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

Lingfield today

Thursday, 05 June 2014

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."

Mark Twain.

Crystal Pearl (Darren) leading the canter

It’s a bright sunny morning after a night of showers; there is a good wind this morning which will be drying the ground. The grass on Warren Hill is still in pristine condition. If only racecourses were like that. It has been a relatively easy cantering morning, with everything doing just the one canter and a quiet walk back home.

My Guarding Angel showing the way home

Things didn’t go quite according to plan yesterday on the racing front. Comrade Bond didn’t like the surface, or the kickback. There is no jockeyship at all on the all-weather, especially at Southwell, where everybody just goes flat to the boards from the start, trying to keep out of the kickback. This is the last time he will ever run on any all-weather surface, but no harm done and he has already had a good lead out in the sunshine and a pick of grass.

At Kempton best laid plans on how to ride the horse went out of the window, when he jumped out and couldn’t get any cover. This is certainly not the way to ride him, as he must learn to settle. I don’t think this was a bad race in any event, and thank goodness we weren’t in the pile up which caused three horses and jockeys to come down.

Sant'Elia enjoying her break

We have two runners today, both at Lingfield, where hopefully the Clerk of the Course has told us the truth about the ground. It is not too far from Epsom where they have changed theirs from good to good to soft in places, but Lingfield are still calling theirs good. Unfortunately Astrodiamond has got a bruised foot so she can’t run, but we run Nancy in the first division of the maiden. She is a backward filly who will gain considerable experience from today. Astrovirtue runs in the 3.40 and does want the ground to be good or better. He has improved each time, is fit and well and is not without the chance of making the frame today.

Bracken Brae out at Garrowby

The build up to the Derby and Oaks continues with pace and I think the ground will be the big factor. If it is run on soft or heavier ground, it will certainly sort the men out from the boys and will not suit several of them, especially the favourite Australia. We will have to wait and see what happens over the next two days and then I will try and point you in the right direction for both races.

Keeping a look out

I see they have tried to come up with some new hurdle designs. These look very similar to the ones we used on the all-weather, which once flattened on the first circuit, stayed flattened and caused more trouble than it was worth. The sharp edges cut horses more than the hurdles do nowadays. We will wait and see what the BHA makes of it.