Horse welfare is paramount ...

There is another retirement within the industry

Monday, 16 December 2013

"Remember, we all stumble, every one of us.  That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand."

 Emily Kimbrough.


It was very dark this morning, but that should be expected as it is also raining and there are plenty of dark clouds about. The funny thing is though, it is not cold and although it is blowing, the wind is surprisingly warm. Everything has been out and done two canters on Bury Side and apart from one or two little hiccups, especially with the bigger strings that have a very low patience threshold, we have got on well.

Swilken leaving the indoor school

It is interesting to see that Mick Channon has appointed Willie Twiston-Davies as his main jockey for next year. This is a great accolade for the apprentice who is only19, and has now got a big stable to ride for. I hope he can stand the pressure. It looks a similar situation as when Walter Swinburn took on the Stoute job at the same age. I wonder if there is a Shergar lurking in Mick’s yard.

This situation highlights what I have always said in our lack of young jockeys and how they are brought up in the game. Both Ryan Moore and Richard Hughes have had families in the business and now this lad has emerged from another real racing family. They all have had to understand the game from an early age and the work ethic has been drilled into them. The Irish apprentices all have this and their upbringing, both at the apprentice academy in Ireland and on the racetrack, makes them realise that only work and talent will get you somewhere. Unfortunately most of the young British people have a different attitude and think they are jockeys who don’t have to put any work in, much too soon which always ends in disaster. We have talked about a British apprentice academy before, and I am sure this must be the way forward if we are to have any proper home-grown jockeys.

Little Tinka walking to exercise

Tony Morris, the Racing Post bloodstock expert, has announced his retirement from the paper, although I am sure like other retirees, he will still be called upon at times to contribute his thoughts. Tony is one of the worldwide authorities on pedigrees with a knowledge second to none, not only of our bloodstock but internationally as well. He lives in Newmarket so I will be seeing him about. Everybody wishes him a long and happy retirement, which I am sure it will be.