Horse welfare is paramount ...

A busy week of meetings

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

"Next to excellence is the appreciation of it."

William Makepeace.

Comrade Bond (Sophie) out cantering

It’s overcast this morning and we have had some showers overnight. The forecast is for it to get wet and windy, but as yet it has not arrived. Cantering up Long Hill polytrack has been first lots exercise and the rest are having good healthy winter work. We are starting to get the yearlings in to be broken and the ones we have so far are all doing very well. We will be getting the majority of them going in the next few weeks.

Singing Hinnie (Abbie) and Toptempo (Yaz)

I have had a very interesting couple of afternoon meetings this week. One was the National Trainers’ Federation meeting, eastern division, and yesterday was the heath committee, which consults on the gallop improvements. The first meeting was interesting as we discussed, amongst other things, pensions, the new BHA chief executive and what happens to the money which the BHA offshoot is trying to get from the Racing Post for data rights. All very interesting. Yesterdays meeting was also informative and I think we got somewhere. We want to try and make more space at the bottom of Warren and Long Hills, which is the busiest part of town. A reconstruction will be taking place over the next few months, which I am sure will be a big help. You always have to try and look at the bigger picture, not the short term, so we are going to plant plenty of hedges which will make it much more pleasant to look at, especially at the start of all the canters. Rather than white rails everywhere, there will be nice green privet hedges. In the 30 years I have been in Newmarket we have done so much on the heath and it is undoubtedly the best place in the world to train racehorses and will only continue to get better.


There is an interesting piece in the Post today which we didn’t talk about at our meeting and it may just have come out of the blue yesterday. The BHA has announced it has given itself the power to appeal any disciplinary decisions. This is all shrouded in smoke and windows and is very expensive to go to appeal. Whether you are a jockey, trainer or owner, you can possibly get help with your first inquiry, but if going to appeal the cost aren’t met. Just why the BHA has done this will hopefully be clearer in time, but it looks to me like another slight of hand.