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

We still have the Sahara sand effect

Friday, 04 April 2014

"The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart."

Nikolai Lenin.


It’s another overcast morning and we still have the Sahara sand effect. The forecasters do tell us it will be blown away by this afternoon, followed by a bit of rain, which believe it or believe it not, will do the grass gallops good. We had another good exercise morning with the horses continuing to improve. They all look a picture and I am very pleased with how they are at this stage of the season.

My Guardian Angel and Swilken

I mentioned earlier in the week the Channel 4 programme which was on last night. Unbelievably it was called ’Jockey School’. If that was written on the side of a can in a supermarket, you would be prosecuted for misrepresentation. The kids go to the racing schools to learn to ride and to be good stable staff not jockeys. If they progress, there is every chance for them to become apprentices or conditional jockeys and trainers will give them rides in public. It is then up to them to improve and show they have got the talent to be a professional jockey.

My opinion of the whole programme was pretty poor. The programme concentrated on only three of the intake and I am sure there would have been many more that had the right aptitude and better work ethics than the three which we saw. Also the British Racing School, here in Newmarket, is completely different class to the one featured. There is really very little comparison. Everybody at the British Racing School is smart, clean and tidy and things are done in the way that I would hope. I know I haven’t ever visited the Northern Racing College and so therefore cannot comment with authority about them, but as chairman of the National Trainers Federation, I was very disappointed how this film came across. To me there was no encouragement for anybody to send their child to that establishment. For every young person who wants a job in racing (if they are under 21 they have to attend one of the schools) the programme last night was not a very good advertisement for the industry, never mind the Northern Racing College.

Astrovirtue and Crystal Pearl

Our tipping competition got off to a good start yesterday, with the challengers not even sighted and the holder nearly out of sight, but you should never crow when gambling, as luck plays a big part and a 33-1 shot could see the whole thing change around. Our selections for today are below and although we don’t do a website on a Saturday, we will be putting Saturday’s selections up on their own tomorrow.


2.00 Josses Hill    2.30 Don Cossack    3.05 Module    3.40 Soll    4.15 Capote    4.50 Alaivan    5.30 Avispa


2.00 Art of Payroll   2.30 Holywell   3.05 Ballynagour   3.40 Ma Filleule    4.15 Beat That    4.50 Stonebrook    5.30 Queen Alphabet