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Horse welfare is paramount ...

A mixture of a day

Friday, 22 May 2015

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."

Ralf Waldo Emerson.

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Hold Firm and Mr Turner coming into view and below

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It's a warm morning but quite cloudy. We have had a real mixture of a day with horses doing all sorts of things. Some have been working between the banks, Andrew Tinkler has been up and we have schooled half a dozen over the hurdles, and the rest have been cantering on Hamilton Hill. We shall be having no runners over the weekend as the tracks are drying up fast and although there is good in the going descriptions, I can tell you there is very little good on the tracks themselves.

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Singing Hinnie leading Astrovirtue

The Levy board are warning that the expenditure will be down this year and the following year with significant cuts forecast. It's all to do with the collection of gambling money from digital betting and until they find the mechanism to actually do this it will only go one way. Nick Rust, the chief executive of the BHA, warns "...there are difficult decisions ahead". Whether he means cutting fixtures or prize money, he has not clarified.

On another issue the racecourses are trumpeting an attendance rise in the first quarter of the year but good weather and the Tony McCoy factor are the main reasons for that. It's great to see people going racing but I just hope there will be the horses for them to watch if the prize money and the fixture list are not sorted out.

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Jack Carter with Ixchell

After the debacle of the sun at Southwell this week with the omission of all the hurdles in the back straight, the Clerk of the course has suggested that they move one of the flights from the back straight into the home straight. This will make three instead of two there. He says that means we will jump 50% of the hurdles. Where they get these people from is beyond me. It might be April 1st again.

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Astrowolf leads Regal Galaxy and Permera

Those of you who know my assistant, Steve Avery, will be aware he has had very bad arthritis for a couple of years now. He has been limping badly of late and he has gone in to hospital today to have the footballers' operation on the cartilage in his knee. It was his birthday yesterday so there was plenty of ribbing from the lads that his birthday present was a new knee. Everyone here and at the stud wishes him a very speedy recovery.

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John and Bridget Brenchley visited the yard to watch their Authorized ex Missouri filly and, below, Star Commander      Star

We are getting on breaking a couple of the more backward two-year-olds. As you can see from the picture below, Astrosecret has taken to being ridden like a duck to water.   

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            Astrosecret being ridden for the first time