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We have two runners today at Yarmouth

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

"I look into the faces of people struggling with their own lives, and I do not see strangers."

Robert Brault.


It’s not raining this morning and a dry day is forecast, but more rain tomorrow and then showers for the rest of the week. The day is going as well as it could do with the flag flying at full height and an extra member of staff joining us in the yard. We have been exercising on the polytracks this morning and all has gone well. We still need full time riders, and a member of staff for the stud.


I was pleased with the run yesterday of Clearance, who stayed on well in the straight. He is learning all the time, he looks like he wants a bit further and needs to strengthen up a bit more. He has got the right attitude and tries hard, so I am sure we can place him to his advantage shortly.

We have two runners today, both at Yarmouth and both two-year-old colts. Our first runner at 2.10 is Saint Anthony who makes his debut with Joey Haynes in the saddle. Both these divisions look quite warm and there are no great expectations with him today. A good experience will benefit him greatly for the future. Exactly the same thoughts go to Roof Garden next in the 2.45, the second division. He at least has had a run and will improve on what he did last time. This looks a hotter division of the two, but you can never tell and I am sure there will be plenty of winners come out of them both. 


There is a double page spread on the history of the Tote today in the Racing Post, and how it has evolved from the beginning, to its eventual sale to Betfred. This makes for fascinating reading and you can form your own conclusions, but my opinion is it has been run very poorly by lame duck politicians and our rulers certainly didn’t try hard enough to buy it when the government put it up for sale. As usual there are always behind the scenes goings on, which we mere mortals are not privy too, but I am sure we must have been able to find some bright ambitious brains that would have run it better than how it has been run at present, and it would have benefited the sport enormously.  It is a three part series and we will see how it continues over the next couple of days.

True Calling pulled out for second lot

I must comment on one thing I did last week, in that I spoke to a group of young people from Dubai who had been fast tracked by Sheikh Mohammed to go on a learning curve about the industry. I gave them a talk on a trainers view and I must say the eight of them, four men and four ladies, were very impressive. The average age wouldn’t have been more than early 20’s and if they are anything to go by, Sheikh Mohammed, and Dubai, have nothing to worry about with this sport going forward. Their enthusiasm and interest was marvellous to see. I wish them all well in which ever section of the industry they chose to work in.

Hunnie sorting out the Haygain

I am told you can now text Just Giving with donations for my commentary on Saturday. The fundraising is open until 1st October and now you just need to text 70070 with my code - MTTC 66 £(your donation in numbers).  So for example, if I were to donate £5, it would read; MTTC 66 £5

You can of course still donate by following the link below


We have one runner today at Yarmouth

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

"He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him."


Newmarket stands in the mist

It’s a damp, misty morning, but the temperature is not too bad and there is no wind. There is water lying about though in big puddles everywhere, which is very unusual for Newmarket as it is such a well-drained area. It is just that we have had so much rain and at present there is nowhere for it to go. It makes me laugh when we get hosepipe bans in dry conditions, as all this rain should be collecting in the water table. Because the ground is so wet I used the Cambridge Road Polytrack for fast work this morning and everything moved very well on that surface.

Dixon and Indian Red working first lot

We have one runner today at Yarmouth on the first day of their festival. The ground will be on the very soft side and it will be interesting to see how the course stands up to the three days of racing. Clearance runs in the one mile, three and a half furlong handicap at 3.40. He got very much bogged down last time on terrible ground at Nottingham and it will be interesting to see how he copes today. He is still learning and has had a few problems in his life, but he is a horse I have always liked and I am sure we will get it right in the not too distant future.

Lost The Moon and Topalova on the Cambridge Road Polytrack

I see the headlines in the Racing Post this morning were about the appalling scenes at Lingfield at the weekend when the course could not cope with the amount of people who went, just for the concert. Evidently owners and trainers couldn’t park in the carpark, or get into their bar and it is just beyond a joke what is happening with these music nights. There are so many of these nights now, that the entry book ought to let owners and trainers know when music is on as we can then try and avoid it if possible. I know racetracks have to be commercial, but why not just have music nights that stand alone. Some of the tracks, like Lingfield, just cannot cope and the staff they use are certainly out of their depth on these occasions. 

Walking home

Another appalling mess that seems to be getting worse and worse and it is purely because of the fixture list bonanza, is that the volunteer race day stewards are getting less and less. Since 2015, 27 fixtures have been run with no stewards and this year alone there have been 77 with only one steward. Today at Yarmouth there are no stewards and it is being run by the professional stipendiaries. Mind you there are plenty of people that they could ask, but I think the underlying trend, and the BHA’s thinking, is that professional stewards are the way forward. I am certainly not sure about this as you can get vendettas with certain trainers and jockeys by professional stewards, and there is no even mindedness. I informed you that the staff situation was caused by the expansion of the fixture list, and now I am telling you the steward situation is caused by the same. When will they ever learn? It is pure greed on behalf of the racecourses and our industry in Britain is being run purely for the benefit of the bookies.

Sitting on the fence watching the world go by

I now know the entries for my commentary race at Newmarket on Saturday. I have got the 2.05, the British Stallions EBF Novice. Maximum field is 20 and there are 25 entries. I can’t see too many tongue twisting names, although the favourite Sheikha Reika could be called a few times. I may run our own Astrofire in it, so at least I should know one set of colours. The Newmarket team has done marvellously well fundraising, but we are a bit behind at present individually and any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Please go on the link below


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