It's Champions weekend ...

Winter rules come into force

Wednesday, 04 February 2015

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."

Nelson Henderson.

Prayer Time (Jimmy Quinn) and Astrowolf (Reece) walking back from Side Hill

There was a good frost over night and the ground was firm enough on the grass this morning. Winter rules came into play on the heath, with the all-weather walking ground on Warren Hill and the Town Canter being used as walking grounds. I was explaining to one of the assistant trainers this morning that we are completely spoilt compared to what it was years ago, when the walking grounds were like ploughed fields and you could do an injury just walking on it. These youngsters don’t know they are born!

Equiano ex Amanda Carter (Frankie) and Topaling (Reece)

There’s a big article today on what would happen after the election, depending on who won the day. Each party has its own views on gambling and unfortunately, there are not very many MP’s in Great Britain, who are horseracing fans. There are fewer still who understand it at all. It is not very politically correct to be a gambling fan. The bookmakers are obviously worried as their machine cash cow, which keeps their betting shops ticking over very well, could be hit and then shops would be shut, leading to the media rights income reducing to the racecourses, i.e. prize money. There is plenty going on at present and progress has been good towards a racing right, but whatever happens at the election in under 100 days, there will be lots more for the politicians to get on with, rather than to them, an unimportant racing industry. 

Bob is keeping warm in the hay barn

There has been a debate lately on which way round the paddock horses should walk and the safety of people legging jockeys up and the public. Historically we have always gone clockwise, which has worked well with only a few incidents. Goodwood is the main track that goes anti-clockwise, giving the personnel more space to get out of the way if a horse is fractious. It doesn’t really bother me which way they go, but the one thing I would advocate is that only owners and trainers be allowed in the paddock, as at the bigger meetings, there seems to be Uncle Tom Cobley and all in there, which causes the space to diminish and that is what can cause the problems. In my opinion the BHA should bring a rule in stating that only owners and trainers can be in the centre of the paddock.