Astrosparkle runs today in the 4.05 ...


We have one runner today at Lingfield

Friday, 22 February 2019

"Pleasure is spread through the earth

In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find."

William Wordsworth, 1806.

Pulling out for third lot

It was one of those amazing mornings on Newmarket heath at first lot. We get them quite a bit at this time of year as the mist lies low on the heath and bands of fog come rolling in. As the sun came up it soon cleared but it’s well worth getting up early on days like this as you can get some fantastic photographs. Everybody is in, including Marc Monaghan, and we have been using the newly refurbished Rubbing House canter for most of our work today. Older horses were out at first lot then five colts at second. All has gone well and fitness and experience are getting better every day.

Cantering on the polytracks

I don’t know what was happening yesterday with our runner at Southwell but I think the jockey got a rush of blood to his head. He went far too quickly and not even Pegasus could go that pace and finish the race. He also went up the inside which is the worse place to be and, although you can drill it into jockeys what to do, once you leg them up it is out of your control. Maybe we should move to the camel way of racing as the have robots on their camels instead of humans!

We have one runner today at Lingfield in the quite warm looking mile and a half novice stakes at 4.05. Astrosparkle has had a couple of runs so far and will be handicapped after today’s run. Let’s hope she can run well and try and win us some prize money, which I will be commenting on below.

... and walking back down the grass

It is very disappointing to read a comment from the Racing Post editor on the prize money protest which is happening at Lingfield tomorrow. The trainers have boycotted two races with no runners in one and a walk over in the other. Arena Racing Company has made the decision to cut their prize money to even lower levels than it was before. The majority of trainers in the country are struggling to survive, as everybody knows, and now that ARC, one of the biggest racecourse groups have done this, you would have thought the Racing Post would have supported us. But, in Tom Kerr’s piece he concludes it by saying trainers may have no choice but to live with the lower prize money. I think this action is the tip of the iceberg and that there will be a lot more problems ahead for the group if it doesn’t up its prize money and get back to proper levels.

     01_Misty_Sunrise     01_Mist
Newmarket this morning

Two mares were covered early in the week by Due Diligence and Mayson and this weekend we have three more going, one to Twilight Son, One to Ulysees and one to Time Test. The recent flu debacle has caused even more work for everybody as the studs now want paperwork ahead of time. As I have always told you the BHA live in their own bubble in London and have no idea whatsoever of what goes on on the shop floor. The staff in both racing and stud yards work brilliantly well and care for their horses 100%, but more and more bureaucracy just drives everybody barmy. Keep it simple is my cry, not more complicated, but we are run by people trying to justify their jobs all the time


We have one runner today at Southwell

Thursday, 21 February 2019

"Life’s problems wouldn’t be called “hurdles” if there wasn’t a way to get over them."


Waking up to a beautiful day

It’s a very mild morning which is unusual for this time of year, but if the forecasters are to be believed we are in for this until at least next week. 15 or 16 degrees is what is expected and absolutely no rain. The grass canters are starting to firm up a bit, which for February is ridiculous. I am sure it will be a wet April or May instead. Everybody is in once again and the horses are cantering away on a wide variety of canters with one or two new ones opening up as we approach the start of the season. All has gone well so far.

     27_Walking     23_Another_horse
Pulled out and ready to go

We have one runner today at Southwell. Astrojewel takes her chance in the 3 o’clock, the seven furlong handicap. Theodore Ladd takes 5lbs off. We are drawn well and, in what looks a reasonably competitive contest, I am hopeful of a sound run if everything falls into place.

All ready for third lot

The new Racing TV seems to have upset the Irish in a huge way with some of their big guns being very vocal about it. I am sure they are right and it is very annoying that this situation is happening. Everybody in Great Britain and Ireland want to watch all the racing and not have split screen races or even no race at all. Somebody is making money though and it looks like it’s the racecourses and Horseracing Ireland in the Emerald Isles, but it is disappointing to everybody else. The main reason is there is just too much racing and the racecourses make fortunes out of their media rights without putting enough back into prize money. Sooner or later we are going to see a backlash from the professionals and it can’t come quick enough for me as prize money levels are pathetic and have not gone up properly for 30 years. We are still running for the same amount we used to then. I have said it before, and I will say it again, we need somebody in charge who has foresight and understands our game. Although the top level will always be the best in the world, the majority of the others have been going downhill for a while, purely because the economics do not work out. Much more centralised racing is needed, which would reduce costs dramatically. Also, prize money needs to be boosted and more fairly distributed. If this means losing a few racecourses, who can’t stand on their own two feet, then so be it, but anybody who loves and cherishes our sport must support the need for change.

Quanah looking magnificent in the sun


Page 1 of 14