The mares are getting close ...


It really is very cold this morning

Friday, 04 January 2019

"Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn’t have anything to do 

with it."

Haim Ginott.

Cantering out on the heath

It’s the coldest morning of the year so far with over trousers and as many layers as you can possible put on to keep you warm. Thank goodness there is no wind once again, which just about saves the day. It is dry though and the forecast is for it to get slightly warmer as the weekend goes on. We have a good complement of staff in and everything has had a very good exercise, whether it be cantering or walking and trotting.

Watching the two-year-olds in the trotting ring

I see there are a lot of problems in Ireland with the new TV coverage and that the replays of past races are being withheld due to a dispute between rival factions. As always these things aren’t transparent and there would be a lot of wheeling and dealing and horses trading going on behind the scenes. As usual it is the public who are the losers. Let’s hope they can sort the problem out quickly as from a trainer and jockey point of view, being able to see the replays is a must.

Mike Bowring with his Bated Breath ex Topatoo yearling filly

It was very sad to read of the death of Bill Elsey who was a genius of a trainer and a gentleman to boot. He was the last of the certain generation of trainers who was strict but fair, he understood and was a great placer of his horses. Our condolences go to all his family.

Mike and Nikki, visitors from South Africa

You will have no doubt seen that Theodore Ladd, who rode our last winner Astrojewel, has had some very bad publicity for using his whip above the permitted level. He was also swerving about which was classified as careless riding. This all promoted criticism from jockey Luke Morris, who quite rightly pointed out the win at all cost problem. Theodore was out of order and he knows it. He will certainly have learnt a good lesson. He is a strong lad and doesn’t have to resort to much as he won the hands and heels series last year, where no sticks are allowed. A month without riding will concentrate his mind and he will come back a much better jockey for the experience.


Happy New Year to one and all

Thursday, 03 January 2019

"There’s much to be said for challenging fate instead of ducking behind it."

Diana Trilling.

A January sunrise


It is quite a bit cooler this morning but no wind so at least that is helping keep the temperature about normal. The forecast is for it to get much colder and I think we should have some snow by the end of January. It is always good to have a cold snap as it kills plenty of the bugs going round. We have a reasonable amount of riders in today and have had a good morning getting the horses out on the heath. One or two were a bit fresh, as you would expect after the Christmas and New Year break, but on the whole they have all been very good and cantering away. I don’t think we will have any runners this week but there are one or two pencilled in for the next week.

True Calling

I hope everybody had a very good Christmas and New Year and if you have not already had a go at the Christmas quiz, tomorrow is the last day to get an entry in. Have a go, even if one or two questions are quite tricky, it will expand your knowledge and you always learn something from doing the research. I will be announcing the winner and runner up early next week.

Second lot over and now a cooling walk

There were one or two things of interest over the holiday period in the Racing Post. The most important, I think, and the one that should be taken pretty seriously is the high profile owners who instructed their trainers not to run their horses at Cheltenham. This was because they had lost a couple through injuries at previous meetings. It is always unfortunate when these things happen, but at Cheltenham every race is run at break neck speed and when horses are under pressure, that is when injuries happen. It never usually happens to a slow one as they don’t go fast enough to hurt themselves; it is only the good ones that put in every effort and try their hardest that get injured. You could blame the ground with all the watering, but I think it is the pressure of the races that cause the injuries and sometimes you can never tell if a horse has got something on it until it happens. Let’s hope everybody involved can come to a happy compromise.


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