Velvet Vision runs this evening at 6.05 ....

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                     Velvet Vision wins at                       Newcastle


We have one runner today in Newcastle

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t."

Blaise Pascal.

On the Cambridge Road Polytrack

Working upsides

It’s an overcast, cold morning with wind and frequent rain showers, so all in all not very nice. It was a very early start for me as I was in at 4.15 to help Tim get ready to go off to Newcastle. I can’t begin to tell you the story of what happened then, but needless to say I was not happy and it will be another chapter in my book. Tim and Harry got off in good time and I have been busy getting the yard going, plus I have got a Newmarket Trainers AGM at 12 o’clock. All the horses have been in good exercise, with some fast work on the Cambridge Road polytrack. All the rest are using the artificials close to home.

     12_G66     13_Tlova
(L) Gee Sixty Six and (R) Topalova

Four Fifty Three ran a sound enough race yesterday and showed his form at Chelmsford was all wrong. He finished a good second and a bit further would certainly help.

We have one runner up at Newcastle this evening. Velvet Vision has her second outing in the Novice stakes at 6.05. She ran very well on her debut and I can see her getting involved once again tonight. Her Dam Battery Power stayed, but we never saw the best of her as she got injured and had to be retired and Nathaniel, her sire, is certainly making a name for himself at the moment.

Four Fifty Three at Lingfield yesterday

It is the AGM of the Newmarket Trainers Federation today at 12 o’clock where we will discuss all sorts of matters concerning the gallops and future projects. It is always a lively occasion with plenty of opinions being thrown about. I have got the heath chief executive, Nick Patton, coming along to answer a few questions which I am sure there will be plenty of. I will report back on happenings tomorrow.


We have one runner today at Lingfield

Monday, 19 March 2018

"Failure changes for the better, success for the worse."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

True Calling

It’s a bitterly cold morning with a very heavy frost. There is still plenty of lying snow and a lot of salt has been needed on the icy patches in the yard this morning. There is sunshine about though, which is deceptive as the wind is cutting you in half even with two coats and over trousers on. Everybody who should be in is in and working well and we have been cantering close to home on Hamilton Hill. It was great to see our champion jockey of last year, Silvestre De Sousa, riding out for Chris Dwyer. He has just got back from much warmer climes in Dubai and on being asked if he was feeling the cold, he didn’t think it was too bad. What a great example to every young jockey, if only they were all like him. He works very hard and deserves all the accolades he gets, but if you asked 100 people on any high street today who the champion jockey is, I bet you that Silvestre would only make 5%. Most of them would think it was Frankie Dettori. It is such a pity that the publicity arm of the BHA can’t get the jockeys championship and promotions sorted out.

Cantering up Hamilton Hill

Gee Sixty Six

We have one runner today. Four Fifty Three runs in the 4.55 at Lingfield, so he may be two minutes late, but I hope he wins by a minute and he should run well once again today. At least we have got a good draw and an experienced apprentice.

Maintaining the gallops

Cheltenham finished with a flourish on Friday with the British trained winner of the Gold Cup. This means we won the three biggest races but were well and truly beaten in most of the other races by the Irish. The BHA has got to deal with the aftermath of six horses losing their lives and quite a lot of jockeys getting whip bans. I am not sure if there is a way to prevent horses losing their lives in such tragic ways, but most of them, when looked at carefully, have happened for some reason or other - out of the control of anybody. Horses can kill themselves in the field, which they often do, but it is much more high profile when it happens at meetings like this. There was three in one race which might need a close look and I am sure the BHA will do a thorough investigation. As for the whip this situation will continue to go on and on until they make the rules stick and have the penalties that suit the crime. I have always thought, and I know several people have agreed with me, that we only need to throw out one race winner for the whip offence and it would sort the whole matter out. If the number of times you can hit them is eight or ten, that should be the rule. I would make it eight, and if they break that then the horse loses the race. The only other possible solution is to bring in the Willie Carson style in that horses can only be hit in the back hand position, i.e. not out of the front of the hand but held in the back.

Our tipping competition didn’t sparkle this year and Richard had just hung on by the skin of his teeth to win by only £15. We were both heavily minus and were not very good. Aintree is not too far off and let’s hope we can do better at that venue.


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