Sylvestre de Sousa is doing so well ...

Sun cream at the ready

Friday, 16 May 2014

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and 

have no self."

Cyril Connolly.

Astrovirtue leading Blue Bounty

I am told it is going to be the warmest day of the year so far, and it is starting to look that way. There is no wind and the sun is beating down. Barry Cook of Roalco turned up at first lot, to see his horses exercise and was in great form. He was giving me plenty of stick as to what a great job I had on a day like today, and he is quite right. There is no better place to be, than watching horses on Newmarket heath in weather like today. Everything looks immaculate and the horses’ coats shone like a ripe apple.

Nancy leading Astrodiamond

Our runner last night, Crystal Pearl, ran respectably and Kieren was very complimentary. He thinks she didn’t handle the dip on the fast ground and thought the horses that finished in front of her, were big improvers. I suppose on reflection, she turned the form round at Yarmouth quite emphatically, but I will not be running her again on ground as fast as this.

Today, I have taken Swilken out at York as the ground is not quite right, but we run Topaling here at Newmarket, on ground that will be fast enough for her, but she needs experience and its not far to go in the box. It looks quite a good maiden and it is difficult to see her getting involved today.

On Sunday we run Akula at Market Rasen. I am hoping he can put his best foot forward, on what will be his last run for us, as he is in Doncaster Sales next week. He would make somebody a really good point to pointer and I am sure he will find a really good home. A really sound horse, he has a fantastic pedigree and is a half brother to Charlie Hills’ very good, but unlucky filly, Chriselliam. I am sure he will not be far away if handling the blinkers, which I have applied.

Comrade Bond

Arc has announced that they are to close Yarmouth for nine months whilst they remove the ridges on the course, which some of the jockeys have complained about. Now, both Chris Wall and I, who are the leading trainers of winners and runners at the track, agree that the ridges are so far down the course, that it doesn’t make much difference whether the horses’ hit them or not. You get far worse at Ripon where there are similar ridges all the way up the straight. I just hope this is the only reason for Arc taking this decision and not that they are thinking about closing it down.

Prayer Time leading Hold Firm

It is the last day of York today with the Yorkshire Cup as the highlight. This is another race I have won, with Franklins Gardens, who went on to take us all the way to Melbourn to take part in the Cup. It was a great day; he stuck his neck out and tried all the way to the line. Yesterdays highlight was the Dante and the Middleton Stakes. I haven’t won the Dante yet; it is still an ambition, but the Middleton we took with Topatoo, who has just been covered by So You Think. By all accounts the new saddling boxes and pre parade ring is a hit and the new weighing room is well under way and should be open for this meeting next year.

Cantering upsides

I cannot understand the decision that Meydan has taken, to revert back to a dirt track after having Tapeta for four years. I suppose it is the Americans, who have not come in any great numbers, that have influenced the decision, but they give no subsidies when we go to the Breeders Cup and the Europeans only compete on the grass anyway. If you go to Dubai, the transport and some expenses are paid by the authority. The prize money is fantastic, so is the hospitality, so why don’t the Americans go, or why haven’t they gone? It would be interesting to see if this change of surface does entice more next year. It will certainly put off most Europeans taking part other than on the turf.