It's Champions weekend ...

The Breeders' Cup will soon be upon us

Thursday, 23 October 2014

"I complain that the years fly past, but then I look in a mirror and see that very few

of them actually got past."

Robert Brault.

Legal Art (Reece)

It’s still cold this morning and I think that is the last of the mild weather and we are really into the winter months now. We had a normal cantering morning with the older horses on Bury Side and there was a surprising amount of people about. With the sales having been on everywhere, everybody has been very busy and I think it was a day when they were all catching up with the horses. Our two-year-olds continue to improve and although they are still in the indoor ride, all the temperatures have settled and we will be resuming cantering, albeit very gently, next week. There are several of them that will be finished for the season but a few will be having some runs on the all-weather, which can only do them good, especially for the experience.


The build up is starting once again for the Breeders’ Cup, which is next weekend, with two days of racing at Santa Anita. It is a glorious track in California, with a great back drop and well worth a visit if you get the chance. There looks to be plenty of European involvement, with quite a few hopeful connections. It is a long way to travel the horses, especially when it’s on the west coast of America, and it greatly depends on how the horses take the travelling, how they acclimatise and how they take to the track and surfaces. There is no incentive given to anybody to go there, which I have mentioned before, and although they look after you, it is only the good prize money which lures the horsemen to go. With the Australian carnival getting into swing as well, if you have got the money and the horses, you can have a fantastic time travelling the world. But it takes the right horse, with the right temperament to be competitive in these international races. If you have got one there is plenty of fun to be had.

Bob, sitting on the hay bales

There’s a very interesting article today by Steve Dennis in the Racing Post, about the fixture list and how he sees it evolve in the next few years. It looks like the all-weather tracks will be increasing if we don’t keep a close eye on it, which will make our sport more akin to greyhound racing. I have always maintained, and you will have read it many times on this site, that we must be very diligent not to let the tracks go this way and lose our great heritage and the whole history of the sport here in England. I know a few tracks like Ascot, York and Newmarket will survive perfectly well, but there are 20 or so others which will be under pressure. They make up the character of the sport in this country, which is what people come here to race for. You can go round and round on an artificial surface anywhere in the world, but those tracks are soulless apart from the odd day, and we don’t want to go down that route here in England.