They are not children ...

It's a really wet morning out on the heath

Wednesday, 04 November 2015

"Inner beauty, too, needs occasionally to be told it is beautiful."

Robert Brault.

Ixchell on the Hamilton Hill

It’s a really wet morning and the rain has not stopped since first light and looks set to continue for most of the day. The only good thing about it is it’s not cold and there is no wind, it is just miserable to work in. All the lads have done well this morning especially when the horses are keen and the reins are slipping. The younger horses are coming on well.


Smile That Smile ran a sound race yesterday and for a three-year-old she performed well against the older horses. Only the battle hardened winner was stronger than her and I am sure she has still got plenty of improvement to come. I think the trip was ok although she may be just as effective back at a mile and a half.

Walking back in the rain

It is very sad to report the death of Rory MacDonald who died on Monday very suddenly. He had only just retired from the British Racing School a year ago and he was a proper man. He had run the BRS for 22 years and had been the driving force behind all the improvements and the very high standards it achieved. He was one of those people who was very firm, but very fair. He could laugh at himself and could see the good in everybody. There will be thousands of young people who have been through the school, whether the main courses or the many other varied courses that are run there, in his debt as there wouldn’t be a place such as it is now without Rory. On a personal note he was a very good friend to me. We thought alike and I supported him in everything he did. Our condolences go out to his wife Antonia and the family.

Lawman ex Pure Song yearling on the lunge rein

I see a lot of the big studs are announcing the fees for their stallions in 2016 and most of them are going up, not down. It is making life a lot harder for normal breeders, or anybody thinking of starting to get into the industry, or even stay in the industry. If you have an average covering of say between £5,000 and £10,000 and the produce is a filly, they are worth very little. I am speaking from the commercial breeders’ point of view. We at Dullingham Park have not had the problem of picking the right stallion to sell the produce, we mainly breed to race, which is a lot easier and we can pick and choose stallions to suit, but even so, some of the new stallions are starting off at a high price, ie, Golden Horn £60,000 and Muhaarar £30,000. To my way of thinking those figures are out of the range of most normal people. If Nick Rust’s idea of getting a thousand more horses in training is to be achieved, then the costs have got to come down, not go up.