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

The last few horses move down to Dullingham

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

Theodore Roosevelt.

Swilken (Joe)

We had tremendous thunder storms last night, which flooded everywhere. The thunder and lightening was as good as you will ever see. It certainly has that feeling as well today, but as yet we have had no rain. It has only really changed the ground from firm, to good to firm, and most of the gallops are still open.  We have been on the Al Bahathri this morning at first lot, and then on Warren Hill grass cantering second and third. With the rain on the warm ground it was very misty, as you can see from the photographs at first lot, but has cleared as the sun has come over the horizon.

Hold Firm (Emilie) and Blue Bounty (Sophie)

We collected 11 yearling fillies yesterday from Garrowby, who all travelled down well and have settled in nicely at Dullingham. It is the colts turn today and they will be on the road by the time I finish writing this. It is amazing how the horses travel and how trusting they are of strange places. Every one of the 11 just walked straight onto the massive big box yesterday, and they stood quietly all the way home, which is over three hours on the road. If they are well handled right from the start, you very rarely have too much trouble with them later on in life.

Topamichi (Glenn)

I see that the Racehorse Owners Association is calling for clearly defined seasons, in a bid to reignite public enthusiasm for the sport. I have been calling for this for so long and the old adage of ‘if it’s not broken don’t fix it’ is right in this instance. Nobody knows when the flat or the jump season starts or ends, whether it is humans or horses and we are just lost in a mass of racing every day. It all stems from the racecourses wanting more and more fixtures, as they are a very profitable thing, even if nobody goes to watch them and the power brokers of our industry don’t seem to care. A good break of a month would suit the jumpers, straight after the final Sandown meeting, and a more defined start to the turf season needs addressing very quickly. Whether we need to sort the Lincoln handicap meeting out to be nearer the Guineas is one suggestion and then finish with the Champions meeting in October. We can have the all-weather racing then, as a completely separate unit on its own. We have got tremendous history in England, as we have just experienced at Ascot and the Derby, but I am afraid we are in danger of losing the plot if we don’t address the situation as quickly as possible, with very clear thinkers. We certainly need different people than the ones that let Channel 4 have all our crown jewels.