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Thursday, 20 December 2018

"To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there."

Barbara Bush.

07_Pulling_Out
Pulling out for third lot

It’s a very similar day to yesterday although we haven’t had any rain as yet. We only have one non-runner this morning but I am told she will be back tomorrow when we have a runner at Southwell. Everybody has been working well and the horses have done plenty of work. One especially pleased me when it did some work on the grass around the Links. A great load of hay arrived, plus feed and shavings which means we are fully stocked up for the holiday period.

13_Hay
Last delivery before Christmas

15_Dowlings
They supply great quality

There’s an interesting article on the Irish stewarding and how they are trying to beef up their integrity matters. There have been one or two races lately that could have been looked into more when favourites have run pretty poorly. There was always going to be social media comments from punters that have lost their money on the favourite and when anybody can lay a horse to lose integrity matters come to the fore. It is a very tricky playing field to prove anything one way or another, especially when horses make mistakes and you don’t want to see them battered, as we have said in the past, but fairness and honesty are the most important things in life and without them the sport will quickly go the wrong way. In this day and age of TV cameras everywhere, with replay after replay, surely experienced stewards can reach the right decision. It would only take one or two actions to sort the matter out.

01_Wreath
Even the door of our office looks festive

Bill Barber in his industry insight column today in the Post talks about it being vital that racing speaks with one voice to Westminster. Steve Harman, the outgoing BHA chairman, was going to continue with his lobbying but this has quickly been rescinded and I am not sure who will be the leader now. One thing I do know is that we need people that know what they are talking about and can explain it to the majority of MPs who do not understand our sport. The bookmakers have a tremendous lobby in Parliament and are very influential when decisions have to be made. We as an industry have to be very professional and I agree with Bill that we must speak with one voice.

26_Topaling
Seven-year-old mare Topaling

She was a very consistent and genuine racehorse winning six times and placed on numerous occasions. A real character at home and on the racetrack, she had an abundance of ability. A strong, roomy mare with a big wide jowl, she has a lovely weanling filly by Gregorian but is not in foal this year. She is by the very good broodmare sire Halling and is half-sister to seven other winners including the special Topatoo, who won the Group 2 Middleton at York. She will be able to have an early covering next year which will be to everybody’s advantage.