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Thursday, 20 February 2014

"It is a good divine that follows his own instructions."

William Shakespeare.

25_Avirtue_leading_2YOs
Astrovirtue leading the two-year-olds

It’s an overcast morning but very mild for this time of year and its dry, which is a result after what we have had. We had a good cantering morning out on the heath and I had a long chat with one of our Italian trainers about the state of racing in Italy. It looks to me as if the industry there is completely on its last legs, with the Government having no money and people still trying to get prize money from way back in 2012. He also told me that the jockeys are having to invoice the owners for their riding fees. It makes our industry positively blooming. The perception of racing by the public in Italy is very poor, and we need to be very careful to keep our industry as open and honest as it can possibly be. We must spend as much money as we can on the integrity side of our business, rather than waste it on the promotional side. There is a good article today in the Racing Post, hidden away on page 89, which requires careful reading. The conclusion is that the public want to know that our game is above board and straight, before putting any hard earned money into the system.

     58_Ex_Astrodiva_14     62_Ex_Astrodiva_14
                                                        Aussie Rules ex Astrodiva foal

We had another foal last evening; in fact it was early evening. When I went home around 6 o’clock, I checked on the mares and Astrodiva was just starting to get warm, and by 8 o’clock she had a very dark filly foal by Aussie Rules. It looks to everybody that she may turn grey as the Sire is that colour and she has a few patches that look like she will be going that way. Both mother and foal are doing well. The mare had plenty of milk and the foal was soon up and sucking.         

         42_Ex_Twelfth_Night_14     52_Ex_Astrolibra_14
                   Twelfth Night and her foal                               Astrolibra and her foal

Thank goodness it has been a dry couple of days and we can get the new mares and foals out in the nursery paddocks. We have tried to pick the driest ones, as they soon get poached up with the weather as it has been. It is great to see the foals skipping about and it does them so much good. 

           32_Daffodils          34_Snowdrops
                                            The daffodils and snowdrops at Dullingham 

The foals are not the only thing that is springing up at the moment. We have an abundance of snowdrops in the woods and the daffodils are just starting to poke their heads above the parapet. It is usual for the snowdrops and aconites to come out as this time of year, but the daffodils are a bit early. If we get a frost, it will certainly hit them but it is great to see them and they bring some colour to dreary days.