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A sad day for turf racing

Thursday, 31 July 2014

"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn."

David Russell.

24_Cantering
Cantering in a line

It’s a blue sky morning with the forecast of showers and heavier rain from tonight onwards. I like the warm weather but just wish it would rain at nights to keep the ground in perfect condition. We are very similar to farmers in that respect. A successful morning with all the horses doing two good healthy canters on the Bury Side all-weather. The horses are in good form and many of them are ready to run when the ground changes to good.

07_String
Walking home after exercise

A great tactical race yesterday, with Kingman showing a tremendous burst of acceleration to settle the issue in a few strides to win the Sussex Stakes. It will be interesting to see which way they go with him now. I would think the QE II on Champions Day would be the main aim and then I think he will be standing at stud at Cheveley next year - but wouldn’t it be great for the racing public if he had a four year old campaign. He has nothing to prove though over a mile, and would winning the July cup make him a better stallion prospect? I doubt it. He will already be overflowing with all the worlds’ top breeders clamouring for his services.

63_Toparali
Toparali (Emilie)

It is very sad to see that Warwick has made the decision to turn its back on Flat racing to concentrate on being a National Hunt course. With the loss of Kempton, Southwell, Wolverhampton, Folkestone and Newcastle we will with have lost a lot of turf racing in a very short time. It is what I have always feared; we will be like America in a generation with all-weather racing as the principle surface. The bigger tracks Ascot, Sandown, Newmarket, York etc. will survive but only for the top end horses and everybody else will be shuffled down. The all-weather tracks will be owned by bookmakers with trainers and jockeys attached to such courses. I hope I am wrong but with the way we are going I fear the worst. The main reason for this change is the maintenance costs of the courses. It is easy on the all weather, all you need is a tractor and a rotavator, but it takes time on the grass and you need personnel who are dedicated to the job.