It's Champions weekend ...

Get the sun lotion out, you are going to need it

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

"Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

My Guardian Angel (Joe) Hold Firm (Ben) and Prayer Time (Emilie) on the 

peat moss gallop

It’s a blue sky morning and the forecast is for plenty of sun all day long. David, our stud groom at Dullingham, tells me we are going to have no rain for the next ten days, so we had better get the barbecue rolled out, along with the sun shade. A good morning of exercise, with first lot going over to racecourse side and working on the peat moss gallop. It was like an absolute carpet and is in top class condition. If only racecourses were like this. Second lot did some better work on the Warren Hill polytrack. A couple of two-year-olds have come out of this mornings work and we will be entering them up shortly.

Jenko explaining to some owners how he used to do it

I see Pat Cosgrave’s ban in Dubai has been overturned by our authorities, in a similar way to Martin Dwyer’s one in India. I just hope it is not a precedence being set and that the authorities of each country will not reciprocate each others decisions. When we are trying to get the drug rules uniformly agreed, we need everybody in the same mindset. Decisions like this will annoy the jurisdictions that have had their rules turned over. I don’t know the ins and outs of this case but I just feel slightly uneasy about this decision.

Joe Akehurst leading in Comrade Bond

I see the BHA is going to launch a consultation on the issue of small field sizes, which they say is critical to the long term future of British racing. They can’t have any idea why the field sizes are declining. It is quite simple.

1. We have too much racing and the courses have been allowed to have as many fixtures as they wish and race when they want.

2. The breeders who supply a lot of the horses, have gone out of business because they couldn’t get their horses in the sales, and then stallion fees were much too high.

3. Costs of travelling and racing expenses has rocketed, and owners and trainers won’t travel their horses for poor returns.

4. And most importantly, the prize money levels are pathetic and have not gone up to match costs.

How do you change all this? You have got to take drastic measures.

1. Cut the fixture list; don’t just reduce the number of races on a card from 7 to 6, as this will make no difference at all.

2. Increase prize money, with prize money down to 6th place in every race.

3. If you want people to travel, give a travelling allowance as they do in France.

4. Make sure owners are looked after brilliantly at the tracks. I have said it before, you can have the worse run ever at Chester, but still the owners are never disappointed as they are looked after properly. If one can do it why not everybody?

There are so many other ways, but simply it is reduce the fixture list and raise prize money and make it worthwhile owners having horses in training. It would sort it out in an instance.