Horse welfare is paramount ...

Two winners in two days

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

"In giving advice seek to help, not to please, your friend."


The sunrise over Newmarket this morning

It is much colder this morning with the temperature taking a big drop. I will be searching for my warmer winter clothing for tomorrow. I love wearing my over trousers in the winter and they will be the first thing on from now on. We have been using the grass on Long Hill this morning. The two-year-olds continue their recovery in the indoor ride and I am beginning to up their work. If progress carrys on we will be cantering next week.

Sant'Elia (Yaz)

We had another good day yesterday, with Topaling making it two out of two for the mare in consecutive days when she got up to win at Lingfield under a fine ride from Tim Clark, who was having his first ride for us. I was delighted for owner Mike Bowring, who has been one of our staunchest supporters right from the start of my career and this family have been very good to us. Crystal Pearl ran a very sound race and would have been quite a bit closer if not being boxed in at the crucial stage. I think her time is near and John and Bridget will understand this coded message when I say their idea worked. But it’s a long story. Astrodiamond looks like she wants a lot further and we will be re-assessing her options. It is great to have these homebred winners and Dullingham Park is really starting to produce them now. I must thank all the mare owners for their involvement. I would also wish to thank everybody for their messages and texts, which are very much appreciated.

Bracken Brae (Jessica)

We had a very sad day earlier in the week when we put down our matriarch mare, Tiempo. She had been Angie’s father’s last horse in training and it was through the filly that I met Angie. She was 28 though, and in horse terms she was well over 100, which is a great age. She had had a marvellous life, especially this last summer when it was warm and she was very happy out with her friends. She has left a great legacy in her offspring. Her daughter, Tenpence, continues to produce winners for us.

The winter flower displays

The BHA has come up with the solution on how they are going to shake up the small field problem, but there is nothing new or innovative in their ideas. In fact it is pretty poor and their idea of cancelling races if they don’t fill will cause plenty of problems. It is ok doing this when all the horses are trained on the track and you can just cancel one and fill another straight away, as they do in America or like greyhound racing, but when you have a widespread industry like ours, with the travel costs to take into consideration, plus you must have planned to run certain horses in certain races, to be just told that the race has gone, will be very disappointing. In my opinion there has been very little thought go into this problem, if there is a problem at all. If you don’t want races, just don’t put them on. I would have thought cancelling 100-150 fixtures would have sorted the small field problem out, especially the dross in the lower echelons that nobody wants to bet on and have very little interest in watching.