Pageant Master, Velvet Voice, Four Fifty Three and True Calling all go to Yarmouth today ...

AGAM - Clean | Sanitise | Protect. World leading solutions provider in industrial cleaning, cleanroom
sanitisation, corrosion prevention & protection


A very mild morning

Friday, 05 October 2018

"The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be."

Paul Valery.

Sunrise over the heath

It’s a very mild and still morning and it should continue like this all day. There is some rain forecast for tomorrow but how much I’m not sure. Whatever we get will be welcome. A good compliment of staff in including Louis Steward at second lot and we have been using the Southfield Round for our exercise this morning. All has gone well.

Working on the Peat Moss gallop

I see the owner of the Nottingham mix up horse is threatening to move a number of horses to France and greatly reduce the number he has in training here. In my mind he quite rightly states that the BHA sees the bookmakers and punters as their primary stake holders and the owners are along way down the list. I cannot but agree with him in this matter and see that even the bookmakers think that the horse should have been allowed to run. I hope the BHA investigates this matter quickly and that the truth will out and the penalties fit the crime.

Garrel Glen and Melo Pearl

It’s the big Arc meeting this weekend with two quality days racing at the newly rebuilt Longchamp course in Paris. These festivals come around very quickly now and before we blink it will be Champions Day at Ascot. The Arc looks a good race if not a classic one and I’m sure whatever beats Enable will be the winner. To my mind only Waldgeist of Andre Fabre’s looks capable. It will be fascinating to see what the public make of the new Longchamp on two such big days.

Velvet Vista and Belle Bayeux

The penalty structure for handicaps is going to be changed next year after a review and there will be a few other suggestions that will be implemented. The BHA chief operating officer states, “We need to better understand if there any elements of handicapping that particularly frustrates owners and in some cases results in them sometimes turning away from the sport”. They have now got a handicapping appeals panel with a long list of names with only two or three that you have heard of. To my mind a handicap is a handicap, a pound or two either way doesn’t make much difference. Owners grumble and quite rightly when their horses don’t get dropped quickly enough. They are put up nearly instantly but come down so slowly. The cost to the owner of each run is enormous as the travelling and daily expenses are set in stone. If all BHA members and employees had a horse in training themselves, or even a part there of, they would soon understand what I am going on about.

Pageant Master after exercise walking back to the yard


It's October but it is still so warm

Thursday, 04 October 2018

"Faith is a passionate intuition."

William Wordsworth.

The yearlings boxed up and ready to go

It’s an overcast morning but still very warm. It is actually amazing that at this time of year we are getting temperatures in the 20’s. I am sure it will change soon and we will be getting proper autumn / winter weather. We have been getting on well with the horses once again with a good team of staff in and all has gone well. We have been using the polytracks on racecourse side.

Unloaded in Frankland Lodge

Well you couldn’t make up what happened at Nottingham yesterday and once again our sport has been made to look so amateurish. It looks like the starter made a mistake and called the wrong number to the clerk of the scales for a horse to be withdrawn after an incident in the stalls. But there seems to me to be no double checking or anybody watching what was going on as the horse in question was nowhere nears the stalls and was withdrawn very much in error. The owner and trainer are up in arms, and quite rightly so. It was a valuable race, which is very rare nowadays anyway, and it was no fault of theirs. It will be very interesting to see what penalties are dished out to the so called professionals who are running our sport. If any of us did something minor by mistake we would get fined very quickly. I wonder how long it will take to get this matter sorted out.

Making their way into their new homes

It was a little bit worrying to read Bill Barber’s piece in the Racing Post today about horse welfare issues. There are several questions now in the House of Commons and they will certainly have to be answered. We have got the Cheltenham enquiry into equine fatalities at the Festival coming out soon and with the majority of Labour’s front bench signing a motion to ensure the rules of racing are changed to forbid the use of the whip, I can see these issues being a problem for the industry in the months to come. It shouldn’t be a problem though as racehorses are looked after better than any animal in the country and we need to get this across to the general public in a big way. Once retired from racing many horses are retrained and this should be publicised much more on all our websites. You only need to look at our website, ‘Where Are They Now’, to see what good homes they go to after their racing days are over. In fact today two of ours have gone to the Northern Racing College. They will be ridden by the trainees and stars of the future. It gives them a great home, they are brilliantly looked after and are doing a top class job.


Page 4 of 6