A very well deserved winner of the Longines Ladies Award ...

It's the start of two days of good racing

Friday, 17 October 2014

"We should pray to the angels, for they are given to us as guardians."

St Ambrose.

It's just beginning to get light

It’s amazingly mild this morning. One or two of the horses have got two rugs on, keeping them warm in their boxes. It is better that way than being cold though, especially when they have had temperatures. I think the forecast is for it to stay dry today, with showers coming in again at the weekend. We have had a good general exercise with the older horses, cantering on the grass on Long Hill. 

Crystal Pearl (Ali)

Our runner yesterday, Comrade Bond, ran a belting race.  He was given a good ride by Robert Winston and it was only well inside the final furlong that the weight told. The second and third may have set it up for the winner but they were well clear of the pack. At least he seems to be free of the dreaded virus.

We have one runner this weekend, tomorrow at Catterick. Toptempo runs in the 1m 4f handicap at 3.40. She ran a nice race last time at Newmarket, is very lightly raced this year and I can definitely see her getting involved if handling this tight track. There are very few races suitable for her at the moment, hence the run here.

Astrodiamond (Yaz)

It’s the Future Champions Day today here at Newmarket. It will be intriguing to see how big the crowd is, but some very good horses are on show and there will be one or two pointers no doubt for next season. Saturdays Champions Day at Ascot has not quite got the star quality everybody hoped for, but it is great money to be won and good luck to the connections that are having a go for it. My nap of the day must be Cirrus des Aigles who will love the ground and is such a fantastic horse. We are taking him to our hearts just like the French, who absolutely love him. I am sure he will get a great reception tomorrow, win, lose or draw.

The two-year-olds out second lot

They open parts of the new Cheltenham today, which is still in the process of undergoing its redevelopment. It will be fascinating to see how it all fits into place as the building continues. There will be no Tony McCoy though as he is still sidelined after his bad fall the other day. The ground is good to soft, good in places which is amazing after all the rain. I always think jumping ground is different to flat ground, in that good to soft national hunt ground is like soft to heavy flat ground.

Ian, the new work rider!!

I see the debate on Champions Day is starting to get into full swing. There will be a lot of soul searching over the next few months to see if they dare break the pattern and move the whole meeting forward. It is a bit like closing the gate after the cows have got out. This was always going to happen and if they were going to break the mould with this great day, it should have been done at the beginning. Newmarket gave up the Champions Stakes and rearranged their fixtures to help this day. The ones in the know will tell you this is a long term project, but in my opinion it should be a short term project to get it sorted out. We need people who know what they are doing, not marketing gurus who have very little ideas of how our industry really works.