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We have two runners today

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

"You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them."

Michael Jordan.


It’s a bright, breezy morning with big clouds rushing across the sky. I think it may stay reasonably dry today before the rain arrives again tomorrow. We have had a busy morning with one of yesterday’s non-runners in and a new arrival. This makes us better off on the rider front, but still one down on the yard front. The horses have all been getting a good exercise on the polytracks close to home and all has gone well so far. We have had a bit of help with Mo coming down from the stud to muck out a few. It is great how the two sections help each other.

True Calling

We have two runners today, both at Leicester which has now gone officially good to soft, from good yesterday. I would think it was always good to soft, but they like people to declare before changing it. Our first runner is Astrofire in the 2.55, the second division of the fillies’ novice. She is a big, strong, scopy filly who will get better as the year goes on. We have been pleased with her so far and this race will teach her an enormous amount. It looks quite a good race though with a lot of debutants that could be anything.

Koin runs in the next, the 3.25. She has had two runs so far without troubling the judge. This trip should be a bit more up her street and let’s hope she can be a bit more competitive today. She at least will get a handicap mark after today as well.


I see the NTF and the stable staff association have agreed a pay rise at 3% from October 1st. They also want a lot of other items, which will make it very hard for the normal trainer to survive. I won’t go into the nuts and bolts of what happens in a training yard, but horses, or any animal for that matter, need to be looked after 24 hours a day, 7 days week. The BHA wants us to have more and more fixtures, at all times of day and night. The bookmakers put pressure on them to do this as it keeps their shops open which takes very little over the counter, but the machines are going constantly. Our racing staff are under pressure constantly and something will burst soon if common sense doesn’t prevail. The only things that suffer in this situation are the horses, who undoubtedly will not be looked after as well as they should be as there just isn’t the staff to do it.

Mo helping out at the yard

For those of you that can remember a horse I trained called Connect years ago, we had some sad news that he passed away this week. He was a most marvellous horse for “mother” Bowring and her son Michael. I can remember his last race like it was yesterday. He won a five furlong claimer up the hill at Sandown with Ted Durcan looking across as he did it so easily. I retired him that day and he had the most brilliant home for the rest of his life. The picture below shows how well he was right up to the end. It is wonderful that we find such good home and the old horses have such happy lives after retiring from racing.


Thank you for the three donations received for my commentary on Saturday23rd. We are really starting to get into the swing of it now. I had a good practice yesterday and I must say it is quite tricky. The old adage “practice makes perfect” is definitely right and the harder you practice the luckier you get.


We have a very mixed day with the weather

Monday, 11 September 2017

"A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew."

Herb Caen.

Gee Sixty Six

It’s a real mixture of a morning with periods of bright sunshine, quick heavy showers, plenty of wind and it’s going to be similar throughout the week. With two non-runners and two leavers we have been a bit short on the ground, but with the ones here working well, we have already had some good cantering and three fillies through the stalls. Most of the cantering has been close to home, which certainly helps, and if we ever get the new sky canter, it will be even better.


The wind here has not been up to the hurricane force that they have had in America, and our best wishes go to all those people who have been affected by it. We have had good strong winds and there was a huge crash on Saturday night at home on the stud when a massive beech branch came off very near the lunge ring. With the trees as old as ours, this is just nature pruning itself, but it takes ages to clear up and we were very lucky there was no damage done to humans or property. We have got so much wood at home that I could employ a full time woodman and you wouldn’t see where they had gone for at least two years as there is so much that could be done.

Rainbow over Newmarket 

I think Angie will begin weaning this week at the stud and the first four or five will be starting to move from one farm to another. This process is never the happiest one to do, but the foals by this time are happy with their mates and some of the mares will be pleased to see the back of them. It won’t be long before the yearlings come into the yard and the whole process starts again. 

     123_Branch     124_Branch__Treacle
Branches down by the lunge pit and Treacle surveying the damage

Thank you for the contributions over the weekend for the commentary funds, it’s very greatly appreciated. I am still in full practicing mode with a couple of weekends to go. If you would like to donate please follow the link below


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