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Let the battle commence ...

Prize money issues

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

"The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears."

John Vance Cheney.


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Prayer Time (Ali) and below his sire, Pastoral Pursuits, with stallion man Paddy.

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It is a very windy morning with plenty of cloud but as yet no rain. We have had both Jimmy Quinn in to ride work on the flat horses and Joe Ackehurst to school the hurdlers, so it has been a busy old morning. Joe has just told me that he is going to revert back to amateur rider status which I think is a very good idea as he will be tremendously helpful on the flat next season.

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Malcolm and Max Franklin looking at Intello at Cheveley Park and below Aussie Rules at Lanwades Stud

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There is an announcement in the Post today about minimum race values with the top races going up by £5,000 and the lower races, the class 6 types, increasing by only £500. Once again the powers that be have not a clue as to how everybody is trying to make a living. Those at the top certainly don't need a rise but the middle to lower sections need a big boost in prize money. It's common sense that if prize money was better more owners would be attracted, the horse population would rise and the races would fill. This is another example of the regulators being in their own cocoon rather than being in the real world, and it is so disappointing as it will be another year or two before they look at this position again.

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Richard Marriott with Sea The Moon, his chosen stallion for Battery Power

I was very pleased to see that at last night's Gimcrack dinner Richard Lancaster, who represents Hamdan Al Maktoum the owner of the winner and therefore asked to give the speech, stated the fact that financial rewards available to owners and breeders must be sufficient to justify their committment. He also stated that prize money was the most important issue and not the field size. He confirmed that prize money would encourage owners to make the financial committment to own and breed racehorses. How right he is.

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The great Frankel at Juddmonte

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We had a very interesting day on Monday looking at stallions and, while some were still away in the southern hemisphere, we saw a great variety. Although some were out of our budget you can still compare them at whatever price. We have started to get organised for next year as we have around eighteen mares to cover.