In and out as quickly as possible ...

The move is progressing well

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

"The spiritual path is not strewn with roses."

Haridas Chaudhuri.

Cantering up Hamilton Hill

It’s a bright morning but cool in the breeze. We have been moving horses across town first thing and it has started to get full at Frankland Lodge. We will be completing the move by the end of the week and then I can start to develop the Exeter Ride yard without any problems. Most of the horses have cantered on the Mactrac or Hamilton Hill. The heath chief executive has opened the Limekilns this morning, which I think is much too early as although the grass has started to grow, there will be no depth to it yet. He is always under a lot of pressure to open these gallops, but they have been historically galloping ground for the summer months, June, July and August and if he uses it up too soon, there will be no grass left.

The entrance from the heath to Frankland Lodge

I see the BHA has initiated a review of the National Hunt season with 20 people on the committee. It is chaired by the ex supreme of Cheltenham, Edward Gillespie and will be looking into all aspects of the National Hunt season. There has been plenty of discussion about small field sizes and not enough races in the north for the better horses. Owners have been thin on the ground and although the two recent festivals, Cheltenham and Liverpool, have been huge successes, it doesn’t take a mind reader to know something needs to be done. The last time a review was done there were several new suggestions, which didn’t stand the test of time. To my mind there is only one section that needs sorting out and that is prize money. If the prize money is increased, owners will be encouraged to buy new horses or keep them in training longer. It will be interesting to see what the conclusions are and they are going to take a year to do it.

The yard is filling up

Another thing that came to light yesterday was from the TBA who is alarmed at the lack of opportunity for staying horses on the flat. With the reduction in status of the Queen’s Vase, Group 3 down to listed level, we are losing more opportunities. We do not want to go down the route that Australia has taken, with the sprinters and quicker horses taking the majority of the prize money. The Australians have been buying our staying horses in great numbers and you can’t blame the owners for taking the inflated prices being offered. We need a proper programme for the staying section of our business and the TBA are right to bring it to everybody’s notice.