Onwards and upwards ...

Exercising on the Links today

Tuesday, 08 January 2019

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is 

happiness doubled by wonder."

G.K. Chesterton.

Walking to the Links this morning

It’s another bright start to the day and about an average temperature for this time of year. There is very little wind as yet but it is forecast to get much stronger as the day goes on, which will certainly make it feel colder. We have had a good morning so far with two lots out already. I took second lot up to the Links where we did two nice long canters on turf that would have been called good, verging on good to firm on any racecourse. Newmarket is an amazing place as we are on chalk based land which drains very well and quickly dries out. Around the Links is always a great and enjoyable exercise for all, horses and jockeys.

Cantering on the Links

Exercise is going well

I see Tony McCoy starts his column in the Racing Post today and has already called for a supremo to run our industry. The problem with that, and I have been calling for the same thing for as long as I can remember, is that there are so many different factors of our game and they all pull in different directions. Tony’s image and wish for the game is correct but it needs a very strong person and more than a lot of luck to sort it out. He comes up with some good observations about alternative Sundays for flat and jump racing. He talks about the congestion of meetings, which is completely barmy, and the programme book which certainly needs sorting out. I commented on the prize money situation yesterday and Tony’s concluding paragraph is about that. Wouldn’t it be a great and simple ambition for the BHA to concentrate their minds and say that if any horse wins three races in a season it would cover its costs, but nowadays you can win 10 or 12 and still not be anywhere near. It will be interesting to see how his column develops and let’s hope he can make a difference with his high profile.

Waiting to tee off

We were very lucky to have a double page spread on Dame Judi Dench and Bryan Agar’s new horse in the Racing Post on Sunday. Dame Judi has given her grandson a share in this new horse and I am sure he will enjoy it and bring a lot of friends along with him. If only there were more older owners giving their sons and daughters a share in a horse, even if they pay the training fees, it would encourage them for the future. If you have enthusiasm for anything it rubs off on your friends and family and the experience can become addictive. Sometimes it will encourage others to see what you are talking about. Whether they like it or not is another matter, but if they go to the right meetings and have a good time, hopefully they will become converts to our great sport.