Horse welfare is paramount ...

Tomorrow has a good day of racing

Friday, 10 October 2014

"Even when life isn’t good on the outside, you have an option to make it good from

 the inside out."

Terri Guillemets.

Cantering up Long Hill grass

It’s a bright, cool morning once again with the forecast for intermittent showers, but not long steady rain. I think this is the forecast for the weekend as well. It is autumn temperatures though and I think that is it for the summer. We have been cantering on the grass on Long Hill this morning, which has had very little use and is in perfect condition. I often say that Newmarket horses have no idea how to go on very soft ground as they never canter on it at home. If we have heavy rain, usually the grass is shut and the horses don’t get any practice of moving on soft ground. It never used to happen, but the introduction of the all-weather tracks has completely changed the way trainers use the gallops

Toptempo (Sophie)

Unfortunately we will now not have a runner tomorrow as the horse we hoped to run had a slight temperature last night.

Lexi didn’t run too badly last night and once getting the idea, stayed on well. She is very capable of winning a minor race on the all-weather this winter, especially over a bit further. Her mother stayed really well.

Bracken Brae (Jimmy Quinn) and Sant'Elia (Ali)

It is the Cesarewitch meeting here at Newmarket tomorrow and there's also a good meeting at York. We won the Cesarewitch way back in 1987 with Private Audition, who won by 10 lengths or so at a big price. It is a race I have always liked and I have had a few runners since. I think Theola, who won the Cesarewitch trial before having a problem, would have gone very close a few years ago. It has become very hard nowadays to get into these very big handicaps, with the fields being reduced and the top weights usually being rated over 100. Surprisingly enough the draw has a big effect and you really want a middle to low number to be sure of a good run. Quick Jack looks like my idea of being favourite and must have a good chance. My other one against the field is Nearly Caught.

Blue Bounty (Reece)

I see the headlines in the Racing Post today reveal Arc’s broken commitments to racing. The racecourse group had promised to put another £1m into prize money, but it came up £800,000 short and it is typical of this group to do so. In a week where we have had the sales going completely barmy out of all normal comprehension, here we have a group trying to minimise their input. If we are to have a racing business, we need the grass roots and the middle tier to thrive and prize money is the only thing that keeps it going. If these racecourse groups don’t come up to the mark, they must be penalised by not being given any extra fixtures or allowed to expand. The groups and the private courses which try hard and put on the prize money should be rewarded and encouraged. All we seem to get from Arc is the closure of racecourses, the minimum they can put into prize money and there is no sign of any new initiatives that will help the sport. I hope this exposé will help concentrate their minds

Astrodiamond (Yaz) and Astrowolf (Jessica)

I see the starting rules for jump racing has been amended once again and it will be interesting to see if it works. It states everybody has been consulted and the jockey association’s chief executive says he is pleased the agreed changes have been approved. If it stops the spectacle of horses trotting around at the start in a tight circle, it will delight me, as I couldn’t stand that practice. It is not rocket science, starting a race, it just needs a strong starter, sensible jockeys and it should go off without a hitch. I will be watching to see what happens.