The horses are looking brilliant ...


How much snow we will actually get?

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

"You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith."

Mary Manin Morrissey.

The new foal has her jacket on and is ready to go out in the paddock

It’s a very bright and cold frosty morning so if we get any snow, which the forecasters tell us we will this afternoon and tonight, it certainly will settle as the ground is starting to get pretty solid. I’m not sure how much we will get though, if we actually get any, but we are expected to get some for the next few days. We are a bit short on the ground rider wise but we are getting on well and using the polytracks for all the cantering work. It is only January and I am very happy with the condition of the horses at present. At this time of year it is all about conditioning work and getting the freshness out of them before faster work commences towards the end of February / March.

Astrosecret being a very protective mother

There are headlines once again on the front of the Racing Post about the rise in equine fatalities. Well, if they want to keep shooting themselves in the foot keep publishing these figures. The BHA has absolutely no idea about horses and what can happen. If you turned out all the horses in training into a field, there would be far more fatalities than there is on the track. But, saying that there are things that can be done, and should be done, to avoid public opinion increasingly getting more hostile.

  1. The whip rule should be simplified and made clear to all.
  2. The watering of courses should be regulated better.
  3. Any horse that has had injections into its joints and knees, or had any other major veterinary work, should not be allowed to run for a minimum of two months. That would make trainers be trainers rather than the vets be the trainer.
  4. Far less fixtures.
  5. A big increase in prize money so that horses are not having to run as many times.
  6. Move the BHA out of London and employ only people who understand horses and have some common sense.

Just some of the geese at the stud

It was interesting to see once again the big money Pegasus fixture in USA give a 7lb weight allowance if the horses didn’t run on Lasix. In the big race itself not one took up this offer. Until we get the drug situation sorted out in these countries, there will never be a level playing field so why we have the world’s best racehorses classification is beyond me. We could have one for drug free countries and one for the others.


We had our first foal of the season

Monday, 28 January 2019

"A true friend reaches for your hand and touches you heart."

Attributed to Heather Pryor.

Cantering up Warren Hill yesterday

It’s a bright, cold morning and for a short while the wind has died down as last night it was very strong. They are forecasting a covering of snow this week almost anywhere but it is to be expected as it is still January and as yet we have had very little. All the riders are in this morning but we have one non-runner on the yard team, which is disappointing. We are getting on well and are now on our third lot who have been doing a spin round Southfields Round polytrack.

Pageant Master

Astrosparkle ran a reasonable race at Lingfield on Friday. She behaved well and will be having another run mid-February and is capable of troubling the judge once handicapped and in the right grade. Velvet Voice was once again slowly away and never got into the contest. We will just give her one more run over hurdles, which will decide which way we go with her. She has got the ability but doesn’t seem to want to show it. It doesn’t look like we will be having any runners this week which means we will be able to concentrate on a lot of other jobs that need doing in the yard.

Astrosecret and her Garswood filly foal

We had our first foal of the season on Saturday night just as I got back from Chelmsford. I was in time to see a filly foal born to maiden mare Astrosecret. She is a good size first foal, chesnut with a nice white blaze. She is more like Dutch Art than the sire Garswood. She was soon up and sucking and although we had a slight hiccup in the early hours, mother and daughter are now doing well. Astrosecret is a brilliant mother and absolutely loves her foal. You always have to watch these maiden mares but with her it was a completely natural instinct.

Up on her feet

The headlines in the Racing Post this morning just confirm what I have been saying to you, for several years now, that the majority of the BHA has absolutely no idea about horses and all they do it cause big problems for our sport. Nick Rust is a good strong man who has done plenty and continues to strive for the industry, but under him we have so many who know nothing about the workings and every day systems that go on into racing. How waving your arms behind a horse can cause anybody a problem is beyond me and the trainer who got fined £140 should be given a full apology and a bonus. I see the majority of trainers, including the bigger names, are coming out in support but once again don’t hold your breath that there will be an apology. The sooner we get proper people working at the BHA the better, but it will not happen if they have their base in London away from anything that goes on. I have always said a base in Newmarket would be the ideal place where you could actually get people who understand horses working there.


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