Horse welfare is paramount ...

A marvellous charity for ex-racehorses

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

"We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves."

François VI de la Rochefoucault.

It's a dark, wet start to the morning

It’s a proper wet morning with plenty of rain about and it looks set for the day. It’s absolutely typical as I was hoping for some good ground at Newmarket for Mr Turner. We have had plenty of people in this morning once again and everything has gone reasonably smoothly. All the new personnel are fitting in and are very enthusiastic to improve and do well.

Humphry Repton leading the way

We have two runners today starting with Mr Turner at Newmarket. It is a pity it has rained as I don’t think he particularly liked the soft ground at Nottingham a fortnight ago and it will be pretty much the same today, especially if the rain keeps on. I have always loved this horse and let’s hope he can show more than he did last time, but the ground is a big worry. Hold Firm is our other runner at Kempton in the 5.20. Josh Quinn rides him and takes 7lbs off his back. He won on him the time before last at Beverley and has been riding out this morning for me so has had a good chat about tactics. He is ultra-consistent and although he is drawn at Heathrow Airport, I am hoping he can get him in a sensible position where he can have every chance

Careless Rapture and Topaling

The BHA is certainly taking the bull by the horns and has told the bookmakers that they will have to pay tax on their digital gambling bets overseas. If they don’t, they will not be allowed to sponsor and with the BHA dangling a carrot of closer communication if they do so, it will be interesting to see how they react. We need some leaders with grit, determination and the enthusiasm to do something about our very poorly funded industry. I think if everybody works together, which we should have been doing years ago, it will be to the benefit of all, not just to the bookmaking industries which make millions of pounds without putting anything back.

Peeps on Hamilton Hill

There is a parade today at Newmarket racecourse an hour before the first race, of four ex-racehorses from The Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre. This is their first visit to Newmarket and is to highlight the announcement of the impending change of the charity's name on January 1st to the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre. 2016 is their 25th anniversary and John Sexton, the well-known and respected former president of the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association, is now chairman of this charity. He is trying to reach out to the racing industry in a bid to find ways to mutually help each other. The horses paraded today include the Group 3 winner Mount Athos and Brae Hill, who won the Lincoln and the Bunbury Cup here at Newmarket. The other two ex-racehorses are less well known, but have come to demonstrate that the charity works with all horses across the racing spectrum. Any owners or trainers who are at Newmarket today are invited to visit John and his team in the Limekilns room for a drink, on the 3rd floor of the main stand. For more information go to or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it