Horse welfare is paramount ...

A trip to Wolverhampton is on the cards today

Monday, 15 December 2014

"The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them."

Bernard M. Baruch.

Out cantering this morning

It’s a bright blue sky morning with no wind and it must be the lull before the storm, but we will take it anyway. We have had a very busy morning as we have got a couple away on holiday, one off ill and two gone to Wolverhampton, so you can see we are flat out, as most of the yards are at this time of year. Cantering on Bury Side, which was surprisingly quiet, was the exercise of the morning.


Warming up in the indoor ride

We have two runners today, both at Wolverhampton on the Tapeta. Topaling is our first runner at 3.40. She is a course and distance winner and has won three of her four starts. Still at the right end of the handicap, this is the best race she has run in so far and I hope she can be competitive once again. There doesn’t look to be much pace here, but I am sure there will be as they tend to go flat out on the all-weathers, which should suit. Our second runner is Comrade Bond at 5.40. We are trying him on the surface for the first time and over a bit further. He is drawn well in one and will have to sneak into it if going well enough turning for home. The way he kept on round the links the other morning shows me he is in good health and let’s hope he can spring a surprise at a big price.

Zamindar ex Mega yearling colt

I see the BHA is set to take further action on field sizes, or so the headline in the Racing Post tells me. The bookmakers obviously like it as they say it increases turnover and I am sure it does and that they can prove this with statistics. The only cure for small field sizes is a reduction of the fixture list and a big increase in prize money. Centralized race planning is also a must as we do get clashes of certain races on the same day. It is so easy nowadays with the computer systems to avoid these similar races, but there doesn’t seem anybody with the brain or wherewithal to understand it in the BHA. If they would only listen and think of the long term good of the industry rather than short term gain we could sort this sport out for the benefit of all.

Nayef ex Seasonal Blossom yearling colt

With my Newmarket Trainers’ Federation chairman’s hat on, I would just like to comment on Lee Mottershead’s column in the Racing Post today about bullying and suicides in Newmarket. He seems to think that Newmarket has a higher suicide rate than the national average and that bullying is going on in the yards without anybody knowing. I can tell him that both of those points are without foundation. It was a very unfortunate incident that ended in the tragic death of Pamela Winterburn and let me tell him and everybody that the industry, especially Newmarket, takes this very seriously and have and are doing everything possible for their staff. We have had meetings in the past with all the experts in this sphere and have been told that we could not have done more to stop these incidents. With the Astley Club and Racing Welfare working together, we offer everybody a place to sort out their troubles in a private environment. We have got experts in every field who can help with any problems and our doors never shut. We are a big family in racing and are brilliant at helping each other. These incidents keep our minds concentrated, but I can assure everybody that everything possible is being done to prevent any more occurrences. If Lee would like to come to Newmarket to see for himself what is being done, I would be delighted to show him.