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I will reserve judgement

Friday, 05 December 2014

"The gem cannot be polished without friction nor man without trials."

Confucius.

10_Morning_sky
The morning sky

It was a bright morning, once the sun came up and we are getting nearer the shortest day. It doesn’t really get light enough to canter until at least 7.30. I know I have said it before, but it amazes me how when we are going out to canter, strings are coming back in, having already done so. They can’t possibly see much when cantering and if you get a loose one, you will never find it. We have been cantering on Long and Bury Hills first two lots and all has gone well, apart from one filly that keeps being very stubborn going past The Severals. We will just have to persuade her that there are no dinosaurs lurking behind every tree.

09_C_Bond
Comrade Bond leaving the yard

From the headlines on the front of the Racing Post today it doesn’t look to me as if the bookmakers are going to the poor house any time soon, and the valuation put on Skybet goes to show that. Also Betfair announced record first half results and their share price soared. Even with the point of consumption tax and the ‘racing right’ hanging over them, it doesn’t seem to give anybody a worry. With Betfair there was a £200 million return to the share holders, I know that hasn’t all come from racing, but it just goes to show how much money these bookmakers actually make, unlike the majority of professionals who are supplying the products.

14_trotting_ring
Walking to exercise

When you read Bill Barbers piece today in the Racing Post it will once again make you think what influence any of our so-called leaders have on the industry. His piece is about the new BHA board and chief executive and to what actually their roles will be. I said I will give them a year to settle in before giving my opinion, but I can only see more of what we have been having for the last 10 years. The great saying of Toby Balding’s was that “we have got too many suits and not enough wellies” holds very true.

18_Amajor__Topaling
Astromajor (Heather) and Topaling (Sophie)

Every year I go to a Tattersalls liaison meeting at the end of the sales season and they discuss all matters which have happened during the year, from transport and veterinary, to the canteen, lighting and everything to do with the sales complex and what can be done to make it better. For years the transporters have wanted to have head collars left on the horses when they were sold, so that it would make it much easier to catch and load up. This is now a rule and all horses should be left with a head collar on. Needless to say we took a mare down yesterday with its own head collar and rug. It didn’t sell and we go to pick it up again this morning and what do I find? no head collar. Somebody has obviously nicked it overnight. So if anybody offers you a head collar for sale, tell them its mine and where to return it. I can’t wait for the next meeting.