Sylvestre de Sousa is doing so well ...

Topaling goes to Lingfield

Wednesday, 09 July 2014

"Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open."

John Barrymore.

A busy yard

It’s an overcast morning and many degrees cooler. We have got quite a breeze out on the heath today and were surprised, when leaving the shelter of our yard, to find out how cold it was. We have been cantering up the Warren Hill polytracks all morning. The town is starting to get busy with visitors for the July meeting this week, as well as the sales. People come from all over the world for the sales and stay on for the racing. 

Comrade Bond

We have one runner today at Lingfield. Topaling runs in the 5.20, the 1m 2f handicap. She has had three runs without troubling the judge and has had a bit of a break since here last run. I have given her time to strengthen up and she has been moving well lately. I have always thought a lot of this filly and hope she can be better than she has shown so far. Today’s trip should be ok, but it is still a learning curve with her.

Blue Bounty enjoying the grass

I am still not used to having racing Thursday, Friday and Saturday, rather than the midweek fixture they historically had for the July meeting, here at Newmarket. It has certainly congested the fixture list and spoilt certain races, especially the Magnet Cup at York, which was always one of the most popular handicaps of the season. I have said it before that there are only so many top class jockeys to go around and with Ascot, where you have got the Group 2 Summer Mile, York with the Magnet Cup, Newmarket with the Bunbury Cup and the July Cup, a good fixture at Chester, which hopefully I will be having two runners at, plus Salisbury and Hamilton at night, you can see why they call this congestion Saturday. Why this has been allowed to happen, nobody knows. It is all pure greed from the racecourses point of view, as they want to get as many people as they can crammed into their tracks. York must be tearing their hair out, as this weekend used to be a stand along fixture where everybody moved on to after Newmarket, but it has now become lost in the mire of racing. If this is promotion of racing I am a Dutchman (I will be supporting them tonight).

My Guardian Angel tucking in

It was very sad to see that Michael Scudamore had died, the father of a great racing dynasty. He was one of a kind and they certainly broke the mould when they made him. They were much tougher in those days and although we have improved safety no end, and the jump jockeys of today are still pretty tough, in those days they had  to be hard and have a great work ethic. Our condolences go to all the Scudamore family.


There’s a very thought provoking article on Lord Hesketh in today’s Racing Post. A must read for everybody thinking of the future. He doesn’t mince his words and has never been frightened to have a go and stand out from the crowd. He has never gone along with the idea of keeping quiet and going with the flow, speaking his mind on many areas of the industry. Let’s hope a few people in power are reading it, but I doubt they would take any notice and just hide behind their committees and decisions taken behind closed doors.