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A very happy birthday to Richard Marriott

Thursday, 02 April 2015

"April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go."

Christopher Morley.

Cantering on the Warren Hill turf

It’s a very similar morning to yesterday, being bright, no wind, but cold. I have been using the Warren Hill grass canter with everything this morning, for the first time, and all went smoothly. There is quite a good cover of grass and we have had just the right amount of rain to make it nearly perfect. There were obviously a few green horses that were looking around, but on the whole it went well and next time they will be even better. I am very happy with how progress is going this spring and all the horses are moving well, in good shape both mentally and physically. It would be a couple of weeks yet before we have many runners, but that won’t do any harm.

Sant'Elia (Leon), Toparali (Yaz) and Prayer Time (Brian)

I see the tracks are talking about selling their picture rights direct to the bookmakers rather than through a middle man, which I always thought would happen and should happen, as it cuts out the money being used elsewhere and paying dividends. I think once the Tote monopoly stops in a few years time a very similar thing will happen with the Tote, as each racecourse group will be having their own in-house betting system. It makes perfect sense and all profits should go back into racing. It will do with the Jockey Club racecourses, as all profits are reinvested. I am not so sure about the Arc tracks as they have shareholders, but it must be the right way to go.

Legal Art (Reece) and Astrowolf (Veronika)

It is the big all-weather end of season championship tomorrow, Good Friday, which was held for the first time last year. There is a lot of money invested in this day and although it was aimed at the horsemen who keep the show on the road throughout the winter, the qualifying races and the actual runners is not a good example of that. There are very few smaller trainers with runners; these are the ones that day after day keep the tracks ticking over. Unfortunately their horses are not high enough rated or good enough to compete for the big money. I think this whole day needs some thinking as to the future programme and hopefully make it fairer for everybody. I also think Good Friday is not the day to hold it and there are several Saturdays around this time which would benefit greatly from a day like this. Good Friday should be a day off and I am glad to see that only the two tracks that raced last year have continued tomorrow.

Two-year-olds at second lot led by Comrade Bond

A very happy birthday to Richard Marriott, who has been a great supporter and has been very successful under his Sarabex banner. He is a very enthusiastic gardener and enters all the local shows with his produce and has cleaned up on many occasions all the cups and trophies. He even won one for carrots, with bent ones! Have a great day Richard.