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

The covering season is in full swing

Friday, 21 March 2014

"Silence is a source of great strength."

Lao Tzu.

Comrade Bond, Astrovirtue and Swilken

It’s a bright blue sky morning but cold. We had a good shower of rain last night around 9 o’clock, which has now all dried up but will have done a little bit of good to the gallops. It is amazing how quickly it all dries up. I remember saying when we were getting those real storms not too long ago and everybody was complaining about the soft ground, that it would soon go the other way. That’s farmers and trainers for you.

We have had everything out and done some quicker work this morning and I am delighted with how all the horses are progressing. We have sorted some of the two-year-olds out into the more forward and backward sorts and the ones that need more time, will be having some spring grass at Garrowby. It has worked very well in the past, get them broken in and cantering and then give them time to mature.

Missouri and her Sir Percy foal

There is an interesting letter in the Racing Post today from a Mr Andrew Franklin, regarding the self-certification of horses. He quoted the sprint races at Chester and said it is well known that a high draw has a disadvantage. He went on to say that there was a high percentage of withdrawals from the higher numbers and were these all legitimate withdrawals. It is great to pick out a racecourse like Chester and hold it up as an example. It would be interesting to see what other tracks have a similar bias. I don’t think he is getting the point about the publicity which has happened recently, over the withdrawals on the all-weather. These look to me like pure manipulation, albeit within the rules of the betting market. The other self-certificates, I would say, are 99% genuine during the season. We are told that if trainers abuse the system continually, their licences will be looked at and fines could be accrued.  Just a thought to ponder on is, what about a staggered start at these tracks similar to what they have at some overseas greyhound meetings! It would make for a bit of interest if nothing else. It would be great watching until they lined up for the straight.

The Azure Mist foal taking it easy

We are starting to get the mares covered now. Both the barren and maiden mares are in full swing and the foaling mares are now just starting to get going now as well. As normal we have had a few hit and misses. The science of covering is very fine turned nowadays, with the mares going to the stallions when at their most fertile. One of our main problems is getting the slots to the most popular stallions, especially at this time of year. If there is a batch of mares all ready at the same time, you can miss the ideal time and have to start all over again. Everybody works together and hopefully, things get done to everybody’s satisfaction.

How many people does it take to move one steam cleaner?