Horse welfare is paramount ...

We have three runners going out tomorrow

Friday, 29 August 2014

"It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn." Robert Southey.

The horses out cantering

It’s one of those perfect mornings once again, blue sky, no wind, great temperature and everybody in and working in a very happy atmosphere. I sent the horses off in all directions first lot, and it is great to have the staff that I can have full confidence in to do what I want. I am sure they like it as well when I give them the responsibility of working the plan. Limekilns grass, plus Warren Hill and Bury Hill’s was the cantering grounds this morning and all went well. It is amazing it is starting to dry up fast, but the turf on the Limekilns canter was in very good nick.

Crystal Pearl (Joe Akehurst) and Peeps (Jimmy Quinn)

We have three runners on Saturday, two at Sandown and one at Market Rasen. Blue Bounty runs in the 1m handicap at 5 o’clock with Andrea Atzeni taking his first ever ride for us. It is a competitive little contest but if he gets the trip, which I think he should do, he will get involved. Kieren Fallon rides Topamichi in the 1m 2f handicap at 5.30. He is sporting a hood for the first time, drawn well in two and if he doesn’t pull too hard, he should run a good race as well. You wouldn’t want the ground to dry up too much though as soft is what he wants.

At Market Rasen we run My Guardian Angel, who ran a great race last time at Newmarket. He was disappointing when he ran at Stratford but I think there were reasons for that and I am sure he will run much better tomorrow, especially going right handed. I hope the ground doesn’t dry up too much there either.

Astromajor (Ali) and Bracken Brae (Reece)

The Newmarket heath visitor’s debate rumbles on. I couldn’t believe the article yesterday by the Racing Post correspondent who was very scathing of the Jockey Club. I think it was a very poor article and he hasn’t got the idea of what the Jockey Club have said and his facts are certainly wrong. It has always been closed to the public before 1 o’clock, for the safety of the people working on it. In the past we have had loose dogs aplenty, hoards of joggers, people on mountain bikes, ladies pushing a push chair and children running everywhere. It is both highly dangerous for them as 2,500 horses that are unpredictable, could cause a major accident. The way it works now, is that they can walk on the heath after 1 o’clock but not before, it is commonsense. It is a great facility for the town’s people, or anybody else for that matter, and it has worked well for as long as I can remember. Why cause trouble where there is none in the first place? Sir Mark Prescott’s letter today in the Racing Post, who is the chairman of our heath committee, says it all.

Prayer Time (Abbie) and Toparali (Jessica)

It will be interesting to see whether Arc take any notice of the trainers petition to stop Newcastle being turned into an all-weather track or not. Usually they just railroad these things in, and if the BHA allows them to do, it will be a major blow to the sport. I am sure there is a very good compromise somewhere, as the northern trainers are desperate for an all-weather to save costs and I am sure one nearer to the main centre can be found. 

Lexi Grady Alice (Jessica)

I love the piece in the Racing Post today about the New Zealand rider who has been suspended. He backed another horse in the race he was riding in and said he couldn’t do his horse justice because he got cramp in his hands. I have heard everything now. I hope they throw the book at him and ban him for life, but I suppose if that were our BHA, he would be back riding in five years time, explaining to the younger riders how to do it.