Horse welfare is paramount ...

We are off to Leicester today

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

"Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools."

Albert Einstein.

It's a dark morning even in the indoor ride

It’s one of those damp, foggy, wet mornings today. The temperature is not too cold yet and I am told it is set to get warmer towards the end of the week, but no drier, so make the most of not having to wear three layers of clothing. It will soon change. We have been on Bury Side this morning, trying to dodge the showers, using the Warren Hill poly, followed by a good swinger up the grass on Long Hill. Despite the rain it was in great condition as not many people have used it. It seems to me nowadays, that if it has not got rails, the trainers don't like to use them. What they would have done 30 years ago is beyond me. There is a big call at the moment to have the new walking ground railed in, which I can see some point in if we are cantering close by, but not otherwise.

Cantering on the Long Hill grass

We have one runner today at Leicester. Topamichi runs in the 5.40, the 1m 2f handicap. He is beginning to look like he has started to come back to form, dropped down the handicap, is drawn ok and must have a chance in this race. As you know our two-year-olds have had an infection, but the older horses seem to be clear of it. We took a blood last night just to check, which came back ok, so let’s hope we can run a sound race today.

Blue Bounty (Ali) and Topaling (Abbie)

I see people are starting to complain about the Champions Day meeting and why it is this date in the calendar, with the ground usually on the soft side. They are saying why don’t they cover it? I don’t think that would work as they only cover the tracks at jump meetings to stop the frost, but not the rain. It is the date that’s wrong, nothing else. As I stated yesterday, at this time of year the top horses are either finished for the year, retired or being kept for the Breeders Cup and the ground is against a lot of them. It will suit some, and good luck to those ones as the prize money is tremendous. The crowds will be a good size as well, but purely for the music afterwards, not necessarily for the racing. I am sure Great British racing will sing the praises of the numbers, but not tell you why they have attended.

You have had a tickle, now go and catch a mouse

I smiled when I read Charlie Mann’s piece bemoaning the fact he wasn’t looked after when he took a horse over to the Pardubicka, which is the Czech Republic. In the past it looks like overseas runners were paid to travel. They also had hotels and cars paid for. He said it is similar to Cheltenham giving overseas runners this courtesy for coming over for the cross country race. Well I didn’t know that. I do know Ascot and Newmarket contribute to the overseas runners who come from America and Australia for the Royal meeting and the July meeting, which I think is wrong as well. If you go to the Melbourne Cup or to the Breeders Cup there are nil expenses and cost the owners an absolute fortune to get there. They do look after you with receptions and some entertainment, but no money passes hands. Charlie has been successful in this race in the past, but on this occasion his horse didn’t run very well in what is an unbelievably hard race to win for a horse that has not run there before. Let’s hope he finds the right horse in the future and persuades the track to pay his diesel.