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

The new walking ground is coming on

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely."

Auguste Rodin.

Astrodiamond (Frankie)

It’s a blue sky morning with no wind, so very pleasant indeed. We have had a quiet day, just doing one canter on Warren Hill, after yesterdays schooling and galloping morning. They are all moving smoothly and no problems so far.

Astrowolf (Glenn)

We have one runner tonight, at Kempton in the 7.25. Hold Firm makes his handicap debut in the 1m nursery. It is a change that we are drawn reasonable well in stall two. Let’s hope he comes out well, as he has missed the break twice now. Jimmy Quinn takes the ride. He has ridden him at home and I will be disappointed if he doesn’t put up a better show tonight, than he has done so far. We have given him the benefit of the doubt over wearing blinkers. I think the step up in trip might help.

Toptempo (Heather)

Jockey Club estates are busy at the moment, putting in a walking ground down on the far side of Warren Hill, just on the edge of Side Hill. This has been trialled for the last couple of years using just marker posts, but now we are making it more permanent with a proper walking ground surface. It should take a lot of traffic off the Moulton Road walking grounds and is a good addition to the heath. They have been doing all the work  in-house, which will keep the costs down, so we can use the extra money to refurbish the tracks that get the heaviest use.

Working on the new walking ground

The horseman’s group is objecting to the Newcastle all-weather track exemption, on the grounds that it is contrary to the rule book. I think everybody wants an all-weather track in the north and it is commonsense to have one. It will save travelling costs and help the trainers in the north considerably, but the consensus is that Newcastle is not the place to have it and they don’t want a good galloping grass track being dug up. Catterick is the obvious alternative and for the life of me I can’t see why that has not been progressed any further. We have always known Arc is purely a business orientated group, with profits as their number one aim, so history and commonsense go out of the window. Costs and how to reduce them is their priority. They don’t care about the public, all they want is for a race meeting which generates income, even if nobody turns up to see it. It is put on at the lowest cost to them, in maintenance and prize money. The BHA should have the strength to stand firm against such pressure and have a vision, which is something I keep saying.