be the feeder I keep telling myself and, although I gave him a pay rise last week, he needs another one.

Dixon and Budgie

It was very sad to read of death of trainer Jim Leigh last week. He trained for the Nicholson family in Lincolnshire in the yard that James Given now trains from. He took over from Harry Wharton, who was the brother of Walter and Terry who I had worked for when I left school. I will never forget Harry training Eagle’s Nest and was one of the first big bets I ever had. My boss at the time, Terry Wharton, went off to watch it run with all our hard earned cash in his pocket. In those days we didn’t have mobile phones, and didn’t know the result. On his return he told us that it had got beaten, but when finally going into supper from the yard, there was a pile of cash waiting on the plate. A great day. Jim Leigh took over Eagle’s Nest and did very well with him and was a proper horseman. Our condolences go to all his family.

Sunrising between the trees

Cheltenham starts tomorrow and our tipping competition will be in full swing. I hope Richard is burning the midnight oil as he is going to need it this week because I think a few funny results could occur. I just hope the clerk of the course doesn’t start watering as he has often done in the past, but I am sure it will be a fantastic week whatever.


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