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I am back in the saddle

Thursday, 09 January 2014

"Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together is success."

Henry Ford.

01_12th_Night
Taking things nice and gently saddling up a two-year-old

Firstly a big apology for not having done the site properly for the last few days but I have not been very well and even had to spend a night in hospital. However, I am back on the road to a full recovery now, although I have still got to take things a bit steady. I am sure anybody who knows me will understand how hard that is for me to do.

It is another wet, wild and windy morning, but with the indoor school the weather doesn’t come into play. We have been getting the new two-year-olds ridden in the string round the 1f circumference, and they are all taking to it well.

06_Darren_sweeping
Keeping the yard nice and clean

It is the first day of the Dubai Carnival today, with the prize money in a completely different league from what we run for day in day out here. I know it is a different standard and you need horses rated 100+ to even compete. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out this time, with the doping restrictions that have been brought into Dubai since the debacle here in the summer. There are several of the Godolphin horses who were involved in that affair, going to compete in the carnival and although they have had six months off, there has been no research done as to how long steroids can affect their performance. I would think this is one of the items the worldwide veterinary associations should be addressing pretty quickly.

14_Darren_and_David
Darren from the yard and David from the stud sharing a joke

The sectional timing debate has reared its head once again and there is a double page spread and comments in the Racing Post today. It certainly works in America, but all the tracks are exactly the same dimension, or if not, they are all at least left handed and flat. There is no up and down and left and right and most of them are run over short distances. I don’t think it will work here, and never have done, but cost is one of the big deterrents. Who will be paying for it and what good is it to anybody, whether trainer or punter, if all courses are different? It may work on one or two all-weather tracks but with low grade horses, it is not cost effective. If we want to go down the route of American style racing, then so be it.  Put all-weather tracks everywhere and make all the tracks uniform, but if we want to keep the character and history in British racing, let’s continue what we are doing.