Onwards and upwards ...

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