It's Champions weekend ...

Let's all be off a level playing field

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

"In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds."

Robert Green Ingersoll.

Darren leading the way

It is reasonably mild this morning and was dry for two lots, but as we speak it has started to rain and it looks as if we are going to get a steady downpour. We had Darren, our feed man, riding out this morning. He volunteered to do so as he always used to ride out when he was head lad for Ben Hanbury, and fancied having a go once again. He will be pretty stiff in the morning as you use completely different muscles to what you normally do when riding horses. All went well though and everything cantered smoothly. It did get a bit congested when the tractor driver, who I am sure does it for fun, jumped on the polytrack in front of our string. This meant a knock on effect with everybody using one track, but as normal it all sorted itself out quite easily.


I see the Racing Post’s headline is about anabolic steroids once again, although this time with a trainer in Ireland. On reading it, and reading other information, it looks like it’s the Department of Agriculture in Ireland taking the trainer to court, not the racing authorities, although they stated they would be paying close attention to what happens in the case. I should hope they are and although you are innocent until proven guilty, these cases don’t do anything for the industry. I just can’t for the life of me see why anybody has to cheat at any sport. Just give the horses good hay, good feed, good exercise, give them eggs, Guinness, herbs, any natural additive and let it be a level playing field.

Nowadays we seem to have a culture of cheating in all sports. Diving at football to get a penalty; you could never imagine Tom Finney, Stanley Matthews or even George Best diving to get a penalty or any advantage. It was just pure skill and talent which got them to where they were, at the top of their profession and legends to all football fans. Cricket has its ball tampering and match fixing, athletics and cycling are full of doping scandals. I could go on and on about other sports. It is such a shame that we live in a world that relies on chemicals to succeed. I just hope we can sort this latest mess out and that once and for all, some authority or other can stand up and be counted and get rid of the misdoings in our sporting world.


It was so sad to read the news on former trainer David Barker, who died on Sunday at the very early age of 44. He was a great character, always good fun and loved everything he did with the horses. He was a great success as a trainer, especially with sprinters. He retired due to bad health and then had horses with several of his comrades in the North. We send our condolences to his wife and family.