Onwards and upwards ...

The colder weather is on the way

Monday, 10 December 2018

"Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide."

Napoleon Bonaparte.

Another beautiful sunrise to start the week

It’s a calm still morning with the temperature just about holding up. I think the forecast is for it to be very mixed during the week and getting colder towards next weekend. Everybody is in who should be in on the riding front today and we have been cantering on the polytracks Racecourse Side. All has gone well so far. We should be having a runner or two on Wednesday and Thursday at Kempton and Chelmsford.

Walking back after first lot

I see the Jockey Club have got plans to build houses and a hotel at Sandown and then re-develop the stands and other parts of the racecourse. The Racing Post seems to think that will spare Kempton from being lost but they don’t really look at the bigger picture and are not thinking, in my opinion, about the future of the sport. It looks to me like Sandown, which is a great course but needs a lot of updating, have done the right thing. A hotel would be very useful and the housing should pay for the updates of everything else.

I can never understand the fuss about Kempton as nobody goes to watch the mundane flat racing that is put on. The other day when there was a jump meeting there were very few runners and small fields, so even the jumping boys, who seem to make all the noise about closure, are not supporting the track. The racing world has to look further afield and see which way we are going and in my opinion with the cost of everything increasing we need to very quickly consider centralised racing in the south. Yorkshire and the north are lucky that they have so many tracks within an hour or so to get to, but everywhere else have huge travelling costs to consider. These are very off-putting to the majority of owners and we need to do something to sort this out. An all-weather track at Newmarket is a must and if it means sacrificing one good day of racing, i.e. the King George which could easily be moved to Sandown, it would be worth it. The cost to owners would decrease immediately and it should encourage new ones to enter the sport. Obviously the prize money has to rise but if Chelmsford can do it why can’t every track. The latest report that trainers don’t consider prize money when entering a horse is complete tosh.

Ness of Brodgar and Velvet Vista

It is great to see Sylvestre de Sousa doing so well in Hong Kong. Our champion jockey is a great credit to his profession and the one thing he always does is give his all. He tries his best on everything and horses run for him. He doesn’t get the acclaim he should here in Britain but the public in the Far East love him. Jockeys in Hong Kong are treated like kings and I am sure he is never refused a table in any restaurant. If only our racing was as well funded as Hong Kong.