A very well deserved winner of the Longines Ladies Award ...

Is spring in the air?

Monday, 24 February 2014

"There are always two people in every picture:  the photographer 

and the viewer."

Ansel Adams.

What a beautiful sight

It’s a bright sunny day with no real wind and lets hope it stays like this for the rest of the week because if it does, everything will start to dry up really well. We have been cantering on the grass again this morning, which is in great shape. This year it has started on the far side of Warren Hill and will be working back left handed all spring. It is a good position where it is at present, as it is quieter to jump off and you can walk back down the walking ground adjacent to Side Hill. All so far has gone well.

Cantering on the grass

There have been a few interesting points in the paper over the weekend and today, which will get people into full discussion. It is very sad about Sprinter Sacre who won’t be going to Cheltenham, after his trainer said he was not showing the same brilliance. It is always a funny thing, these irregular heart beats, and I can remember having two or three in a clutch. I was always very wary with runners at Kempton, Sandown and Newbury afterwards. Halkopus was my biggest profile horse who had a very similar episode. He ran very poorly one day at Newbury, came back with the condition and was never the same again. I think more research should be done into how and why and what could be done to avoid these occurrences happening. However, it never seems to happen to one that is not well fancied. 

Astrodiamond  on the grass

The other silly point I thought, was the Irish authority allowing a warned off British jockey to work in a yard there. If you can’t rely on a judgement made here being replicated worldwide, to my mind, it is a waste of time making the judgement in the first place. There was a trainer banned here, that couldn’t even live in the same house as his wife, after she took over the licence. The rules need clarifying and sorting out so that everybody knows where they stand. 

Comrade Bond

Another article was about the decline in quality of hunter chasers. This, to my mind, is just a knock on effect of the recession. Any owner would want to run his horse for a bit more money under rules, rather than point to pointing and then hunter chasing. The farmers and their sons, who kept the point to point world going for years, have now started to give up, and although there will be big fields for the championship hunter chasers coming up at Cheltenham, Aintree and in Ireland, we have to accept that this side of the business is in terminal decline.