Horse welfare is paramount ...

It's another very wet day

Tuesday, 01 September 2015

"The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder."

Ralph W. Sockman.

Bracken Brae, Sant'Elia  and Singing Hinnie cantering through the rain

Although we weren’t forecast rain this morning, it has never stopped throwing it down and we have all got drenched through again at first and second lot. It is amazing though how the ground has taken it and we worked round the bend on racecourse side both lots. We had Jimmy, Saleem and Nathan in, which was a great help and the horses are beginning to really show some energy and wellbeing. Our first runner for ages is tomorrow at Lingfield.

Another really wet, dark day

All the scopes yesterday were clean, other than Permera who I was hoping to run as well tomorrow. Hers was just slightly cloudy and we decided to give her another week to make certain it is completely cleared up. The vets are sure we are on the right road now and I, along with the staff, certainly hope so.

Warming up in the trotting ring

There was a flurry of retirements announced yesterday with James Toller calling it a day at the end of the season. James has been a contemporary of mine for as long as I can remember. I started in 1979 and he started in 1980. I can fully understand his decision as he states it is getting increasingly hard for the smaller yards, whether it be in Newmarket or throughout the country. I think the BHA are unaware of the problems everybody gets on a day to day basis  and I wish James all the best in the future and hope he is not lost to the sport. He is very capable of doing many jobs within the industry and he should be encouraged to take one of them up. We also had Hayley Turner decide to retire from being a jockey. She has been the flag bearer for the ladies for a while now and has done very well. She was the first lady to ride a Group 1 winner. She rode a winner for David Noblett and the yard on Shergar Cup day several years ago. On the horse front, both Telescope and Hurricane Fly have retired. Hurricane Fly especially, has been an unbelievable hurdler and his career tally of 22 Group 1 victory’s, which is a world record, will take some beating, if it is ever beaten. A real street fighter, he will be very hard to replace.

A very small bit of blue sky showing through the clouds

Colin Russell writes a great piece today in the Post on race planning and he says it is amazing that the BHA has not had some sort of checking device in place before now. He was referring to the computer age we all live in which would, at the press of a few buttons, show that whole race planning how it should be done. We, and a lot of other trainers, use a system devised by Johanna Williams. She is absolutely brilliant and the system is so clear and simple to use. I am positive the BHA have never even thought of involving her, but if I were the leader, it would be the first person I would turn to as her knowledge and understanding of what trainers require would be a huge benefit, but I suppose like most organisations they will keep their heads in the sand.