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

Crystal Pearl goes to Yarmouth today

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way

 you think about it."

Mary Engelbreit.

Topamichi & Swilken in the fog at first lot

It was very foggy at first lot when we were cantering up the Town Sand, and whilst doing a bit faster work up Long Hill. However, it suddenly cleared for second lot and we went round Bury Hills’ long polytrack and then walked them through the open stalls in the wood at the top of Warren Hill. It was a very good exercise both times and the horses look absolute pictures.

The fog has cleared by second lot

We have one runner today at Yarmouth. Crystal Pearl runs in the third race, the 5.25, which is a 1m 2f, three-year-old handicap. Why we have these twilight races is completely beyond me, especially for the poor money that is on show today at Yarmouth. You have to realise, that they are getting well over £8,000 per race from the media rights, plus the other bits and bobs, sponsorship etc, and the winners of most of these races today, will be going home with well under £2,000 first prize money. This is the reason I go on about Arc and their so called £ million race day. It does nothing for the people who keep the show on the road day in day out. Crystal Pearl improved from her first run last year to win at Kempton. There is one or two in the race that are likely improvers, but I am hopeful of her running a sound enough race on her season debut.

Akula was once again slightly disappointing at Huntingdon yesterday. He jumped and travelled well, and he looked a picture. I will be running him again in the not too distant future, maybe with a bit of headgear on to assist.

Walking through the open stalls

It was very sad to hear of the death of Julian Wilson, the BBC head of racing for so long. He was a most marvellous man and a very good friend to everybody in the industry, especially the Newmarket based ones, where he lived. He was forthright in his views and never wavered. He was a great judge of form and had plenty of success with the horses he owned. I put him right on a couple of those, one being a horse that won the  Bessborough Handicap at Royal Ascot, and last year he bought Barwick off us, on my recommendation, when the owner wanted to sell. I hope he does well in his memory. He loved cricket and bowled slow left-handed lobs, which deceived many a batsman. He was fearless, and was a member of the Cresta Run Society. Anybody who is mad enough to do that deserves all our congratulations. He will be very sadly missed by a tremendous number of people and our condolences go out to his wife Ali and family.