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Plenty to do and see this weekend

Friday, 19 September 2014

"If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is."


Hold Firm (Farhan)

It started pouring around about 6 o’clock here in Newmarket and we had a good steady downpour until around 7.45. It will have watered the plants and dampened the dust, but we need another good deluge to actually change the ground. It is still very warm with the temperature very much in the 20’s. There is no wind though and the ground will not be drying up quickly.

Astrodiamond (Jimmy Quinn) leading Bracken Brae (Abbie)

We had a disappointing evening at Kempton with Astrocat not taking part, due to a misunderstanding, and Blue Bounty not performing quite up to scratch. He still ran a sound enough race, but I think soft ground on the turf, and the appliance of some sort of head gear will be a great help to him.

Toparali (Jessica)

The powers that be are singing the praises of the Levy Board and the bookmakers this morning, after the 2015 Levy has already been agreed. Usually this gets delayed and delayed, but with the government taking a much more proactive look into how the bookmakers work and their tax situation for the first time for ages, the bookmakers have decided to look like they are helping. There was no mention of the voluntary contribution, which is an extra lot of money agreed to go into racing, supposedly this season. We have not, as yet, seen a penny being used in any capacity and the future of it looks very dim. 

Peeps (Yaz)

What a great character the Irish racehorse trainer and big charity worker Oliver Brady always looked, and if you read the report of his funeral today, you can see what a marvellous man he was. The priest in his address told how he was given 6 months to live in 2003, but had obviously negotiated an extension. What a great way of expressing how he had lived. There are still plenty of characters in our sport.

Sheltering under a tree whilst watching work

It is the big Ayr meeting this week with the Ayr Gold Cup tomorrow. It used to be one of the highlights of the year for all trainers, jockeys and stable staff, but nowadays with Newbury and its Arc Trial and the Mill Reef, plus Newmarket and its sales races, the big jockeys and trainers don’t venture forth. It is sad for the crowds in the north, as they don’t get to see the stars. Usually the draw plays a big part of who wins the big race and the object is to watch the Silver Cup and then have a bet in the big one. It is very hard to pick one at this stage but I am going to go for Ballesteros each way. Have a great weekend and I must remind you that it is the Newmarket Open Day this Sunday, and although I am not opening, there are 20 odd stables that are, plus all the other auxiliary businesses. It is always a good day and well worth a visit.

I have been very quiet this year about my football team. We are playing much better and although it is a tricky home match against Reading, who are also playing well, if we can win this, we are in the play off zone, which is a lot better than the last few years when we have usually been in relegation fights. Come on the Owls.