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The excitment is building for Royal Ascot ...

At last, a bit of rain has fallen

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

"Age is a high price to pay for maturity."

Tom Stoppard.

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Mr Turner and Hold Firm

At long last we had a good drop of rain last night. The foreman on racecourse side told me we had 5-6 mm, which has certainly taken the sting out of the ground. It is slightly overcast and the temperature is quite low at the moment, but very nice to work in and we have had a busy morning already. Jimmy was in to ride work on Mr Turner and Michael Hills turned up to partner My Guardian Angel down the watered gallop with his daughter Sammi, who is going to ride Band Of Thunder in a charity race on Saturday at Newmarket. It was a delight to see father and daughter in the saddle and let’s hope all goes well at the weekend. Sammi works for Discover Newmarket and had the job of showing Kylie behind the scenes. She also took her to see Frankel at Banstead Manor Stud at Cheveley, before she performed on Friday night. All the work went well and there was plenty of chat on the way home.

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Astrovirtue, Band of Thunder and My Guardian Angel

The big news this morning is that Ladbrokes and Corals are in talks about a merger between the two companies. This was touted 20 years ago but failed on the competition reason, but with the rise of internet betting there looks to be a possibility that this will get through the rules this time. With over 4,000 betting shops between them it would make into a massive firm and will be fascinating to see how it all develops.

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Prayer Time and Smile That Smile

The final viewing figures for Royal Ascot were published, with another decrease in numbers. There were nearly 7 million people who watched when on BBC in 2012 and now we are down to under 3 million after 3 years of Channel 4. What a massive drop and what a worrying position it is for racing. I only wish the people who are in charge think the same as I do and the majority of the professionals who keep the show on the road. All we hear is that they are happy with the figures and are working to make them better. These are the people who made the decision in the first place, who will all leave for different jobs after a few years and haven’t got the long term interest of our industry. This problem will not go away and they must see that when we are on a minority channel, although they are trying their best and give us plenty of coverage, the majority just doesn’t watch it. If we had given the rights to the BBC, our figures would still be massive. Channel 4 paid for the rights but get that all back in advertising. We certainly need to have a big increase when next the rights come out for tender, with the money guaranteed to go into prize money if they are determined to stick with Channel 4.

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Permera

I thought I would take some pictures of our syndicate horses that look fantastic and are all ready to run. There are a couple today and I will put the other two on tomorrow. We have some shares left in all them and can recommend them to anybody. Just look at our syndicate section of this site to see how it all works and then give Jenko a ring or Di in the office.

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Blue Bounty