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Why did they do it?

Monday, 24 November 2014

"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere."

Frank A. Clark.

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The sun rising over Newmarket

It’s a frosty morning with a very clear sky and for once the forecasters have got it right. It never stopped raining yesterday and the ground is really saturated, so we have had to be careful on the freezing ground this morning. However, Jockey Club Estates have been out salting all the walking grounds and it is very safe to go out on the heath, not that we have had many venture out that far as we gave all the horses a flu jab at the weekend and it usually takes them a day or two to get over it. It is a live injection which can cause a reaction sometimes. Most of the horses stayed round the indoor ride but the one or two that are going to run this week and didn’t get the jab, have been out and cantered and got the experience of some great morning sunrises.

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Emerging through the trees at first lot

We were delighted with Topaling’s win on Friday. That is her third run from her last four starts and she is improving as we step up in trip. What a fantastic family it is and the mare, Topatori, has bred nothing but winners. Her last foal by Champs Elysees is coming into training next week. It wouldn’t surprise me if she is not the best of the lot as she has a fantastic temperament and is a perfect model. Michael Bowring tells me he has had nearly 50 winners with us over the years and what a fantastic owner he has been. His stories are legendary and if you ever get chance to meet him at the races over a cup of coffee or drink, he will regale you of many happy times and of winners I can’t remember. He has one problem though, he is a Brighton fan although they nearly beat Norwich at the weekend. Blue Bounty again ran a very sound race but hit his joint quite badly at some point during the race and he was lame afterwards. It is not as bad as we first thought but will need a few weeks of tender care to let the cut heal up properly but the break won’t do him any harm. I may try him over a mile when we get him back on the track.

We have two runners today, both once again at Wolverhampton on the Tapeta, which seems to be very popular. Toptempo runs in the 3.35. I have fitted a pair of blinkers just to make her concentrate a bit as she got buffeted about last time and they may just sharpen her up and give her some confidence. I don’t think she is without a chance. Comrade Bond runs in the 4.35, the 7f handicap. Tim Clark takes 5lbs off his back and if things fall right for him in this sort of race where a lot of them have a chance, he could run well.

     Yarmouth     Yarmouth_2
Yarmouth racecourse

As you know I was very much against the track at Yarmouth being dug up when they suggested they were going to take the ridges out of the course. I thought this meant just taking a cricket pitch width of the ridge away and levelling the course and then replacing the same turf, but as usual I was wrong. Chris Wall and I, who are the biggest supporters of Yarmouth over the years and are both up there with winners, had our say, but the course executive decided to do the job anyway. They stated they were hoping to resume racing June or July time next year, but as you can see from the photos which Chris took last week when he visited the track, there will be very little hope of that. Why oh why did they dig the whole course up? It has completely ruined it. If they were going to do it, why not keep the good turf and put it back on top? Yarmouth had got a great covering of grass and everybody commented on it, now it will take years to get this back. Whoever suggested this wants to have a good think to themselves. I just hope there is no ulterior motive behind it.