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We have one runner today at Yarmouth

Thursday, 04 July 2019

"The impossible is often the untried."

Jim Goodwin.

The day in the life of a racehorse

     03_Vision     04_Vision
They start off being brushed - tails, manes and body, and turned out well for exercise

Again the morning is just like the previous two we have had, no wind, no clouds and the temperature set to soar. It looks set for a few more days in a similar vein. We have had an early start with the horses as we have a runner today at Yarmouth. Everybody is working well both in the yard and riding out. On mornings like this there are no problems and it is a pleasure to be out on the heath.

Cantering on Hamilton Hill

Moving well

We have one runner today in the first at Yarmouth. I have dropped Quanah back in trip once again just to see if this will work the oracle. We are going to get permission to go down early and let’s hope this can do the trick. He has been a disappointing horse and we haven’t been able to sort his ideal trip out. His sire gets very fast horses but he is out of a mare by Galileo who can get anything.

Exercise over

There is plenty of print space today in the Racing Post on the mental health of the sports participants. The professional jockey’s chief executive was warning about the unsustainability of the industry and how the pressure of constantly working is affecting everybody’s health. The clerks of the courses are up in arms because they have had agro from some certain trainers. I don’t know the ins and outs of it but it is frustrating when ground is not what is expected, but there is no reason for rudeness. It is unfortunate that we have social media nowadays as anybody can hide behind it. The real problem, and you have heard it from me hundreds of times, is that there is never a break for anybody, whether it is man or horse and the racecourses just want more and more. Until we get this situation sorted out these problems will continue. It has been brought on by greed from the bookmakers and racecourses and the BHA have been powerless to stop it.

Cooling shower


A very busy morning

Wednesday, 03 July 2019

"One may miss the mark by aiming too high as too low."

Thomas Fuller.

Mereside out and cantering

Today is very similar to yesterday. The temperature is starting to rise as the day goes on and with no wind, it is getting quite oppressive. We have been getting horses out as early as possible - cantering, walking, lunging and turning out - a wide variety of activities this morning. All has gone well so far and let’s hope they start to run well in the near future. It has been a frustrating time but I think we are now starting to turn the corner.

Back in after exercise

It was the AGM of the Racehorse Owners Association yesterday and the president, in his speech, suggested that we should have a different way of collecting the levy. It has been 16 years since we went to the profit based system which has been a disaster with the levy going down most years. It must be on turnover or point of consumption tax now and as they say, 1% of the bookmaker’s turnover would be way and above what we are getting now. The media rights was another topic and that the racecourses should be putting at least 50% of their media rights, which are around £150m a year, into prize money rather than the paltry bit we get now. It is the only way forward and if it is not sorted now it will come to a head at some stage.


The new chair of the BHA made her first speech at the owners AGM and concentrated on welfare, both equine and human. I am sure this is why she was selected as we seem to be paranoid nowadays in this direction. Mind you the headline on the front of the Racing Post is how the clerk of the course at Doncaster has nearly had a breakdown with all the criticism he receives. You can never please everybody and clerks have to be very thick skinned but honest with their ground assessments. Doncaster is one of those tracks which is soft one minute but firms up very quickly. With the 48 hour declarations we have to do nowadays there are always going to be problems and we all know which tracks are the worst and who are the most untruthful clerks. They want runners as they get more media rights with full fields and a little cover up can mean more money for the racecourses. There is far too much racing with so many meetings this week and next. There needs to be somebody with some authority to sort the whole mess out.

Velvet Vision having a nice pick of grass after her cooling shower


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