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Let the battle commence ...

The fog has lifted to a very warm day

Thursday, 18 September 2014

"We hate to have some people give us advice because we know how badly they need it themselves."

Anon.

02_In_mist
Even with high visabilty jackets on it's hard to see the horses

There’s thick fog once again but I am told the temperature is going to increase as the day goes on. There were plenty of strings out on the heath without sheets on at first lot, as the horses were getting very warm, even at that time of the morning. We have been playing it safe this morning with two rails either side and just cantering up Long Hill and Warren Hill polytracks. So far, so good.

06_Emerging
As they get closer you can start to make out who's who

We have two runners today, both tonight at Kempton. Astrocat makes her debut in the 1m 4f maiden at 7.40. She has taken time to come to hand and will definitely gain a lot from today’s experience.  Blue Bounty runs over 6f in the 9.10, which is way past my bedtime and is completely barmy as the horses won’t be home until 1 o’clock. It is OK to have these late races when the horses live on the track, as in America, Hong Kong, Australia etc, but when they have to travel like ours do and it costs so much, it really gets my goat up. He is back in trip tonight, just for a try. He always travels well in his races and we will have to see if he is quick enough for 6f . I hope he is and he must be in the shake up.

Our Yarmouth runner didn’t disgrace us yesterday, in what was quite a good maiden. He needs to strengthen and mature a bit more, but I think once we get in a lower grade handicap, he could start to earn some corn. It is very difficult with the horses not bought at auction, as they do not qualify in auction races and have to take on horses that have cost a small fortune. There doesn’t seem to be any sensible race planning, or anybody with any knowledge of race planning, who can sort this maiden situation out. Every time we try and get some agreement it all falls on deaf ears. Centralized race planning with professional people who understand the game is a must.

10_Walking_to_exercise
The fog has lifted

I was under the impression, and I think most people were, that Yarmouth were just going to dig up the sections of the track that had got humps and ridges on it, but I found out yesterday that the whole of the track is to be dug up and re sown. All the turf is to disappear and we are in the lap of the Gods whether the grass will grow quick enough to produce a racing sward in time for next year. May and June was being suggested yesterday by the Yarmouth officials, but I would have my doubts as to when we will be back there. I would put it more towards the autumn or even 2016 before we get racing again. It could all work out well, with the best straight mile in the country. If they use their brains and have some qualifying races for a big pot at the end, over trips up to a mile, it could be to everybody’s benefit. Prize money is the number one concern and people are reluctant to travel for poor returns.

Astrovenus_polo
Astrovenus playing polo

A great picture arrived today of one of our old horses, Astrovenus, who found a very good home playing polo. She has really come on in leaps and bounds under Holly Butler’s tuition. We always try and find homes for our horses in different areas of equitation and our ‘where are they now’ section of the site proves how successful we have been. They give so much pleasure to their new owners.