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Plenty of people turned out for the Open Day ...

We have three runners going out today

Monday, 11 May 2015

"When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?"

George Canning.

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Walking to the gallops

It’s a mild morning and the temperature has kept rising as the day has gone on. Everybody is in great form after yesterday’s winner, which is the first we have had from Frankland Lodge. The horses have been out cantering and all are moving and looking very well. It looks like this weather will stay like this for most of the week and the ground will be drying up once again. We have missed most of the rain that the rest of the country has had, especially in the north and Scotland, where the ground is on the soft side.

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Mr Turner (Leon) on Hamilton Hill

Band of Thunder won very easily yesterday. He has been a revelation since Joe and his family bought the horse to go point to pointing, but after a change of mind, we decided to give him a go under rules and physically the horse has done so well since coming into training. He won with quite a bit in hand and may be a very well handicapped gelding. I will be looking for a race for him with a penalty and let’s hope he can follow up his win in the near future.

We have three runners today, two at Wolverhampton this afternoon and then one at Windsor tonight. Topaling is our first runner in the 1m 6f handicap at 2.20. She has won three times over course and distance and although she has had a break, I think she is fit enough to do herself justice today. I am sure she will improve for it though and has not finished winning yet. Hold Firm drops back in trip in the 3.30, the 7f three-year-old only handicap. He has been very consistent and I think this trip will not be any inconvenience and can see him bang up there once again. Smile That Smile is our runner at Windsor in the 6.50, the 1m 2f three-year-old handicap. She won on her only start over 1m in very soft / heavy ground at Brighton, so this faster surface will be my only doubt. She has been in good form at home and is ready for this, her first outing of 2015. She will get further in time, but if she handles this surface, and lets herself down, I am sure she will run a sound race tonight.

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Prayer Time (Niall) leading Swilken (Joe)

There’s a very interesting article in the Racing Post today, on the decline of Ladbrokes in Ireland and the feeling I get from reading it, is that the general public don’t like the shops at all. They don’t like the interiors, or even the exteriors and would rather use the two big Irish firms instead. It got me thinking as to how betting shops might change and I think a bit of radical thinking may benefit all shops, starting with the windows and then moving on inside. I am sure it is not rocket science to make them more customer friendly and a bit of clear thinking could rectify the situation for all.