It's Champions weekend ...

Off to Yarmouth today for two runners

Friday, 23 May 2014

"The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground."


Astrovirtue (Tom)

It is a very pleasant morning, just the right temperature, a slight breeze and a blue sky. It is forecast to be showery for the next few days, but if it stays like this I certainly will not be complaining. It’s a busy morning with runners going off to Yarmouth, horses getting long reined and the canterers going in and out in several lots. Bury Hill and Warren Hill have been the cantering areas and although it was busy at times, we seemed to get lucky wherever we went.

Topaling (Emilie)

We have two runners today both at Yarmouth. Blue Bounty is our first runner at 2.40. He has been gelded since his last run and had a good break. The ground should be ok for him and I expect him to run well today, but this outing will be needed and he will improve considerably for it. His trip will be the main thing to sort out and I am sure Ted will have an opinion afterwards. Our next runner is Comrade Bond in the 3.15. He is a course and distance winner here three times and is handicapped to be competitive, but I have been held up with him, as you all know, with little niggling knocks and rubs and he is another that will benefit greatly from today’s run. Let’s hope they both run well. We have a great turnout of owners today, which will swell the Yarmouth crowd.

It will be disappointing for the racecourse to see their two most valuable races today, if you can call them valuable at £7,000, having three runners in both. One is a 4YO+ fillies 71-85 handicap and the other is for 3YO’s only, again a 71-85 handicap. If they had put on the same races but 0-70, they would have had full fields. I think the field size problem will be getting worse during the coming year, as there is so much racing due to the expansion of the fixture list. With not enough horses to go around, and the travelling expenses as they are, trainers are not prepared to charge their owners what they have to for travelling. This is another European law gone mad. It was all to do with the European working time directive and means the expenses for staff for travelling horses has gone out of all proportion.

Khalid long reining Astromajor

Bill Barber’s piece today in the Post makes interesting reading on three issues. One of them is on field sizes, which we have just commented on above. The reasons I have outlined are the only ones they need to understand. The second one shows what a waste of time Great Britain’s racing is if they can’t persuade the Singapore Turf Club to show live York pictures on their in-house TV, but would rather South African and Macau racing to be shown. If the York May meeting isn’t big enough for our overseas friends, I don’t know what is. The other point he makes is the issue of point of consumption tax. It looks to me as if all the bookmakers have to do is ask for a judicial review of the act and then there is many more avenues of appeal open to them. We will be all old and grey before this happens at this rate.

 A heathman walking Bury Hill grass

There is no better place in the world to train or breed than in Newmarket. When you are out on the heath or walking around a stud looking at young stock, nobody can be disappointed with what they see.  Our facilities here for training are without doubt the best in the world. The studs are kept up to such a high standard and have so many professional people running them, plus the vets are world leaders in their field. It just disappoints me that we can’t get people with the knowledge and drive to bring everybody together and sort the business out so that it is on the correct financial footing.