It's Champions weekend ...

One of the wonderful pleasures in life

Thursday, 17 July 2014

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."

Pablo Picasso.

Blue Bounty leading Topaling and Astromajor

It’s a very warm morning and it looks like continuing like this for the foreseeable future, with temperatures of 30 degrees forecast. We have been out cantering on the grass on the Limekilns, which although on the fast side, has a great cover of grass and no jar whatsoever in it. I absolutely love standing on the Limekilns watching the horses come up it. It is one of those pleasures in life everybody should have.

Comrade Bond and Swilken

I have been to three funerals in the last week, which is never nice at the best of times, but a couple of them quite a lot of our readers may remember. Firstly there was Brenda Cox, who used to be our daily lady at Flint Cottage and was a marvellous woman. I advertised with the words “must be a good cook, shirt ironer and have a sense of humour.” I was inundated with replies, but Brenda was the first one I interviewed and she was perfect for the job. When her husband Peter retired, Brenda did also and Carol took over. That was well over 20 years ago but I can still remember some of the funny moments we had.

The second funeral was Mick Carty, who had been in Newmarket most of his life after coming over from Ireland. He was one of those real proper gentlemen and stablemen, who knew his job, was always cheerful and willing to give his experience to the younger generation. Mick worked for me later in his career and his stories of the old days kept many a stable lad spellbound.

The third one was an uncle of mine who helped me out when I bought Flint Cottage many years ago and was a proper uncle to me and my siblings.

Cooling down at the bottom of the Limekilns

You know I always go on about the fixture list and how crackers it is without a central body having control over it. Well, next Tuesday 22nd there are only two flat meetings, one at Carlisle and one at Musselburgh. How completely crackers is that. It is just like having Yarmouth and Fakenham on the same day. It cuts the crowd completely in half. However, nobody seems to care and I am sure nothing will be done about it, just like the stupid Saturday we have just had. It is the racecourses that don’t want to back down and although you can’t live in the past, and we don’t live in the past, the sport is being run by people who a) don’t care about it, or the future of it, they just live for the short  term and what they are financially getting out of it b) there is nobody with any power in the sport to sort it out and c) we have nobody who can think of the future and how we all should sort it out as an industry. If only there were.

What a view

Although Comrade Bond is declared at Newmarket on Friday night, we will be checking the ground in the morning and if there is any firmness in the going we will not be racing. It is great to be calling it good at the moment but with the sun like it is it will be firming up quickly.