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One runner today at Wolverhampton

Tuesday, 02 June 2015

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."


Smile That Smile and Bracken Brae on the watered gallop

It’s been a very windy night and there were a lot of leaves and branches on the roads as I came in this morning. We had very little rain though and in Newmarket itself, only 1mm fell. It is amazing how the rain clouds go around the town. Consequently we couldn’t work on the normal turf gallops and had to use the watered gallop, which is great, but it costs extra and that always aggravates me. All the work went well on perfect ground. It’s a shame that the racecourses aren’t like it. 

Topaling on Hamilton Hill

We had a mixed day yesterday with the runners as the two-year-old ran as well as I hoped and will improve no end for it. He won the best turned out and was very well behaved. Once again Swilken disappointed and I think he just failed to put any effort in at all. He is a lovely great big, strong looking horse who has got the ability but blatantly fails to show it on the track. I think one more chance before the sales beckon and somebody else can have a try with him.

 We have one runner tonight at Wolverhampton in the 7.50, the 1m handicap. He is drawn quite wide but I expect him to run with credit. He is very consistent and I don’t think he will be far away tonight if he gets in the right position early and is not stuck behind some slow ones.


The Derby build up continues aplenty, with the field starting to finalise its shape now. We say every year that it is not a vintage Derby, but usually the winner is very good and goes on to be a champion or a champion sire. This year we have a lot of ifs and buts about whether horses will stay or not and I think it is a modern day trend to breed horses for speed rather than stamina. They seem to sell better if they have got speed in their pedigree. In the old days the owner breeders bred for stamina and to win the major races, especially the Derby. It is a shame it is not like that now. The Derby is on a Saturday once again, and believe it or not it is 21 years since it has been moved from a Wednesday. It was amazing to read that today in the Racing Post, as I would have only said it was 10 years ago. This year it has got the Champions League final to go up against. Juventus plays Barcelona on Saturday night and the viewing figures for both events will be miles apart. There will be footballers talking about the game in the build up to the match, but we will have punters and presenters who have no knowledge of our sport, other than how to put a bet on, talking about our big day. The only jockey who will be there in the team is a jump jockey. You just could not make this up. It is quite depressing that we can’t find people who know what they are talking about to present our racing programmes. There is no other sport that does this. Everybody else, even athletics and cycling, have past champions presenting.