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A very well deserved winner of the Longines Ladies Award ...

Topaling runs tonight at Wolverhampton

Friday, 06 February 2015

"Remember when life’s path is steep to keep your mind even."

Quintus Horatius Flaccus.

06_View
Walking in the distance

There’s a very hard frost once again, which on top of the one yesterday, has made everywhere very firm. As usual the heath organisation has swung into play and the walking grounds have been closed and the all-weather walk back on Warren Hill and the Town Canter are being used instead. Amazingly everybody has got the message and things have gone very smoothly, without any mishaps. We have been on Long Hill and Warren Hill and all the horses are in great form.

01_Severals
The string walking on the Severals

The snow was coming down very thickly last night at times in Chelmsford City and there was a very poor turn out. I don’t know how many did turn up, but there didn’t seem to be very many. The owners of Topamichi all met up in the Club Restaurant and we had a very good meal before the race. I think everybody is really trying, but it will take a good while yet to get it up to a proper standard. Topamichi ran a cracking race, in what was a very competitive handicap, to finish second. He settled well and was just outpaced inside the final furlong. There are plenty more races to be won with him.

Today we run Topaling at Wolverhampton once again, in the 6.45. She has won her last four and I am hoping she can run up to that standard once again. She has won three times over course and distance and I am sure she will be right in the mix tonight. These fillies suddenly improve and get the idea. She has been on the go for a while now and will tell us when she wants a break.

13_MGA
Steve taking My Guardian Angel off the walker

I see my favourite track, Yarmouth, is starting to make excuses as to why they will not be open in June this year. They are saying they did not have time to get the grass sown, but are unbelievable stating they are hopeful of racing on time. You may remember the pictures that I showed you a couple of month ago of it just being a muddy field, well it sounds like it is still very similar and no grass has been sown since. For some unknown reason, only known to them, did they undertake this work, when the grass was as good as on any racecourse in the country. One of the reasons of doing it was there was a reduction in the number of two-year-olds and maidens being sent to the track by Newmarket trainers. It was nothing to do with the track, it was to do with the prize money. Simply that. When Richard Hughes rode on it in the latter part of the year, he commented on his piece in the Racing Post that the track rode really well and the grass cover was fantastic. I think there must have been other motives behind the scenes, whether it be fixture swaps, we will never know, but my hope is that Yarmouth is given time to get back to what it was, but I fear it never will.

25_Walking_ground_WH
The walking ground down Warren Hill

There are a couple of other points that have made the headlines in the post today, one being the racing rights. It’s starting another consultation period and will be ending in the middle of March, not long before the general election, so unless the conservatives win and keep the same team in place, this looks like it will be in the long grass for a while as there will be much more important things on the agenda for the government of the day to deal with. I suppose it means it will come up half way through the term and once again the same thing will happen and time will run out. You can see this happening every time. Secondly, the agreement on the zero tolerance of steroid use will be implemented from March 2nd. The big sticking point here is who is responsible for the horse when it was returned to the owner or gone to a spelling yard. Once again additional paperwork, which is such a burden to everybody nowadays, will come into play. One of my bugbears is that when computers were invented and modernised, we were told paper was going to be made redundant, but it seems to me that the more we use the computers, the more we duplicate with paper to put  in the files. Once again it is madness.