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Off to Pontefract today

Friday, 17 July 2015

"We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon."

Konrad Adenauer.

Band of Thunder and Singing Hinnie

There were some big thunder claps about last night at around 2 o’clock, but not a lot of rain. 4-5 mm was all we got, unlike in Scotland where play at The Open golf championship was stopped after 10 minutes as the course was waterlogged. If only we could get rain like that. Once again I have used the watered gallop and had both Jimmy and Saleem Golam in to ride work. It was great to see Saleem, who was champion apprentice when he worked for us. He was joint winner with Hayley Turner that year and has rather lost his way since. He is a very talented lad and I just hope he can get his career back on track.

Peeps and Bracken Brae

Sant’Elia got a bit tired yesterday and the ground was very much on the firmer side of good to firm, but as you know, these Clerk of the Courses love to have good in their description. The thought of calling it firm, which it was, or even hard, as it sometimes is at Bath, is completely alien to these executives. She will be having another run in the not too distant future over a bit further.

Our one runner today, Jack Carter, is at Pontefract, and once again we do not have a good draw. It is amazing how many bad draws we do get and although they say it is all chance, the balls don’t seem to be rolling our way at present. He ran a very sound race last time at Leicester and that race has not worked out too badly, with the fifth horse being placed in the Chesham and subsequently winning. He should run a sound race, if the draw doesn’t beat him early on. Tomorrow we have a couple of runners at Newmarket. Regal Galaxy makes her debut in the 2.50, the 7f fillies maiden . She is a lovely filly who will gain enormous experience from tomorrow’s outing. Our other runner is Humphry Repton in the 4.00. This will be his third run and I am hoping he can improve a bit on what he has shown so far.

     50_Mr_T__C_Bond     54_Legal__Smile
             Mr Turner and Comrade Bond                          Legal Art and Smile That Smile

It looks like Bill Barber, the industry editor, agrees with me that the agreement between the BHA, the Horseman’s Group and the racecourses, will drag on for a long time and that a working agreement between them will be difficult to achieve. It is sad really because we are all one, but constantly pulling against each other. You sometimes need a dictator, whether it is a country or a sport. It does actually get things done.

Discussing the riding out board

There’s a great article on our mayor and local trainer John Berry today in the Racing Post. The picture of John in his chains of office and his shorts and wellies, is terrific. He is a great character and does tremendous work for the town. His comments though on small and middle size trainers hits the nail on the head, and if something isn’t done to sort things out quickly, there will be a lot of them disappear. The big are getting bigger and the elitist side of our sport is coming to the fore. We have got the best racing in Britain and we don’t want to lose the fun of it, which at present is in short supply. John epitomises the enjoyment that can be had owning a racehorse and there are plenty more like him who need support.

Working hard in the office at Frankland Lodge

What a fantastic weekend of sport ahead, one of the best of the year and if you are at home, you won’t know which channel to put on the television. There’s England vs Australia at cricket, with the Aussies fighting back after their drubbing last week. The Open golf at St Andrew’s, which is the home of golf. With the wind and rain, it will make it compulsive viewing and level the playing field, with the golfers who can adapt coming to the top. The fantastic Tour de France, which to me is one of the greatest competitions of the year. To watch Chris Frome take minutes out of the field on a hill that we would struggle to walk up, never mind bike up, is fantastic viewing and he deserves all the accolades he gets. They have nearly finished in the Pyrenees and will be heading to the Alps next. What a thought! Enjoy the viewing.