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The end of the hurricane hits us

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

"There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing."

Alfred Wainwright.

A stormy sky at first lot

We woke up this morning to wind and rain, the tail end of the hurricane that has come across the Atlantic. I don’t think we have quite hit the worst of it yet, but as we write this it is lashing down and the winds are starting to get up. The exercise has been Warren Hill polytrack and then Side Hill polytrack where everything has gone without a hitch. The two-year-olds are staying in the indoor ride second lot, which all the staff are very pleased about as the rain is thundering down on the roof and they are happy and warm, with the radio on, having a good walk and trot.

Blue Bounty (Jimmy Quinn) and Comrade Bond (Sophie)

We were delighted to have another winner with Topamichi yesterday. Everything went according to plan and he seemed much more settled in himself all day long. He was just a little bit edgy at Leicester last week and failed to fire, where as yesterday he was settled and did everything Harry Bentley asked of him. He stays well, loves that ground and let’s hope we can win another with him this season. He was bred at Dullingham by Mike Bowring and it is always very exciting for owners to enjoy success with their homebreds. 

Bracken Brae looking out into the yard

Crystal Pearl runs in the 5 o’clock, the 1m 2f handicap. She showed some good form early on this year but has had some moderate runs of late. We have tried something different with her at home to see if we can get her back on track. She is handicapped to run well and let’s hope she does. Topaling runs in the next race at 5.35, the 1m 4f apprentice race. She is a course and distance winner but ran appallingly last time at Yarmouth, where I suspect I ran her back too quickly. But if back to her best, and she has been moving well at home recently, she should certainly get involved today.  Our last runner is tonight at Kempton where Astrodiamond runs in the 7.30, the 1m 3f maiden. She had very little clue first time out at Wolverhampton, but will have learnt a considerable amount from that and I am sure she will run better tonight. She will be much sharper once again for today’s experience. 

Astrodiamond sticking her tongue out for the camera

At long last the fixture list for 2015 has been published, which has resulted in another seven more fixtures, an increase once again. I am still not sure what the BHA is planning but they are saying they want to cut out the small fields with measures to be announced shortly. Personally I don’t think they have a clue what they are doing or have any idea how the industry works, but we will have to wait and see what is announced. My main point is that we don’t mind racing anywhere if the prize money is high enough and owners have a chance of getting some return, but if they are constantly being sent travelling costs and expenses when they are winning a pittance, it will soon end their owning careers. We must endeavour to keep and attract new owners into the industry, but we will only do this if we can show them that the prize money is worthwhile if their horse is successful. Nobody expects something for nothing but if a horse shows ability, it should be able to pay its way. The racecourses are very much involved in this issue and most of them try hard, but there are some which purely do it for themselves. The BHA must take issue with these tracks and stand up and be counted with the anomalies in the fixture list.