The mares are getting close ...


Snow is expected by the end of the week

Monday, 14 January 2019

"Golf is like a love affair. If you don’t take it seriously, it’s no fun; if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart."

Arthur Daley.

The three two-year-old fillies on the trotting ring

It’s a typical January morning, still, a bit damp with the temperature about normal for this time of year. I am afraid it is not going to stay this way though as the cold weather is on its way and by middle to end of the week the wind will be coming from the north and I think a lot of the country, especially the north, will be getting some snow. With a good lot of staff in we have had a cracking day so far. I gave everybody a team talk at half past six this morning and impressed on them the importance of doing everything the right way. If we did that we would give the horses every chance of giving their best on the track. We have had two good lots so far and I couldn’t be more pleased.

(L-R) Mount Nelson ex Seasonal Blossom, Topanticipation and Equiano ex Missouri

There were some interesting articles and letters over the weekend in the Racing Post and today as well. Lee Mottershead comments on the new Tote getting to the nitty gritty of what is behind the Alizeti Group. It will be interesting to see how that all develops. He also calls for trainers to be able to train in partnership, like they do in Australia, and I think it is a very good idea and one that should be worked on straight away. With the way racing is going at present, the big getting bigger and the small getting smaller, the partnership between two trainers would certainly help. Some of the biggest trainers in Australia already do this and I can’t see the problem of doing this here or in Ireland.

Cantering this morning

It was disappointing to read the Racing Post editors comments on the jockey’s drug abuse problem. The Irish Jockeys Association’s chief executive had the opposite reaction when agreeing with the penalties that the Irish Turf Club had imposed. I am not sure what the answer is to all this, but you cannot have jockeys on horses in races that are either over the alcohol or drug limit. It is highly dangerous both to them and everybody else. In my opinion the deterrent should be a long ban. There is so much opportunity for jockey nowadays, especially young talented ones, but why they have to be led astray is beyond me.

Walking through the stalls

Congratulations go to the winner of our Christmas Quiz this year, Mr Alan Lury and runner up Amelia Callaghan. If they would like to contact the office we can arrange for their prize to be sent to them or they can come and collect it in person if they would prefer. Thank you to everybody who took part. Our quiz has taken a bit of time to get marked this year and we will be having a rethink on its content for next year.


We had a good day looking at the stallions

Friday, 11 January 2019

"Gossip is saying behind their back what you would not say to their face. Flattery is saying to their face what you would not say behind their back."


Pageant Master

It’s slightly warmer this morning after yesterday’s very cold day. There is absolutely no wind though which as you know always helps. It may be the lull before the storm. Everybody is in today and we have been cantering on both the polytracks and New Ground turf. All has gone well with no problems whatsoever, thank goodness. We will be having no runners this weekend but hopefully some the following week.

True Calling

I see the Irish are having problems with their jockeys who are not getting the message that cocaine is a banned substance. Five year bans is going to be the minimum which must be a great deterrent and will surely concentrate some young minds. I think the Irish drug testing, both with horses and humans in the sport, has been a bit behind the times but they are now starting to get geared up. It can only do good as you cannot be riding horses other than with a clear head.

David and Mo leading in two of the yearlings

Another point that hit the headlines in the Racing Post is the new rule brought it - that all horses have to be fully shod in jump races - shows the BHA rule makers have no idea about horses and what happens in a racing yard. Over the years we have had so many horses cut clean through their tendons with their back feet and this type of injury, and overreaching where the hind feet catch the heels of the front feet on landing, is very common. If people want to run them without hind shoes it should be their prerogative and I am sure it doesn’t cause horses to slip, which is what the BHA seems to think it does. Both the Easterby’s and Harvey Smith are very against this hind shoe rule and I think the BHA would be wise to take another look at it and possibly leave it like it is.

The Bated Breath ex Topatoo

It was a very cold day yesterday looking at stallions but we got round several of the big studs and were very impressed with many of them. There was one disappointment where the horses didn’t look very well and it just proves that you must look at stallions every year before using them. We have now got to put a lot of thought in and make and quite a few phone calls before we decide on which mare visits which stallion in the coming months. The covering season starts on February 15th and we have several mares that, for one reason or another, didn’t get in foal last year and will hopefully be covered early this spring. They are in at night and under lights which helps to bring them into season. What we don’t want is cold weather, which I have been forecasting for the end of the month, as this will certainly set them back.

Bated Breath ex Azure Mist


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