Horse welfare is paramount ...

More plans for all-weather tracks

Friday, 13 December 2013

"God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow in them."


Richard Farleigh with Refuse To Bend ex Four Miracles colt

It’s another amazingly mild morning, its plus 8 degrees as we speak, although it is overcast and we have had some sharp showers. The Al Bahathri and Warren Hill were the cantering areas this morning and the yearlings continue their breaking process. Richard Farleigh, the breeder of the Refuse To Bend ex Four Miracles colt, called in to see the apple of his eye. He is the first foal of the mare. She was a very successful mare for us and looks like having a very good career at stud. Her next offspring, by Sir Percy, is a cracker and she is in foal to Authorized. This colt is one of the new syndicate horses for the yard in 2014 and further pictures will be put on the site when we get a good morning and he has been clipped. However, anybody can come and see him now and we will be delighted to show you him.

The lunge ring

I see my hope of having an all-weather racecourse somewhere other than Newcastle looks like happening. Catterick announced yesterday, they are well advanced in their aim to have an all-weather track there, with the possibility of racing starting there in 2015. This is a much better idea than Newcastle. It is very near the A1, close to Middleham and Malton and is an ideal place for the majority of the northern trainers. The undulating flat course does not suit every horse and the effects of the draw take a big effect. Let’s hope they have no planning problems and that work can go ahead quickly. It is not an Arc course either, which is a big plus, as it is never the best thing to have all your eggs in one basket. Mind you I did say we would be having every course all-weather in the future and only racing on grass as an aside. If both these courses get the go ahead, that’s two down and a slippery slope starts.

Champs Elysees ex Tenpence '12 being lunged

Whilst on all-weather tracks, I see Wolverhampton has announced they are getting Martin Collins, the inventor of polytrack, back to the course to see if he can start sorting it out. If was originally a polytrack and his firm installed it. It looks to me though, since them, they have used many products and tried to mix them all together. What a disaster this has caused by penny pinching. I think the only hope for it is to dig everything out and start again. I know polytrack is expensive but it works and that is all horsemen want.

Steve talking to the filly

Dr Michael Turner, the Chief Medical Officer for the BHA, has announced his retirement. He has been a very safe pair of hands for the jockeys and has introduced so many new initiatives. He has caused one or two of them problems at times but it has always been in the way of caution rather than try to rush back too quickly. Where head and brain injuries have occurred this must be the right thing to do. There is more research going on with the concussion injuries. You only have to read the old books (I am reading the story of Sea Biscuit at the moment) to see how badly the jockeys in the 20’s and 30’s got injured, especially with their heads. This cannot happen nowadays or shouldn’t happen at any rate, and Dr Turner has done so much to alleviate it. His introduction of dope testing for jockeys has been another great innovation. We wish him well in his retirement.