Horse welfare is paramount ...

Two runners today at Pontefract

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

"We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey."

Kenji Miyazawa.

Medicean ex Astrodonna, Comrade Bond and Mr Turner

As yet the rain has not arrived in Newmarket, but I am confidently told that it is on its way and we will be getting a good dollop from mid morning onwards. I hope they are right as we are very much in need of it, both for the ground on the tracks and the fields on the stud. It is cold once again, with a breeze that cuts right through you and after thinking spring was here, it looks like it is back on hold once again. I took some two-year-olds over to do a sharp piece of work for the first time this morning at first lot. They came 3 ½ - 4 furlongs between the banks on the peat moss. I was delighted with how it all went and tonight’s stable round will tell me whether we have given them sore shins or not. The gallop itself is a perfect place for young horses, as it keeps them together and it is not as open as the heath is across the flat.

Astrosecret in her new home 

Our runner last night, Sant'Elia, ran with credit. A bit outpaced early on, she made steady progress and ran on really well in the final two furlongs. She has taken it well and will benefit greatly from the outing. All this family get better with age and experience and she is certainly as good as we have had out of the mare, if she continues in this vein.

Today we have two runners at Pontefract. Our first runner is in the 1m 2f maiden at 2.35. Bracken Brae makes her second appearance on the racetrack, after last years outing at Newmarket. She is a great big, scopy filly who we have always liked. However, this is a competitive contest with three of the five already placed in maidens and the unraced one held in very high regard, so we will have to wait and see how we get on. I am hoping we can run with credit and I am sure once we get over a bit further, she will show her true colours. Our second runner, in the 3.10, is Swilken who has always flattered to deceive. He has never run a bad race, has bundles of talent, but is a horse that needs very careful handling and if everything goes right today, he could run a major race, but if something upsets him, it could be the other way. If we can get it right with this horse, he is certainly the right end of the handicap. Confidence is what he needs and Jimmy will be trying to fill him up with plenty of it today.

Unloading the hay at Frankland Lodge

I must comment on the BHA hearing into the jockey Richie McGrath and the professional punter who have both just been cleared of any wrongdoing after a four day enquiry. It has been over a year, this enquiry, and must have caused great hardship to Richie and his family. My point here is why the steroid case into Mr Al Zarooni took two days and is over and done with and forgotten and this case has taken a year and certainly has ruined lives and careers. If the BHA is going to enquire into these sorts of things, they should be done quickly, efficiently and correctly. We also need to know the findings and the BHA should comment immediately after the enquiry, not take time to make up a press release in jargon nobody understands. I also hope they compensate the jockey for his loss of earnings and costs towards this case. I must point out at this juncture that I am just an outsider looking in and don’t know any of the personnel involved. It just irks me to see the time it takes to sort out these cases.