Sylvestre de Sousa is doing so well ...

One runner today at Fontwell

Friday, 01 May 2015

"It is better to weep with wise men than to laugh with fools."

Spanish Proverb.

Humphry Repton (Jimmy) and Blue Bounty (Reece) working

It’s a bright morning, but still very cold and we have had no rain, other than the very occasional shower, for the last few days. I know some is forecast, but it is not until later on in the weekend and the ground for the Guineas meeting will certainly be on the fast side. We have had a very mixed morning as I sent a batch of horses once again over to the peat moss gallop between the banks. The first two or three groups worked very well on the near perfect ground, but unfortunately we had one in the later groups pull up with a bad injury. It is never easy when this happens and everybody involved, from the lad upwards, feels the emotions rising. You are always told these things can happen, but when it actually does, it is very hard to take, especially when you have been involved with them right from being a foal.

(L-R) Prayer Time (Leon), Star Commander (Joe) and Smile That Smile (Sophie)

Our runner yesterday completely disgraced himself and surprised us as he is a most charming horse at home and we had no idea he was going to be as stubborn as he was at the stalls. He planted his front feet and despite four hefty men trying to push him in, he was having none of it. He will be quickly out again over hurdles, where there are no stalls to play up to. The funny thing about it, if you can make a joke out of that sort of thing, was that Jimmy Quinn  got off him and just threw a few bits of polytrack to make him go forward, and was later banned for a day for that action!

We have one runner today at Fontwell over hurdles. Astrowolf makes his debut in the 4.30, the 2m 4f maiden and Andrew Tinkler takes the ride. He has schooled very well and will benefit greatly from this first outing over obstacles. Let’s hope he gets a clear round and runs with credit.

The peat most gallop between the banks

An article caught my eye in the Racing Post today about the Plus 10 initiative. Everybody with a foal is asked to register their foals for this scheme, which pays out prize money as a bonus if you are a qualified horse. For easy understanding, you pay in three stages, as a foal, a yearling and then when in training. There are stage payments from a foal to a two-year-old, but the rules look to have changed yesterday, when it was announced there was a window of opportunity to register your foal in May and June. So if you didn’t register it as a foal and paid your money upfront, you now have a chance to catch up at a later date. This is like having a bet after you know the result and only Dorothy Padgett, the famous owner who used to stay awake at night and sleep in the daytime, was allowed to do this. If this is going to be a permanent rule, the late entrants ought to pay triple the cost of the original foal cost. Whether this is the people who run it panicking because the scheme is not working correctly, I don’t know, but all I want in anything is fairness and openness. It benefits everybody if this is the case.

Sing Me Sing Me stabled at Frankland Lodge

It is the Guineas this weekend, with the 2000 on Saturday and the 1000 on Sunday. They both look wide open to me and there are already 19 declared in the colt’s race. I am sure this makes for plenty of bumping and boring and some hard luck stories, as the stalls have been installed on the stand side and a false rail employed in the latter stages. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Aidan O’Brien have first and second. The 1000 Guineas will not have quite so many runners and is another open looking contest. I would go for horses with form on fast ground, which is what it will be.