The final day of Cheltenham with the running of the Gold Cup ....

Good luck to Tony McCoy

Friday, 24 April 2015

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Robert Brault.

Cantering in their groups

It’s another blue sky morning, with no wind and a perfect temperature. I am told the weather is now going to change form this weekend, with some rain and much colder for the next few days. We will be pleased to get some rain, both for the stud and the gallops on the heath. They both need it quite urgently as the grass growth has become quite slow during the dry spell. We have had another good morning, with a batch of workers coming between the banks on the peat moss on racecourse side. The staff are now getting to grips with this gallop and beginning to know what I expect and most importantly, how to ride this gallop, which is all uphill with a couple of plateaus as it rises. Not many people use this strip of ground, which is what I like. Second lot stayed on Hamilton Hill, as will third lot. We have no runners this weekend, but have got a batch entered nearly everyday next week and we are now starting to step up a gear.

(L-R) Smile That Smile, Sant'Elia and Bracken Brae working

As we all know it is Tony McCoys final day as a jockey on Saturday, when he bows out at Sandown and what a fairytale it will be if he can go out with a winner. We will never see the like of him again as a jockey and as I read yesterday, there is no other sport that a champion has been at the top for 20 years consecutively. He is just that good and way and above any other jockey riding under national hunt rules. The other thing about him which stands out, is that he is a proper person and always has time for everybody, with a brilliant kind manner. He is an outstanding example to every person in any sport wishing to get to the top. We wish him well in the future and feel sure he will not be lost to our sport.

Sophie taking Peeps for a pick of grass

I see an article today in the Racing Post which I am not 100% certain about. There is going to be the first public auction of racehorses sold into the sport and general riding market, held by Brightwells at the Malvern sales grounds. All horses will be sold with a non-racing agreement, which means they can’t race again, and the entry fee is subsidised. The article reads to me as if the Retraining Of Racehorses are heavily involved and I just hope we won’t get any horror stories coming back from it. I don’t know if it is the ROR who are selling the horses themselves, or if any body can put a horse in, it doesn’t go into that detail, but when we find homes for horses, which we do on many occasions (just take a look at our ‘where are they now?’ section of the website) we always put a caveat in the form, that both parties sign, to say that if the horse is not suitable we will have it back at any time. Thankfully we have only done this on one occasion and all our horses are loved and brilliantly cared for by their new owners. To me, this new sale could cause problems, but we will have to wait and see. There is a picture below of one of our ex inmates, Astroleo, happily enjoying his second career with Janine. They give so much pleasure to their owners and it’s brilliant to see them so happy.

Astroleo enjoying a pole work lesson

I am sure I will have some news of new foals by Monday, as the last two mares are fit to burst now with plenty of wax and big bags. Let’s hope for two colts, which will only go a short way to equalling the sexes up for this year.