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

The wind is biting on the heath today

Thursday, 19 February 2015

"Action is the antidote to despair."

Joan Baez.

Another beautiful sunrise over Newmarket

It’s much colder this morning, mainly because of the biting wind that is coming down from the north. It’s clear and bright though and if you are out of the wind, it’s a glorious day. Long Hill polytrack has been the main exercise and some of the two-year-olds have started to get upsides and learn a bit more. It has been busy on the heath, with everybody starting to get their strings into top gear. We could still do with a few stable staff, as can most people in Newmarket. It irritates me when the employment figures that came out yesterday, say that there is a rise in the under 25’s unemployment figure. Our industry is a well paid, exciting and rewarding job for any young person and the career advancement and ability to work overseas is second to none. I don’t think our industry recruitment side has got their story across very well, especially in schools.

Astromajor (Ali) and Astrowolf (Veronika) on Long Hill

Topamichi was slightly disappointing last night. After being well placed throughout, they quickened away from him a bit in the straight and I think the sharpness of the track, they were on the inside loop turning for home, was certainly against him. It looks like he wants 1m 4f on this track, as it is quite a fast surface. All the five all-weather tracks have different surfaces and layouts and its amazing how some horses will act better at some places than others. It is just a means of finding the right one for your horse and it sometimes takes time to sink in!

Lawman ex Katajan (Ali) and Royal Applause ex Astromancer (Holly)

I see Willie Mullins is calling for bigger prize money at the Cheltenham Festival and saying it would better reflect the sums owners invest into the sport. He does mention that the bottom end is starting to disappear and in my opinion, it is there that the increase should start first. You don’t force owners to pay high prices for horses, whether it is on the flat or over jumps and they know what they are coming into and know the rewards. They buy the pedigree or the form horses and then lady luck plays a big part. We need the finances sorting out and everybody is trying. The Irish racing has good prize money, but not as much racing as we do and is dominated by a few trainers, both on the flat and over jumps. It is very hard for the smaller trainers, both in Ireland and here to survive and there will be many more go out of business before the prize money is sorted out, which is a very great shame. It is time that we get our fair share of the money that is generated from the sport.