Horse welfare is paramount ...

A dark morning

Friday, 21 November 2014

"Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen."

Leonardo da Vinci.

High-viz jackets definitely needed today

It was a very dark overcast morning at first lot and there were plenty of high-viz jackets all over the heath, but there's no rain or wind. We had a mixture of exercise with some horses cantering on Warren Hill polytrack and others going round Side Hill on the grass, which is over a mile long with a big sweeping bend. Second lot have gone up Warren Hill, and it was great to see them walking back jumping and kicking - although I'm always relieved when they get back into the yard safely.

It may be dark but owners still turn up to watch their horses

We have two runners today both at Wolverhampton in what they call a twilight meeting. Our two run in early races thank goodness as getting to and from Wolverhampton on  a Friday is no easy task. Blue Bounty runs in the six furlong maiden at 4.40. He is ultra consistent having been placed in nearly every one of his races. He deserves to get his head in front and he certainly won't be far off again today. We run Topaling in the mile and six handicap  at 5.15. She has won two of her last three and has always looked as if this trip will suit. I'm hopeful of another sound run but it's her first time on tapeta and you have to hope that she will go on it.

Humphry Repton (Yaz)

After my comment about the jockeys and causing injury last week at Wolverhampton, I was very pleased to see a big article today in the Racing Post on the same subject. Something has got to happen about this, and the something should be both the stipendary stewards and the stewards themselves have to be much harder on a day to day basis with the offenders. It's getting pretty dangerous riding in races. I had a long talk this morning with Jimmy Quinn on the matter and there are several jockeys in the weighing room, even the most affable ones, who are now starting to be annoyed by what is happening. There is a lack of respect or understanding from many of the apprentices today about what help and advice they could get from the senior jockeys if they wanted. A very arrogant attitude has permeated this level of the trade which needs addressing. I have always advocated that there should be an apprentice race every day somewhere, and a properly publicised apprenticeship championship with a big race every weekend. I believe there ought to be a senior jockey attached to say five apprentices and it would be their responsibility to educate them along with their trainer. At the moment some apprentices are being given rides on the track when they are not proficient enough. This can cause mayhem as we have seen lately. If not addressed urgently this problem will get far worse than it is now.