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An overcast morning with quite a breeze

Monday, 16 August 2010



Smokey Oakey (Ashley) and Cornish Beau (Liam)

''A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.''

 - Ian Fleming



Ted Spread (Colin) shows plenty of zip in his pipe-opener before the Great Voltigeur tomorrow

An overcast morning with quite a breeze but no rain overnight and the grass on Long Hill canter has started to dry up but was still okay to canter on this morning. The forecast is for a band of heavy rain to sweep across the country tomorrow, followed by an unsettled week. Let's hope the ground, at the courses where I am hoping to have runners, goes in our favour for a change.


Toparichi loads onto the box as Colzium waits his turn before heading off to Yarmouth

Five runners today, all this evening at Windsor and Yarmouth. Starting with Akula tonight at Windsor in the mile and a quarter apprentice handicap at 5.40 pm; the form of his race at Salisbury has worked out well but he has had an enforced lay-off because of the fast ground but I am hopeful of a good show tonight despite his bad draw in stall one. Hopefully I can now keep him running and there will be improvement to come. Four runners tonight at Yarmouth, starting with the two year old  6 furlong maiden at 6.00 pm, where we run both Colzium and Toparichi. Colzium is a lovely, big, scopey colt, just the type I love, who will benefit greatly from today's outing and will stay well in time. Toparichi surprised me last time as to how badly he needed the run but I have had no hold-ups this time and expect him to perform with more credit. He will stay a bit further in time and I have always really liked this horse. In the next the 6.30 pm, the mile and a quarter claimer, we run Fasette, who has disappointed us the last twice, so she is fitted with blinkers and Jimmy Quinn takes over from Ashley. She is also getting lumps of weight from the top two, so if she disappoints us again, hurdles will be the last resort! In the last we run Red Barcelona, in the mile and six maiden handicap, he has been placed several times but has yet to get his head in front. This looks  reasonably competitive, as there are plenty in with chances but I am hopeful that he can get competitive.


Astromoon (Wajid) and Kinsya (Steve)

An interesting and very enjoyable day at the Community Stadium in Colchester on Saturday, where the Owls played Colchester United in Division One. First impressions were that it is a marvellous, brand new facility, built by the Council and used by both the football club and the residents of Colchester. There was plenty of parking, the pitch was in great order and everything was clean and bright with plenty of space. The parking was very easy and a lot of it, all the staff were friendly and enthusiastic and it was a pleasure to go. The only drawback was after the match when, due to local residents complaining, the traffic took ages to exit. What would have happened if the stadium had been full is anybody's guess but they tell me a roundabout and direct access onto the A12 is being built - the sooner the better. As for the match, we are all spoilt by being able to watch the top players of the world in the premiership and, when we come to the lower leagues, it is a shock to the system. The players in this grade lack pace, skill, direction and even some had no enthusiasm. As for the managers, I can't believe how badly the teams are set-up and what tactics are played: from every punt up-field from both goalkeepers, we had the whole twenty outfield players stood in a huddle waiting for the ball to land. ''Width and option,'' I kept hearing myself think but I suppose playing with wingers is a thing of the past or it just never enters the managers of today's thinking. The result was a 1-1 draw which on the basis of play was a fair result, Colchester scored a very good goal and Wednesday had a barging, unmissable goal but I really enjoyed the day and a big thank you to Peter Sakal and all the lads in the box, who have a share in the two year old Izzet with me. They were asking me if he was quicker than most of the players on show and I was able to tell them he was - it wasn't hard to do that! Phil is delighted that the goalkeeping gloves that the goalies wear nowadays are like the ones that the clowns wear in circuses, as they saved Arsenal from defeat on Sunday. 


Heading home alongside the Town Sand canter