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Saint Anthony and Velvet Vision run today and True Calling tomorrow ...

Will a foal arrive over the weekend?

Friday, 20 February 2015

"Our jovial star reigned at his birth."

William Shakespeare.

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We have two groups of workers on the Al Bahathri this morning

There was plenty of rain overnight; in fact it threw it down from around 9 o’clock until the early hours. Our sitting up man told me this morning it stopped around 3 o’clock and it’s now dry, overcast but reasonably mild. First lot went to the Al Bahathri, where they did some good work in groups. Jimmy was out and was delighted with how everything went. We will be having a few more runners next week and will be trying to keep our good start to the year going. He stayed about the place during the morning and rode some two-year-olds, who are now starting to get themselves educated well. I will be putting a few through the stalls in the not too distant future. I am told David Cameron was out on the heath at first lot, on Warren Hill. I didn’t see him, as I was in a completely different place, but let’s hope whoever was with him, was talking sense and got the message across about our sport.

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Prayer Time (Jimmy) and Legal Art (Reece)

I see Willie Mullins’ comments on prize money caused a bit of a stir yesterday, with a couple of big articles in the Racing Post today. Really it is what we have all been saying since time began, that prize money has to improve, especially in the lower reaches, if our sport is to thrive. You only have to look at Topaling winning five races and only winning £12,000. The big owners have also got to stop paying unbelievably stupid prices for the horses, as they have only themselves to blame for this, along with the agents. I am sure Willie Mullins has the whole industry at heart, as we all do, but this problem does need addressing urgently and at least his intervention has brought it to everybody’s attention.

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Sant'Elia (Frankie) and Heavensfield (Yaz)

There is also a massive article on racings missing millions, and how there is a leakage of funds from the income from media rights. As yet, I have not had time to read this properly and take it all in, but I have always thought that the money from this should be used in the right way, but it looks to me as if everybody is taking some for themselves and as usual it’s not going to the right places. In football, the players get the majority of the picture money in wages and transfer fees, plus the agents. In racing it seems to go to the racecourses, who don’t distribute it evenly enough. The people who supply the product, i.e. the owners, don’t get a proper return. This, I am sure, will run and run.

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A cooling walk home after exercise

Still no foals, but if I was to have a guess, I would say on Monday we would have at least one new one on the ground. There are a couple of mares who are waxed up, with big bags and they could foal at any time.  We also have three or four more that are showing signs, so you never know what will happen.