There is a good card tonight at Sandown ...

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The Tote debate continues

Thursday, 24 May 2018

"If you always give, you will always have."

Chinese Proverb.


Belle Bayeux and below cantering


It’s a slightly warmer morning with very little breeze. In fact it is a perfect summer day. There are plenty of staff in and we have been getting on well with the horses, especially the two-year-olds. I have been putting no stress on them but starting to do some upsides work and will be stepping that up on the turf next month. There are also quite a few of them that want to see the stalls.


Farne Odyssey

The Tote debate continues with what the Racing Post calls some industry heavyweights buying a quarter of the Tote from Fred Done. They say there is a guaranteed option to buy 100% of it in three to five years. It looks like the new Britbet board have let this new group come up its inner and there is talk about collaboration between the parties. Once again there will be individuals making fortunes out of our sport and our leaders have been slow to see this. The Tote, in my opinion, should belong to racing and all profits put back into the sport, but there will be big take outs here and there will be several people a lot richer to the detriment of ordinary owners and trainers. However, nothing is quite set in stone and we will just have to wait and see how it all develops.


Melo Pearl

It is the first time ITV have televised the Brigadier Gerard night at Sandown and it will be fascinating to see the viewing figures on ITV 4. This fixture is always a good night with some high class racing including the Henry II and the Brigadier Gerard as their highlights. I can remember winning the Brigadier Gerard with Smokey Oakey who got up by an inspired ride by Jimmy Quinn on very soft ground. It gave Brian Agar and Judi Dench another thrill after Smokey’s Lincoln victory. He was a tremendous horse and with this week’s emphasis on the welfare of retired racehorses, it can show a second career can be a huge success. He teaches no end of people to ride. He is so gentle with the Riding for the Disabled who visit him every week. He looks fantastic and has a wonderful home.


It really is quite chilly this morning

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

"A heart full of joy is better than a hand full of coins."

Matshona Dhliwayo.


It’s an overcast day once again with a good breeze and it is quite cold if you are out in the open. The horses have been using a mixture of polytracks this morning and all has gone well so far. I am pleased to say that I have been out with two or three lots and am starting to feel much better although not completely there yet.


It seems as if the BHA chairman debacle is starting to be sorted. As usual everybody will be kept in the dark as to what actually happened but it looks like Steve Harman will be working on behalf of the industry with the government to negotiate over the new proposed levy system. The new BHA chairman who will be selected in the next few months. In my opinion the whole of the BHA board do very little and are incognito most of the time. In fact what do they do? I don’t think anybody in the profession actually understand what this is.

Back of the stands from the Rubbing House canter

The build up to the Derby and Oaks continues and I am sure they will both be highly competitive. The ground will be a big factor no doubt and the clerk of the course will be doing his best to get ‘good’ in the ground if possible. Heavy watering followed a thunderstorm on top can change the going quickly, so I am sure he will be very aware of not overdoing it. It is a bit like the Cup Final as the race is starting to be lost in the increased number of fixtures we are having thrust upon us every year.


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