Velvet Vista runs at 5.45 followed by Astrojewel in the 8.45 ...

We have two runners today at Chelmsford

Thursday, 26 November 2015

"When the student is ready, the master appears."

Buddhist Proverb.

Comrade Bond schooling over the tyres

It’s was a misty morning when we took a few horses up to the schooling ground at first lot, in fact it was one of those mornings when you needed a camera and of course I had not got mine with me. The photo above was taken on my iPhone. The hurdles appearing out of the mist with the sun rising in the background was fantastic to see and you can only get that sort of experience if you make the effort to get out of bed and look for it. All the three horses we took up schooled very well, Comrade Bond, Topaling and Humphry Repton. Most of the other strings have been cantering on Southfield Round and a few on Hamilton Hill. I myself have just had a yearling in the lunge pit for an hour and a half as it took plenty of time to see sense, but eventually it did! I think I have lost a half a stone in weight doing it.

Warming up in the trotting ring

We have two runners today at Chelmsford in one of their twilight meetings. Both are ridden by Saleem Golam who it is great to have back in the fold. For those of you who can remember, he was joint champion apprentice for me a few years ago. He has always had plenty of talent but just needs some luck to get on the right horses, which can be said for a lot of jockeys nowadays. Ixchell is our first runner at 4.40, the seven furlong fillies maiden. She ran creditably at Newmarket in very soft ground and I am sure this surface will be more to her liking. I am hoping she can beat more than beat her. Peeps is our other runner later on in the evening at 7.10, the two mile handicap. She was a bit unlucky not to have won last time, but is improving. I think this trip will suit and she must have an each way chance tonight.


The sponsorship debate goes on, with William Hill saying unless the sport does a u turn over its betting partners rule, they will take their sponsorship elsewhere. This will mean a lot of the races they back will be sponsor less, including the Kempton Christmas fixture. Why we can’t be talking and seeing sense I don’t know, but I think it will get a lot worse before it gets better. I am sure there is no need to worry about the bookmakers pulling out as new sponsors will be found and racing will go on as always.

Busy maintaining the gallops

It was very sad to hear of the death of Alfie Westwood, one of the great characters of Newmarket. Alfie has worked for several people in the town, but he was the most lovely, charming man, who had time for everybody. He was interested in everything everyone did, and wanted old and young alike to do well out of the game he loved. He was especially good with the younger people, who he nurtured and gave very sound advice to, both in their riding and life skills world. He only gave up riding out when he was 73, which is amazing. The old saying they broke the mould, certainly comes into play with Alfie. He was one in a million.