Horse welfare is paramount ...

The Cheltenham Festival will soon be upon us

Friday, 21 February 2014

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another."  

James Matthew Barrie.

Comrade Bond

There’s a bright blue sky this morning but it is pretty cold as we have a wind that is biting into us out on the heath. I took first lot down to the Al Bahathri and gave them a really good spin to open their lungs; all went well and they are progressing as I would like. It is still only February and there is no great rush because, as usual, the season will start and then splutter until the Guineas meeting. I have said it before, our racing boffins should spend more time and energy on sorting out the racing programme. It just seems to be never ending, without a start, a finish or a proper break. If people are to get interested, this needs to be done with plenty of thought and then acted on with authority, but don’t hold your breath as I feel it is completely beyond the people we have in place at present, they just like to keep the status quo. Second and third lot have been up the hill and all has gone well.

Prayer Time

The Cheltenham Festivals build up is still going strong, with under a month to go now to the start. There will be major teams coming from over the Irish Sea and it is such a shame that the steroid debacle will be what everybody is talking about. It should be all about who will win the Gold Cup and Cheltenham Hurdle, rather than speculation over drugs. We need to sort this matter out once and for all and the only way to do it is to get the top experts in, spend plenty of money investigating properly and hit any culprit hard, with long bans. We want the public to be involved with the horses and the excitement of the races, rather than being sceptical about what they have been trained on. My message to the authorities is ‘sort it out’.

Walking home

We are delighted with this years foals so far and the one born this week by Aussie Rules, looks certain to be a grey eventually. I will be keeping everybody up-to-date with pictures of her and it will be interesting to compare them when she is two-years-old. We have another mare in foal to the same sire, who is chesnut, with plenty of grey patches on her and I can’t wait for that one to be born as well. In this game you never stop learning and the genetics of how colour occurs is amazing. In fact, it is baffling. It is very hard to understand how it all works and really it is purely down to luck.

Ryan doing some maintenance work

There is a great weekend in store sports wise, with the rugby internationals, which should start to sort the championship out and Sheffield Wednesday are away to Huddersfield, which could be pretty tricky.