It's Champions weekend ...

Mask, striped jumper and swag bag anyone?

Friday, 26 September 2014

"Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now."

Jonatan Mårtensson.

Prayer Time (Ali) and Comrade Bond (Sophie)

It’s a dull overcast day but still very close and you can go out on the heath in just a jersey. We took first lot across to the peat moss between the banks again this morning and it was once again like a carpet. It is a great gallop as it constantly rises and you shouldn’t do any harm on it. They also have a very good walk back, which cools them down and lets them wind down mentally.

Astrocat (Yaz) and Astrowolf (Jessica)

Toptempo ran a sound race here at Newmarket yesterday and with some softer ground she can be competitive this autumn. The ground at Pontefract, although having a good cover, was just of the fast side for both our runners, especially Peeps, who wouldn’t let herself go when asked to. Humphry Repton will have learnt a lot from the run and he had a very good blow afterwards. Both these horses will win races this year.

Smile That Smile (Jimmy Quinn) and Blue Bounty (Abbie)

We just have one runner tonight at Wolverhampton. Swilken runs in the 7f maiden at 6.50 and with any luck he must be there or there about tonight. We have one runner tomorrow at Newmarket. Bracken Brae runs in the maiden fillies’ race at 5 o’clock. She is a big strong filly who will need the experience but I am sure will run a sound enough race.

Walking home from the top of the racecourse

It is very sad to see the news that Toby Balding has passed away. He was a tremendous trainer of all types of animals and was a great contributor to the industry in so many ways. He worked so hard on behalf of racing behind the scenes, as well as in the front and he was a great example of how to train horses that hadn’t cost the earth. He was a very genuine man who always had time for everybody and gave his experience freely. Our condolences go to all the family.

Darren and Mike enjoying the hospitality at Newmarket racecourse

For those of you who fancy a day out at Newmarket in the panoramic restaurant will have to rob a bank before going there. I went up to see my owners Roalco, who were entering their two bank managers there yesterday. It was half empty as I walked down to the table and after asking if they were enjoying the afternoon, they all agreed it was a great spot to watch the racing from. The food and service was very good, the staff attentive and the Tote girls always on call for when they wanted a bet, but it would be as there were very few people in and everybody was attentive to the ones that were there. On enquiring how much it was I was told well over £200 per head, before any drinks. This included a glass of champagne, lunch and tea. Now that to me comes to nearly £1000 for four, which is completely barmy and doesn’t do anything to attract normal race goers or anybody doing it out of their own pocket. It is great for businesses like yesterday, to entertain clients or professionals, but for anybody else it is beyond their means. Now you could say go to the Brasserie or the café inside the grandstand, which would be cheaper, but there is no view and no booking. You could also have a burger from the van or fish and chips, but if any racecourse wants to get people into the restaurant, they have got to charge a lot less.